Plot was in bad twist.
Gone was her vision of seasonal domestic bliss, where against a halo of twinkling fairy lights, Mr Plot would keep her good crystal tumbler (size of a small bucket) comfortably full of Bailey’s while she and the kids put the decorations up together.
Nope, instead Plot was cutting a lonely figure, blowing the dust off the decorations and setting them in place; as apparently, the kids couldn’t be
arsed surgically detached from their gaming devices; and Mr Plot had decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to get his fishing gear out; tying a few new rigs in the forlorn hope of catching some carp. In typical Mr Plot logic – he thought he was being useful, by staying out of the way, in a ‘don’t mind me – just work round me’ kind of way. Plot was considerably less than impressed as she worked alone, picking her steps over the contents of a bait box.
In the twelve months since last Christmas, the Plots had completely renovated their roof, following a truly terrible leak, but since Plot was quite unwell during the renovations, no else had thought of removing the Christmas decorations (or anything else) from the loft, so everything was covered in a thick, greasy layer of dust and in some cases lumps of mortar which didn’t bode well for her glass ornaments
So Plot continued, dutifully removing broken glass and other debris, cleaning and hanging decorations, whilst thinking black thoughts until Mr Plot helpfully piped up, “What’s up? Don’t you like it? Is the tree a bit crooked?”
“FML” thought Plot who hadn’t actually realised that anything was wrong; this being the last straw, she promptly flounced off upstairs leaving a glittering trail of destruction lying in her wake. Mr Plot was still too busy with his tackle to raise a finger but managed an eyebrow on her way past. “No chance of a cuppa tea then love?” he shouted with all the joviality of a credit card bill in January.
It felt as though Christmas spirit had hit Plot’s house like the time a snow globe hit the stereo speakers when someone foolishly played Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas.” Fair to say, Plot wasn’t exactly a big Mariah fan. In fact many’s a year all Plot wanted for Christmas was for Ms Carey to develop a seasonal touch of laryngitis, nothing fatal, but something strong enough to extend to the radio.
The trend for warbling divas had recently become much worse and as she sulked upstairs, Plot wondered when it had become unfashionable to pick a note and hold it? She had finally given up on the radio and was quite literally facing the music as she reluctantly put a Spotify playlist together. By the time she had finished, she had managed a real hatchet job on the ‘Christmas Classics’ Album. “Pick a bloody note” Plot thought darkly as Sia mumbled something about Santa coming for us, “Not coming bloody quick enough – I can still hear you!” she muttered at her stereo, looking for a delete button.
It would be two days before any further decorating took place, but at least this gave Plot’s mood time to thaw enough to frogmarch everyone into position, though her glass of Bailey’s was still as disturbingly empty as the wonky tree.
The wonky tree was however suitably Griswaldesque (though sadly sans squirrel), to cheer Plot right up when one of the branches swung right past the TV as it was released form the net. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was her favourite festive film, and she always felt suitably reassured that as long as Chevy Chase was on TV she could relax knowing that someone else was even more stressed than she was.
“Where can I put this?” boy No. 1 asked cheerfully, holding up Plot’s Swarovski crystal star that she had
kept safe for over ten years bought, on honeymoon in New York, right in front of the Rockefeller Centre.
“Arrrgh! Please set that down carefully!” Plot winced, remembering how much it cost, “Unless you want to be put up for adoption” the devil on her left shoulder added silently.
Boy No. 2 was hovering precariously closely to the other glass ornaments bought in Liberty before Plot got married, had kids and became permanently broke.
Plot wondered what would shatter first, her nerves, her decorations, or her resolve to establish some family activities. She really wasn’t sure this was what she had in mind when daydreaming about #MakingMemories .
“Right you two, I have a special job for you” Plot declared, taking charge of the situation, “I have a new tree this year, and I need you to decorate it. Take it in turns to put decorations on – and no fighting”
The B Tree, would be the perfect place to display all the hand made
tat cherished Christmas decorations the boys had made over the past few years, would keep the boys busy and yet ‘involved’ ticking all boxes in Plot’s mind.
Luckily Granny (who has the fastest knitting needles in the west) had made Plot a whole range of beautiful little decorations and this brought the overall standard of ‘hand made’ up by several leagues making the little tree pretty damn cool. Despite itching to reposition some of the deccies, Plot resolved to leave it alone, but developed a stammer and a twitch in her right eye with the effort.
Two hours three arguments and several broken decorations later, Plot surrendered. “Enough” she whispered finally “It’ll do.”
“Good job love” said Mr Plot, standing back and admiring the tree, “tomorrow I’ll get a can of paint and cover that damp patch on the ceiling above the star, then we’ll be all set!”
Plot breathed out slowly, and tried very hard not to think about alternative uses for all the broken glass in the bin.