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KUCHARUK: time to activate the Christmas fairy

It is only the first week of December. I do have a bit of time.
The gift that keeps giving.

Christmas 2020: As I sit around the glittering Christmas tree, imagining the warmth coming from the crackling television fire-place channel, I think to myself “Next year will be different."

Next year I am going to decorate early, learn how to use a candy thermometer, successfully create some fancy treats, and wrap my presents in something more complex than a gift bag. I am going to be the darn Christmas Fairy, spreading cheer and goodness throughout the family! I am going to USE MY GOOD CHINA for Christmas dinner. I am going to have completed my Christmas shopping by November 30th and then spend the month of December putting finishing touches on my décor.

I am going to hang Christmas lights! So how is that working out for me? Holiday season 2021: Not good. My house lacks any type of exterior décor apart from the artificial flowers that I use to decorate my address sign. They are not even holiday florals; they are orange and brown sunflowers that I inserted in the floral foam back in September.

The crows dislike my artificial florals and I return home after a workday to see them strewn across the front step. I imagine they get together on the tree across the street each morning and determine who is going to going to tear my florals apart. “Can I do it?” “You did it yesterday!” “She keeps putting them back!” “You know, we are trying to do her a favour. Those are some ugly flowers.” “If she would just put a fake poinsettia or some faux greenery in, we wouldn’t have to do this.”

After a lengthy discussion, one of them pulls the short straw and flies over to destroy my handiwork. The interior of my home remains unadorned with any holiday cheer. The Christmas tree remains in the bag in the basement. I always wonder if there is a big spider and family making their home in that bag. My worry about the spider family does nothing to encourage me to drag the tree upstairs.

Speaking of spiders – Do you ever slip your feet into your slippers in the morning and have a brief moment of panic because you didn’t check for a spider? No? Just me? You never thought about it before, but now it is etched into your psyche, and you will not look at your slippers the same way? Okay – carry on. The candy thermometer is still a no-go.

The closest I have come to purchasing one is staring at it for 5 minutes in Canadian Tire. I am not sure why I hesitate – I mastered the Instant Pot pressure cooker without curling up in a corner in fear that it will explode, I should be able to make peanut brittle using a candy thermometer. What’s the hurry? It is only the first week of December. I do have a bit of time.

Time – that old chestnut. Yes, I presumably do have time, but if I have learned nothing this past year, I have learned this, “You rarely get second chances.”

Time to activate the Christmas Fairy.