I honestly don't know what's happened to this year. Where on earth has it gone? One minute I was stressing about what dress to wear to a summer wedding, and now I'm wading through Christmas lists and joining the 'what's the best Christmas advert on TV' debate.
All to be expected at this time of year, but I do have one particular battle going on in my head that's entirely personal, or it was until my daughter also contracted the condition - OCD, otherwise known as Obsessive Christmas Disorder*.
I'm not alone
Until last week, I was unaware that this is actually a fairly well known malady. It was only when a good friend tagged me in a jokey picture on Facebook that I realised that:
1) It was a known 'thing'.
2) I was suffering from it.
I feel quite relieved knowing I'm not alone. It's the same every year and getting worse.
There are some telltale signs that you should look out for when it comes to Obsessive Christmas Disorder, including:
- Starting a present list in August
- Starting to feel 'Christmassy' some time in early September
- Not caring when the nights draw in
- Looking forward to Glade Limited edition Christmas candles hitting the shelves
- Looking forward to seeing, and eating, your first mince pie
- Visiting every garden centre within a 20 miles radius to see Christmas decorations in the hope of seeing something different to the last one
- Wishing Halloween and Guy Fawkes night would hurry up and be over so you can 'get on with Christmas'
Apparently, if you suffer from any one or more of these symptoms, you are at risk of suffering from the condition and should get yourself up into the attic immediately to get the decorations down.
The hardest part for me has always been convincing people that it's okay to start decorating the house as soon as the last firework has fizzled out. Most 'normal' people dread the very thought of clambering up into the attic to get musty old tinsel and baubles down and the thought of unravelling strings of fairy lights - well, say no more! Me? I love every bit of it.
The smell of dusty Christmas decorations should be bottled in my opinion. So evocative is that smell that I'm instantly transported back to a 1970's Christmas, watching my mum toil with the tinsel and angel hair, while Slade sang happily in the background from the kitchen radio.
Can it be too much?
Now my daughter has succumbed to the ailment and I couldn't be happier, although there are differences between us. For instance, I gave in to her suggestion of "just decorating the mantle-piece" but drew the line at her suggestion to put an eight foot inflatable Santa on the roof.
Over-decoration of the front of your house should be left to people trying to raise money for good causes. I haven't got that far yet - but who knows what the future holds?
Happy, nearly, Christmas!
Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor
* I must stress that this blog is in no way intended to offend people with genuine OCD, a serious condition. 'Obsessive Christmas Disorder' is purely a pun intended to mock people like me.