My wife’s been working all hours… so I need a break | Nostalgia

It’s not panic stations yet but with only nine days to go I have just realised I haven’t bought one Christmas present yet.

Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 7:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 7:32 pm
THOUGHTFUL: The only way is down for Sarah Picture: Shutterstock

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no Christmas Eve panic buyer, but at this moment in time, I’m feeling a little late to the party.

There are two reasons.

Reason one is that my wife has been setting up her own business and we’ve been all hands-on-deck getting her workshop fitted out.

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Reason number two. I start work at 5.30am and after work I’m on the school run and then cooking tea and bathing the children.

There is also a large element of ‘what on earth do I buy her?’

She’s a mum of two young kids and she’s in her forties now.

She doesn’t need any more shoes; we don’t live in a palace like Imelda Marcos, and if I buy her another coat I’m sure the supporting wall in the cupboard under the stairs will collapse under the weight.

So, I’m thinking of going alternative for Sarah this Christmas.

I’m thinking of one of those a ‘life experience’ gifts. They’re always a good fall-back.

There is nothing more I would like to see than her jumping out of an aeroplane 15,000ft above Salisbury Plain, but I think I may be the one who gets the most pleasure from that gift.

Nor do I think she is all that bothered about hurtling around Silverstone in a Ferrari or Lamborghini, although I would, as I would have to go with her…

You see, the perfect life experience will also have to include me so in a way I benefit from the present as well.

I’m sure you see where I’m going with this?

The past two months have seen her working non-stop on her new pebble art business with countless nights working well into the wee small hours.

She needs a break. A spa break. Chewton Glen or Champneys. Time to relax, be pampered and not have to worry about the kids for a night.

Sauna, spa, massage, a big comfy bed and a morning lounging by the pool in just a bathrobe.

I think Sarah might like her Christmas present too!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​Will Russia invade Ukraine? That’s the real issue now

I’m sitting in a Costa enjoying a flat white watching people going about their business, many wearing masks and socially distancing.

I’m reflecting on the news about the latest Covid variant. Then I think about my booster jab, all the political bickering about Christmas parties, who paid for wallpaper at Number 10 and revolting backbenchers.

In the back of my mind are the 100,000-plus Russian troops on the Ukrainian border. With all the Covid noise, if Russia invades Ukraine the pandemic will be the least of our worries.

Now would be the ideal time, with the rest of the world pre-occupied. Western governments must focus on bigger pictures.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

I was always fit to burst with excitement on Christmas Eve

The kids break up for Christmas tomorrow and already they are hyper! Then again, I can remember what it was like.

You’d spend December practising and performing a nativity, make decorations in art class and sing carols at assembly. The last week is very relaxed and you get to watch Christmas movies.

Then you are off and you now have a week to wait for the big day.

Next week is going to drag awfully for our kids, as it did for me. My excitement on Christmas Eve was palpable.

By the time it got dark and The Snowman was on telly I was ready to burst. Going to sleep on Christmas Eve was impossible. Was that Santa I heard outside? I remember it all so well. I was 25...​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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