Christmas is once again upon us and amid the annual rush to the shops and the seasonal sense of having to enjoy yourself, a madness creeps upon me that I am desperately seeking a cure.
Mid November right through til mid December I become the worlds WORST obsessive compulsive. Christmas without fail brings out the perfectionist in me!
The tree has to go up at the first available opportunity in December – allowing for TBK feelings about having the tree up on his birthday which differs from year to year. Then the decorations HAVE to go on in order, lights first, then ribbons, pine cones, plain baubles, glitter baubles, and finally depending how I’m feeling either the star or the angel is sat on the top. We have one of each as I couldn’t make up my mind which I preferred so now every year I agonise over which one should go up as once the decision is made it has to stay that way! Everything has its “proper” place and I have redecorated whole trees if they don’t look just right.
James and TBK have learned not to be offended if they put something on the tree to later find it’s moved, after all there has to be and equal spread of decorations and colours or it wouldn’t look right! Right? At the same time as doing this I’ll also decorate the matching swag which sits on my fire surround in place of the family photographs which sit there for the rest of the year and all my candles etc get removed and replaced with nativity scenes, Santa Claus figurines and snowmen because Christmas supersedes EVERYTHING including family photos!
I wish it ended there but it gets worse…
I am relentless in my pursuit of the “perfect presents”, I beat myself up about them searching endlessly for just the right thing for each person. I make repeated lists of WHO to buy for, then other lists of WHAT I should buy. Then once a purchase has been made I spend hours deliberating whether I’ve made the right choice and “will they like it?”.Â It takes James ages to talk me round but then once he’s finally convinced me that the gifts are fine and nobody really cares what they’ve receive, they have to be wrapped….
…For this I save a special kind of neurosis…
…All my presents have to be wrapped to a colour scheme – complimentary to, but different from that of my tree (which is gold and ivory) and it’s one scheme for the adults presents and one for the children’s but everything gets wrapped with matching ribbons and tags and if they aren’t wrapped just so they WILL be unwrapped to start all over again!!
Once finished they go under my tree and have to stay there unless I move them to put other presents people bring around behind them that don’t match my colour scheme!
My wrapping compulsion is such that two Christmases ago my manager at the time bought me all her Christmas gifts from home to wrap in work and it has been known for my sister to deliver her entire Christmas booty to my house complete with wrapping paper and sticky tape to wrap all her presents for her as “You’ll do a much better job than me”.
I’m such loser!
This Christmas I’m striving to be more relaxed and well, less anal about the whole thing.
The Christmas tree still went up the first chance I got (last night) but get this I let James choose whether the star or the angel went on the top, I let him hang some of the baubles AND I’ve left them where he put them(Kind of). I made a conscience desicion to buy wrapping paper so the adults and kids do NOT match and I haven’t finished putting all the decorations up, even though in previous years I’ve insisted i all go up in one night!
Now if you’ll excuse me as I have to go sit on my hands to stop me returning the lights I bought for the window that are just the wrong shade of white, adjusting those two red baubles which are much to close together (one should really be in the middle of those gold ones to distribute the colours) and moving Santa to the other side of the fireplace because he just looks so much better there….