Early for our house, but we’ve all been glum this week and needed some festive cheer.
Our eldest is home safely from her first semester at university, after an odd but mostly enjoyable start. Our youngest daughter is bossing A-levels. Jake is thinking every morning is Christmas and coming out all fists a-blazing when he’s told that it’s STILL another school day. Christmas itself cannot come soon enough.
Jake would be perfectly happy with just one present about which he has become transfixed. It costs all of a fiver and, to anyone else, it’d probably be a bit of a stocking filler and a last-minute add-on present that you might grab on the way to the cash desk. To Jake, the day isn’t complete without him asking to see a picture of it on my phone, and Father Christmas will not know what’s hit him – probably quite literally – if he doesn’t rock up with it.
Now it’s fair to say that Jake is obsessed with the three little pigs. He spends day after day drawing new versions of the story. They get more detailed as he recalls lines from versions he’s watched on YouTube, and the adjectives used to describe the ‘ruthless, sneaky and sly’ Big Bad Wolf get more and more sophisticated. Together with Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Gingerbread Man and Jack & The Beanstalk, those pigs have joined a canon of stories that Jake – and we – read until the cows come home.
So, this year’s festive favourite is another version of those porcine builders.
Jake absolutely loves Christmas and he loves unwrapping. It doesn’t really matter what’s inside the actual presents, but the frenzy of wrapping-paper-ripping and casting aside of what’s inside is joyous.
We honestly can’t wait. In addition to the cycle of disappointment and anger when he realises that he has to go back to school, he also has that ‘end of term’ knackeredness that most kids (and teachers and parents) get.
After this year with its wider issues, and some rollercoasting with our business at the moment, we need some hibernating time to recharge and enjoy being with one another.
We will go to Midnight Mass, hoping that Jake won’t be too feral, then spend a quieter Christmas than usual, zooming the family that we can’t see, and enjoying being with the few that we can.
We shall also be reading The Three Little Pigs at least eleven times hourly. And it will be bloody lovely.
Happy Christmas and best wishes for a brighter 2021.