Our central heating kicked in over the weekend and it got me thinking about the things that start to happen when the nights are drawing in and there’s a chill in the air.
Is it too early to start my Christmas shopping yet? I don’t know about you, but I always enjoy the last three months of the year. There’s Halloween, Bonfire Night, cosy nights in front of the television watching Strictly Come Dancing and the first signs of Christmas are already being emailed to me as well as showing signs of appearing in the shops.
I always plan to start my Christmas shopping early. I do the same thing every year. The moment the central heating comes on for the first time after the autumn equinox, I tell myself I’m going to sit down and write a gift list and start asking family and friends what they want for Christmas.
Of course, it doesn’t help when my sister-in-law flatly refuses to tell me what she wants for Christmas because she’s not even going to start thinking about Christmas until December 1st! Blimey, by then I will already have got myself an advent calendar and will have eaten the first of the 24 chocolates behind those doors. I did buy her an advent calendar one year, but she ended up giving it away to a five-year-old. Maybe the chocolates inside weren’t to her taste, but I could have sworn they were her favourite. Then again, maybe it was because I gave her the calendar in October?
I’ve also sorted out the coat rack. Gone are the light coloured summer jackets and in are the warm snuggly woollens and waterproofs. Along with my wide-brimmed hat, which stops the sun burning my pale complexion, my shorts and milk bottle coloured legs have been put away for another nine months. I’ve also replaced most of the bottles of sunscreen with various cures for colds, coughs and flu, although left one bottle out in the hope that we’ll have lots of cold sunny days this winter. Yes, I even burn in the winter.
I got quite excited at seeing my winter clothes again. It was like opening the front door to a bunch of long lost friends. I even cuddled one of my winter jumpers (the one with the reindeer and snowflakes) and whispered to it ‘soon, very soon.’
My socks have also made their first appearance for five months, now that I’m back to wearing long trousers. I caught a brief glimpse of last year’s Christmas socks, but it’s not quite time to bring them out just yet. No, they’ll have to wait at least another week!
Last night, for pudding, we had apple and blackberry pie with custard. For me, this is a sure sign that the central heating has come back on. Gone are the bowls of healthy fruit salads, ice cream or the ‘no pudding for me, thank you’ and in comes the jam roly poly, spotted dick, treacle sponge, all served with lashings and lashings of hot custard. Can you guess what my favourite pudding is? It’s not one that I’ve mentioned.
What happens in your house when the central heating comes back on? Will anyone admit to already having finished their Christmas shopping?
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