Jane Gor­don

Age un­known Mother, grand­mother and 24/7 child­min­der

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - MUM AND ME -

It is, of course, Edie who fi­nally pulls me out of my mis­er­able, un­sea­son­able mood. ‘An­nie,’ she says when I pick her up from school on the sec­ond to last day of term. ‘Mummy says you are mak­ing a fuss about Christ­mas.’

Back at the house I con­sider con­fronting Bry­ony about this, but think bet­ter of it be­cause it’s true: I have been mak­ing a fuss. In­stead, I sit down with Edie at the kitchen ta­ble and help her write a let­ter to Santa.

And sud­denly I am like Scrooge on the day af­ter he has had a visit from the Ghost of Christ­mas Fu­ture. I pull my­self to­gether, I be­gin to look for­ward rather than back­ward, and I fi­nally feel a spark of the ex­cite­ment that is unique to this time of year.

Be­cause the thing is, sad though it will be to have a Christ­mas with­out Edie (and her mummy and daddy), it will be less stress­ful than last year, when Bry­ony was strug­gling in re­hab and I was still re­cov­er­ing from the fall­out of my car ac­ci­dent.

True, there won’t be so many heartrend­ing mo­ments with Edie, watch­ing her open­ing her stock­ing or the end­less pile of presents that the lone child in a fam­ily will re­ceive. But on the bright side, it won’t be a PG-rated Christ­mas – it will be a full-on day of grown-up in­dul­gence. OK, it may con­tain oc­ca­sional scenes that some peo­ple might find of­fen­sive – mod­er­ate vi­o­lence from Rufus dur­ing our Mario Kart con­test, or an out­burst of strong lan­guage from Naomi when we are play­ing the name-on-the-head guess­ing game – but it will be fun.

So the next morn­ing, af­ter I have dropped Edie (dressed as a fairy for the end-of-term form party) at school, I get in my car and drive home feel­ing ridicu­lously fes­tive. On the way I man­age to buy the very last £20 Tesco liv­ing tree, and I spend the rest of the day haul­ing boxes of dec­o­ra­tions down from the at­tic. By the time I of­fi­cially turn on the Christ­mas lights that evening – pos­si­bly caus­ing a surge on the Na­tional Grid – I am fully back in love with the sea­son of good­will. Happy Christ­mas!

It won’t be a PG-rated Christ­mas – it will be a full-on day of grown-up in­dul­gence

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