Jingle Bells in July

At my last count, nurse there were another five months to go until the big guy in the red suit would be taking that dangerously tight  squeeze down our chimney, cialis yet in the past few weeks the Christmas references have been in greater abundance than the number of old drunk Aunties round the dinner table on the 25th December (or is that just my family?)

We overhauled Little Princess Pinks bookcase recently as it was quite literally bursting at the seams. Naturally Little Monster Blue inherited a huge proportion of the books that were deigned far too babyish by the 4 going on 14 year old. One such book was The Nativity. I’m not sure there is an average age by which a child outgrows The Nativity story, but given most seem to have written off Santa Claus by the time they reach 8, perhaps one of the oldest tales in the world does have a shelf life. As this version of The Nativity was an Usbourne touchy feely, I allowed it to be placed on the shelf in LMBs bedroom. And there I expected it to stay until the 1st December at least. But not so.

LMB is just getting to that stage where he likes to choose the three books we read each bedtime,’Baby Zoo’, ‘That’s not my Monkey’ and ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ have been on his short list for some time now. But that all changed with the arrival of new books on the block, The Nativity coming out tops. For the last week and a half.

At first I tried to discourage him, suggesting ‘The Tiger who came to Tea’ was much more exciting, and even had a tiger who drank all the water in the taps in it,  but that didn’t hold the same appeal as a lady in a blue dress on a donkey. So, The Nativity it was. More for my own sanitythan anything else, I tried to tell the story with minimal Christmas references, which is pretty hard when you’re faced with an angel, three wise men and the baby Jesus himself. I tried to focus just on the animals in the story, and at one point deviated to sing Old MacDonald had a farm (predominantly with sheep and a donkey). Then I tried the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star route when we got to the page where the three wise men followed the star to Bethlehem. But nothing could detract from the fact that we were reading The Nativity. In July.

At the same time we made the discovery of The Nativity book, so too did we find ‘Mr Men – Mr Christmas Saves the Day’.  A fun story about Mr Christmas being drafted in to help the real Father Christmas who was way behind on the Christmas preparations due to playing too much golf and drinking too much beer (okay, I made that last bit up, but in the story he had being playing too much golf – probably a discussion point in many a household.) It’s a colourful, brightly illustrated board book,and great for little hands to turn the pages, oh and just perfect for little fingers pressing the ever so slightly annoying musical button which plays Jingle Bells. Over and over.

Then as if entering a bizarre parallel universe I logged on to my PC to get my daily fix of mini-blogging – i.e. Facebook – only to find that on the 25th July (officially smack bang in the middle of summer)  one of my friends was wishing everyone a Merry Christmas…you know who you are Mrs W – being Down Under is no excuse!  Further facebook updates have followed with friends having bought presents already to hide in the wardrobe / under the bed / in a safe place only to forget where they are and have to go and buy replacements when they can’t be found (probably just me again on that one – we’re still missing a Teletubby from 2006…)

Finally, to top it all off, I opened the free local newspaper which pops through the letter box every Friday, to be faced with a centre page double spread of Christmas Party Night adverts and sample Christmas Lunch Menus. The pages were decorated with the dark green holly and deep red berry colours of Christmas, there were flutterings of little fake snowdrops making their way down the pages, a shot of a wonderfully lit Christmas tree, stacked high with ornate decorations and packed underneath with shiny foil wrapped presents tied in great big bows. The Christmas menus couldn’t have been any more traditional – turkey with all the trimmings, brussell sprouts with chestnuts, roast potatoes oozing in goose fat, and Christmas Pudding with brandy ice-cream.  There were cheesy pictures of couples snogging under huge bunches of mistletoe, hazy photos of little children sitting at the feet of Father Christmas, looking at him with awe and wonder in their eyes.  I mean come on. It’s July. There’s five months to go…….

Hhhhmmmm, though a brandy and a mince pie might just go down a treat right now….

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