Sunday, 30 November 2008

The Coffee Lady remembers

In a rare moment of weakness, the Coffee Lady buys an interiors magazine. She likes to imagine it may help with her choice of carpet.

The Coffee Lady has forgotten that it is almost Christmas.

The houses in the magazine have no carpets. All the floors are painted white in order to look wintry. The magazine is full of trees and weirdness. It is full of people who have put rather too much thought into their Christmas decorations. It is not full of people who have bought two odd baubles a year in the January sales.

The Coffee Lady is alarmed to discover that she is meant to be making her own wrapping paper and learning to fold table napkins into different shapes (she can choose from 'easy' or 'tricky'). She is meant to be covering matchboxes with coloured paper and hanging them from ribbons to make advent calendars.

No matchboxes can be found in the Coffee House. The Coffee Lady ponders that giving up smoking all those years ago was clearly a mistake.

The Coffee Lady begins to panic.

Then she remembers last Christmas, when she still had ME. The day she was very pleased to be able to get out of bed for long enough to watch the Little Lattes open their presents. The day she had to go back to bed almost as soon as they had done.

The Coffee Lady gets things into perspective. She will not make her own advent calendar, or her own wrapping paper. She will buy her Christmas meal pre-prepared from Marks and Spencer.

She will thank her lucky stars.


  1. How I can relate, CL! No, I wasn't ever bedridden, but I have spent the better part of the past 3.5 years despairing that I couldn't seem to pull off the most basic celebrations (and their attendant craft projects). And then I'd pat myself and repeat my Comfort Mantra ("Only People With Bland Children Accomplish These Sorts of Things") and go back to eating bonbons.

    P.S. It's only the first day of Advent. If you rediscovered smoking, you could crank through those matchboxes in no time...

  2. Christmas in magazines is to be taken with a large pinch of salt, and the wry smile that they probably put up that tree in July, in order to take the photos and are soooo fed up of it by now...
    my children would hate a matchbox calendar, they want chocolate ones with high school musical one, and on this occasion, I'm happy that they do! anything at all for a simpler time this Christmas. xx

  3. I am so glad that this year you are here to despair with me - whatever level in unpreparedness you achieve I am sure I can beat you. I'm competitive like that.

  4. All magazines have rubbish December issues. The food ones I normally like are full of cake recipes that take 5 hours and 1001 ways with turkey. The fashion ones are full of red sparkly dresses.

    Even the Beano has bloody snowflakes on the cover.

    Bah humbug.

  5. I think that post is lovely and so true. Christmas is not about stuffing your brussels sprouts or having the biggest table decoration. It is about sharing time and making happy memories.

    Enjoy this year and have a great day together x

  6. I'm so happy to know I'm not the only one who feels inadequate when looking through home design magazines.

    Just remember, each of those rooms was professionally styled. They look the way they do because multiple stylists worked for hours to make them look perfect. Then photographers captured them in just the right lighting--at all the right angles.

    Who wants white floors anyway? The whole rest of the year--they're covered in dustballs and dirt. That makes me feel better to know.

    I feel the same way when I look through amazing craft blogs. I feel inadequate and depressed.

    Why do we put ourselves through this torture?


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