I've had enough of these festivities, now bring on summer '“Â Lesley Keating
Is it just me, or are there also others who love Christmas but as soon as Boxing Day is overÂ can't wait to get the tree down and get back to some sort ofÂ normality really fast? Don't get me wrong. Christmas was wonderful and I feel blessed.Â
We've had a truly fantastic family time.Â It's also been so special having our daughter here with her boyfriend and... kitten.
Our house has been knee-deep in wrapping paper and laughter most days.Â
We've eaten our body weight in party food, managed to get through tense games of Scrabble without causing a massive family feud and our dog, Milly, and our daughter's cat, Momoko, have now met without water cannons being deployed.Â
I've managed to cook vegan and traditional Christmas dinners while successfully catering for dietary allergies and no-one died, although I never did discover how those bottles of Baileys mysteriously emptied themselves though!
So, dramas and unexpected surprises have been few and far between.Â
Apart from on Christmas Eve, literally 30 minutes before the shops shut, when our daughter frantically announced she'd forgotten to pack cat litter! (ThatÂ was unexpected, just like when my mother-in-law rocked up for Christmas lunch wearing the same dress as me!).
I've had the best time but now it'sÂ New Year's Eve and I have really had enough of the festive season and the shops still full of glittery, tinselly stuff.Â I'm already dreaming of next summer; ice-creams, tans and barbecues.
At the risk of sounding boring, I've never really enjoyed New Year's Eve.
When I was younger it was the done thingÂ to dress up to the nines, go out and if you could actually remember where you'd been or what had happened the following day, then the evening was deemed a failure.Â
But this year I'm more than happy to get an early night and wake up fresh as a daisy, smugly walking the dogÂ the following morning while friends and neighbours are nursing evil hangovers.Â
I'm already excited about what 2019 will bring.Â
So, a very happy new year to you all and I'll see you on the other side'¦Â looking as fresh as daisies, naturally.'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹
Driven to distraction by the pressures of this madÂ season
The other day a friend visited.Â When we opened the doorÂ she was on the doorstep convulsed in giggles and it took a moment to get the story out of her.
She'dÂ seen someone in the kitchenÂ so she'd tapped the door before letting herself in.Â She noticed differentÂ kitchen surroundings andÂ was puzzled to see four pairs of unfamiliar eyes staringÂ at her.Â
The only thing she could muster under the circumstances was aÂ grin and a quizzical '˜Well, where are they?' followed by '˜Mike and Lesley?'Â '˜Next Door' came the reply.Â She's been to our house many times but, for reasonsÂ unknown, she'd absent-mindedly trotted up the neighbour's drive, notÂ ours.'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹
Potty-mouthed reindeer stars on the wrong Facebook feed
You know those video funnies youÂ get on Facebook?Â The sort that feature something very funny but totally unsuitable for general consumption or the easily-offended?
The sort with words that definitely couldn't be on TV, even after the watershed?
In his infinite wisdom, my darling husband decided to send such a message to his mates and to me.Â This one featured a talking reindeer bemoaning his lot as one of Santa's entourage. It wasÂ hysterical but turned the air blue. ItÂ wasn't suitable for many and would definitely make a sailor blush.
We have a rather prim and elderly distant relative who also happens to have the same name as me.Â I'll let you work out what happened...