A time for reflection. A time for introspection. A time to take stock, to make plans, set goals, turn the page and open a new book etc.
And a time to ponder ...
WHO ON EARTH LOOKED AT THESE AND IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT THAT IS THE PERFECT GIFT FOR SARAH???
I confess, I was flummoxed (I have taken on board your lament for lost words BP and have resolved to incorporate the odd one here and there over the next year starting with flummoxed)
Flummoxed verb: To confuse someone so much that they do not know what to do.
What the hell ARE these things I hear you ask.
AS WELL YOU MIGHT!
I confess, I had no idea either. I'd been ripping open packages and parcels with gay abandon (yes, BP, I AM old enough to say that) and these floppy rubbery things fell into my hot, sticky, chocolate smeared hands at 8:07am on Christmas morning stopping me in my tracks.
I flapped them at Miss Mac.
'Oi, whatisit' I mumbled through a mouthful of Malteasers.
'Dunno' she muttered back attacking a particularly well wrapped present with her teeth. 'Things you stick on the window?'
I licked the middle bit and attempted to slap them on to the laptop screen but they just fell off.
'Bloody useless window stickers' I grumbled and put them to one side until my eyes could focus enough to actually read the label.
There's always that ONE gift isn't there. You know the one. For men it's usually a car cleaning kit picked up at the petrol station or a miniature multi-tool that snaps as soon as you try to pry out the teeny, tiny screwdriver.
For women it's a box set of floral bubble bath with matching talc or an oven glove (although I actually NEED a new oven glove because mine got shut in the oven door the other day and it's got a big burnt patch on it now).
Don't get me wrong, I am not UNGRATEFUL, I'm always happy that someone has thought of me and to be honest, I've bought my share of car cleaning kits and smelly box sets over the years too but sometimes I just can't get my head around how someone links me to a particular item.
Take THESE for example:
Yes, these were last years perplexing present, the FOUR wise monkeys ...
I confess to a little hysterical laughter when I opened them.
They actually sat on the shelf in my front room all year because SD said I was incredibly ungrateful when I suggested offering them to his Dad to light the log burner.
I have TRIED to love them, I really have but I was so pleased when Christmas rolled around again and I could legitimately hide them in the drawer to make room for the Christmas cards.
I asked SD if he had any idea what my floppy rubber flowers were for so he actually read the label.
They are NOT window stickers!!
Apparently they are drink covers. SD says the present giver obviously got wind of my middle classed pretensions and thought I might like them for placing over my glass of wine or Pimms when I'm sitting in the garden on a summers evening.
Well, I'm not really much of a wine drinker to be honest (although I DO like a glass of red every now and then) and I find a thumb over the top of my bottle of beer keeps the bugs out pretty well and I tend not to drink Pimms since that time I spent the afternoon quaffing the stuff with Nicolette in HER garden not realising that she's laced it with Vodka and when I left I walked out of her house and fell straight over her garden wall onto the pavement.
So I've decided that rather than ungratefully hide these in the drawer I'm going to sew them to a bikini top and wear them at the annual Beach Buggy get together in Swanage!
There was ONE other odd gift I (or rather Gus) received this year.
I had just got back from the annual Christmas Eve pub crawl and was eyeing up the mountain of veg waiting to be prepared when there was a loud banging on the door.
I opened it to find nobody there until ...
Looking down I saw Sue (she who declared she was a demented woodpecker at the Macmillan coffee morning. She who hunts for snails under the table at our committee meeting. She who insists that our Noble Secretary must return the eye of toad stolen from Ladram Bay and she who gave her goldfish mouth to mouth through a drinking straw killing 5 of them with her nicotine laden breath ...) on all fours rummaging through one of those large zip up laundry bags with multi coloured stripes.
She glanced up, fag in mouth.
'Sorry about the cigarette she croaked as I watched in horror while a trail of smoke drifted down my hallway.
'It's in here somewhere she muttered pulling out an empty butter container, a copy of the Independent and four large plastic roses.
MY GOD, I THOUGHT SHE SAID SHE DIDN'T KNOW WHERE I LIVED!!!
'Ah HA' she said triumphantly handing me a foil packet. 'Half before the walk, half after - you have to dangle the carrot you know!'
I looked at the packet with it's odd orange coloured stick like things depicted on the front and what I am assuming was Polish writing.
'Ummm, thank you' I said (having no bloody idea what it was I was thanking her for).
'They aren't ALL for you! She shouted. 'Open it up, go on, OPEN it!!!'
I pulled at the foil packet, nothing. I tried to tear it length ways, I looked to see if there was a tear strip. Nothing.
'USE YOUR TEETH' she bellowed, I haven't got all day!
I ripped it open with my teeth and immediately wished I hadn't as I fought the urge not to throw up in her still open laundry bag as the disgusting smell hit me.
'Tripe sausages' she announced with some satisfaction - 'For Gus, half before his walk and half after!.
So yes, I am reflecting, pondering and attempting to be less ungrateful for the gifts these (genuinely) kind and thoughtful people bestow on me and my dog.
Happy New Year everyone.