|Just made for a Christmas competition|
Once upon a time, in the dim and distant past, I wrote my Christmas cards and wrapped presents early, and by early I mean round about September. It went on for several years and ended when two things happened to make me think that too early can be worse than too late.
The first thing to go wrong was the sudden death of two people to whom I had written cards. The cards were addressed to Mr and Mrs … with an appropriate happy note inside wishing them both the best Christmas they’d ever had, or words to that effect. Thank goodness I didn’t post them early! I asked myself how I would feel if I received a card at such an inappropriate and raw time. Well, looking at it at an advanced age I don’t think it would upset me too much. I think I would spent more time appreciating the kindness of the sender but I was a lot younger then and very sensitive about such things.
My second realisation was never to take things for granted or assume that life goes on as normal no matter what. I loved organising presents, from the decision making to the actual purchase, and when bought they were wrapped almost immediately. I would happily speculate about how they would be received and what people would say when they opened their parcels at Christmas, hoping they would be pleased. After that I would store then in the wardrobe in the order of post or delivery. What I didn’t know was that I would be incarcerated in hospital and unable to do anything.
It was November, the month I suffered serious burns (more about that later) and likely to be in hospital for a long time, four months to be exact. So my mother took over without asking or telling. She found the presents in the wardrobe and delivered the ones to people she knew – two months early. However, instead of asking me about the others she decided not to bother. Instead she opened the parcels and used the contents for presents of her own… to people I didn’t know. On top of that, when snow hit the UK, she pinched my brand new suede boots, bought specially to wear at Christmas, and ruined them by wading through the white stuff on a daily basis. I guess she assumed I would never walk again.
So you see, it doesn’t always pay to buy cards, presents or posh boots much earlier than the event for which they are intended.