Last Christmas was a weird one. Six weeks prior, if you remember, it had been predicted that I had ‘months, not years’ to live… which doesn’t half screw with your Christmas shopping. Suddenly, every gift took on an added pressure; a sombre significance; a something-to-remember-me-by meaning. And, short of buying everyone a 7-inch of Last Christmas, you just can’t find that kind of stuff on the high street.
Understandably, then, Christmas 2011 held a whole new importance; everyone’s carefully honed plans changing on the unspoken subtext that this might be my last. This year, I decreed, I must savour every moment, leave the organisation to others, and soak up enough seasonal spirit to see me through those I may miss.
Or at least it might’ve gone that way, had I not insisted on such perfection that I spent the average family’s entire Christmas budget on luxury wrapping paper, became obsessed with the symmetry of the lights in our front window, and stressed myself into gaining a stone in cheese. Of further frustration was that, ordinarily, I’d have had all my presents bought and wrapped by November (give me a break, I’m a Virgo) – but, oh no, not last year.
Thankfully, my family shook me out of Obsessive Christmas Disorder with days to spare, devising a rescue-rota designed to keep me away from anything even remotely organisational. Instantly, I had nothing to do but stare at the suspiciously present-heavy tree, chomp my way through all the toffee pennies and dress my newborn nephew in a series of daft outfits. And, of course, it worked. Christmas Day 2011 was indeed every bit as special as I’d hoped it’d be (no thanks to me).
This year, keen to avoid 2011’s mid-December ribbon-tying breakdown, I decided there was no shame to be had in doing as I always did and going turbo-Virgo; planning the hall-decking embarrassingly far in advance and beginning my shopping super early… which is precisely what I did, vowing that, since I’d dodged the ghost of Christmas future, I could revert to normal in 2012, having learnt the lesson that, in fact, any of my previous Christmases could have been my last, and it didn’t mean I had to go into screaming implosion over Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen.
Uncool as being the first to a festive M&S shopping bag may be, however, this year it proved simple good sense, given that the run-up to Christmas 2012 involved a meltdown that had more to do with pain than presents, a fortnight’s stay in Trinity Hospice (gawd love ’em), and the Gamma Knife brain surgery I’d previously mentioned on the blog (which, typically of The Bullshit, uncovered five more brain tumours than expected).
A quiet Christmas Day of just me, P and Sgt Pepper will aid the continual recovery from all of the above (most notably the latter – and, trust me, it ain’t half tough to get your newly-fried noggin around the seemingly simple things it suddenly finds difficult to do: walking without falling, looking at a screen without your eyes freaking right out of their sockets, remembering what you just did…), while a new stretch of chemo beginning on new year’s eve will hopefully alleviate the bracketed binds of this sentence.
But while I may have been forced into being cooler when it comes to Christmas this year; there’s been another worry on my mind over the last few weeks: my absence from the blog. Having spoken about it at length with my mate Jonze (who longtime readers may remember from this post), it’s become clear that things have got to change where my attitude to Alright Tit is concerned. Because, while I may have cured the something-to-remember-me-by, sombre-significance of all things Christmas, those worries appear to have inadvertently transferred themselves to all things blog. Where once I was afraid that a gift might be my last, now I’m fretting that the case may be the same for a post. Where once I was worried that every action must take on a new significance, now I’m fretting about every written word. What if I write my shittiest ever post and never get the chance to rectify it? What if being post-shy leads to another long absence from the blog that gets people worried I’ve… you know? What if the last ever sentence I write contains a typo, ferfuckssake?
As you might have guessed from the pre-Christmas several weeks of silence where the blog is concerned, these are the kind of troubles that can tie a lass in knots. And what’s even clearer is that I simply can’t go on this way, viewing a once-saviour of a strategy as a noose around my neck. It’s just not fair on me or the blog.
How things will change, I don’t know. That’s for the new year to reveal. (And I’m desperately open to suggestions on that front, by the way.) But I do suspect that the correct way to right my perception where Alright Tit is concerned is most likely to do just as I did where Christmas is concerned. Besides, it just doesn’t seem proper to turn something designed for enjoyment into something chore-like – particularly so when there’s a sleigh’s worth of specialists who’ve worked hard all year to prove that poisonous prediction of Christmas yet to come so gloriously wrong.