SILLY SEASON STARTS NOW
’TWAS THE FORTNIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS WHEN ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE, NOT A CREATURE WAS STIRRING...
Ten days out from Christmas and it’s time to activate my Silly Season Schedule. It’s a tried and true system and I’m sure regular readers of this rectangle will draw inspiration from it.
The first task is to confirm it actually is December 15. Once done, you can smile, gloat and go back to sleep luxuriating in the knowledge that you can defer all thoughts of Christmas preparations for at least another day. Or two. Tomorrow, December 16, is always the manifestation of “Or two”. That is to say, with nine days until C Day — or X Day for the heathens among you — you can be confident and content there’s still heaps of time and no pressure. However, in my case December 16 is also my daughter’s birthday, an event that requires added vigilance against the early depletion of funds supposedly set aside for Christmas. Come December 17, any comfort taken from there still being eight days before the 25th is tempered by the reality of another failed attempt to prevent the aforementioned budgetary depletion via the aforementioned daughter raiding the aforementioned Christmas coffers for her aforementioned birthday. December 18-20 is a package that features some of the most important facets of the Silly Season Schedule.
It’s a time for calculated reconnaissance and research targeting firstly my son (“Hey, what do you want for Christmas?”), then my daughter (“Hey, what do you want for Christmas?”) and finally Mrs Informer (“Hey, what have you bought yourself for Christmas that is already under the tree and purports to have come from me without me needing to ask you what you want for Christmas?”).
December 21 is very important. It’s when I remind the family that the strict $20 limit on Christmas gifts between themselves does not in any way pertain to their gifts for me.
On December 22, Informer goes online to check that there will be midnight shopping on December 23-24. This allows me to delude myself into thinking I now have the equivalent of two extra days up my sleeve.
On December 23, having confirmed midnight trading, I determine to avoid complacency. One second after said determination, complacency sets in. According to the schedule, this means it won’t be long before complacency becomes panic. Some people call December 24 Christmas Eve. Informer calls it Christmas Evil, although its horrors are totally self-inflicted. I am reminded of this as I head out of the house and into the maelstrom that is the December 24 shopping blitz.
Thousands of others — mostly blokes about my age, it must be said — are with me. We are a throng in thongs, all lost and livid as we enter the not even slightly merry Christmas World of Our Own Fault.
In this mysterious land are perfume counters, dress shops, natural product retailers, florists, toy stores, electronic outlets and, good grief, the crowds, the noise, the endless bloody carols and the poor harassed counter staff who still have their Christmas hats and smiles on, but who want to kill all of us and Santa. You do, don’t you?
But all that is to come, for today is only the 15th and there’s 10 days until Christmas. The schedule never lies. Seasonally speaking, it’d be silly to ignore it.
“INFORMER CALLS IT CHRISTMAS EVIL, ALTHOUGH ITS HORRORS ARE TOTALLY SELF-INFLICTED.”