Christmas is Coming.

Sod it! I’m declaring Christmas at the little gingerbread semi-detached by the side of the A-road where the woods used to be. This year we will glide seamlessly from celebrating Freddie’s birthday to celebrating the festive season; the first mince pies will be baked on Friday, ready to consumed this weekend as birthday banners give way to tinsel here at HMP Stripey, as we have taken to calling our house. We call it that because, twelve-and-a-half years ago, when I called ARC looking for support in continuing my pregnancy and preparing for my new arrival after a prenatal diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome, the friendly, non-judgemental, non-directive call handler confidently predicted that I would be facing a life sentence and hinted that it might be wiser to reconsider my decision.

Yes, Freddie is now twelve, and has morphed overnight from a rosy-cheeked cherub into a long, spotty streak, all knees and elbows. Well, that’s one developmental milestone we have hit bang on time.

Gripped by a sudden fear that the Christmas tree farms would not be allowed to open, leaving hoardes of Christmas shoppers fighting outside Aldi over the Nordmann spruce, poking each others’ eyes out with candy canes or lacerating their fellow men with ill-will and holly wreaths, I panicked and returned to my common-as-muck roots by ordering an artificial one. In fact, I went full prole and chose a seven-and-a-half footer. Himself (aka My-Lord-and-Master) considered this act a horror on a par with the time he saw me make a sandwich by scattering crisps on a slice of bread and marge then folding it in half. He said it would either be like the Griswold’s tree, or a giant monument to toilet brushes.

Speaking of which, 2020 has been a turd of a year both generally and personally. Maybe you can’t polish a turd, but I can certainly roll the end of this one in glitter.

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