Christmas TreeI’m currently engaged in trying to get a lock-down on The Plan for Christmas. Boxing Day is officially locked – we’re spending the day with Kevin’s sister and her family, and the evening at my Grandma’s party, assuming it occurs, which it has every year since about 1932. We think that Christmas day is also locked, now, though that won’t seem quite as certain until the plan has had a few days to set, so to speak.

Christmas Eve has a plan pencilled in, but is subject to confirmation from variety of sources, one of which, I’ve just realised, is our church – Christmas Eve this year is also Christmas Sunday, and since we’ve not been in our current church for all that long, we don’t have a clear sense of how to reinterpret their activities of last Christmas, in predicting their activities for this one.

I have considered ringing the pastor-chap, and demanding he commit to something, but he’s very, very, very unlikely to have even thought about it, I should have thought. I hope he thinks about it soon, though, because if Christmas Eve is punctuated by a 4pm Carol Service Followed By Buffet Supper, as Christmas Sunday was last year, the 1 element of what we are currently calling Plan C1 may be entirely scuppered.

I know you all think I’m mad, but at some point in the next ten weeks there is an inevitable period of stress and agitation, while we all work out who will be where, when and with whom, over the Christmas period. Once the plan is settled, the stress oozes out of it, and it really makes precious little difference whether we go through that process now, or in nine and a half weeks’ time. The advantages of doing it now are twofold: 1) I’m already thinking about it, therefore am already stressed, so the sooner I move through that to a position of lock-down, the better I’ll feel; 2) The sooner we have the locked-down plan, the sooner we can make all of the other plans – what food to buy, whether we need to borrow a bigger table, etc, etc.

I sometimes envy the people whose relatives live too far apart for them to reasonably travel from one to the other during Christmas – it must simplify the military operation significantly.