One of the difficult, unrelenting things about Christmas is that it only comes once a year, so if it doesn't go well, or well enough, you're left until the next time to make it right.
First, it's debatable whether trying to make it right is even worthwhile. Surely we should just be enjoying the day as we see fit and not trying to make it into something gloriously wonderful, as per the latest made-for-tv-movie showing on the backburner channels.
Christmas should be what you want and maybe sometimes what you actually get instead of what you think it should be.
Having said all that, after spending this Christmas in a paroxysm of discomfort and emotional fatigue, I felt particularly cheated. It is my favourite holiday! The thought of waiting a full year and hoping that chance might throw me a decent Christmas just seemed so...harsh.
That was when it hit me. I looked at our two little trees, bought in a fit of inspiration when the massively big one looked too unwieldy and I thought, Why not have two Christmases as well?
Yes, two Christmases, just because.
Imagine, if you will, Christmas without all the hype and the expectation. Without feeling the need to buy enough presents for people or to make lots of food in honour of the day. Most importantly, without the pressure to make it just exactly right.
Imagine instead a Christmas where you have a small amount to spend on each person (we're buying more presents!) and can decide on an economical meal of what you would like to eat, minus the extras. The lights are lit on the trees and the decorations are still willing from the day itself.
So there we are, tomorrow is Christmas Number Twos. To the rest of the street it will be the Monday between Christmas and New Year but to us it will be a special day.
I'm very much looking forward to a lack of presents and pressure, food and forced enjoyment and a definite, absolute lack of Shoulds. Let the sleigh bells ring, readers, even if it is for the reindeer as they trot out to play in the snow-skimmed fields.
Tonight I feel the glow of Christmas Eve and if we are doing this one without Santa, well, I have a feeling he would approve.