Merry Christmas!

After last years craptacular non-Christmas, I was determined to have a good one this year. Alex and I drove up to Chester on Sunday morning, arriving about half 12, when the pub was quite busy. I helped myself to drinks and we tried to hide, but I still ended up working a little bit on the bar. So so so glad that is our final time working on Christmas Day! People are so rude – yes, I am working, but that doesn’t mean that you can be rude to me because its Christmas. Managed to resist snapping at one person that I hadn’t travelled 200 miles to serve them when they were whining that they were having to wait. Argh! Time was called earlier than usual, because of how rude people were and we managed to get everyone out of the pub at least an hour earlier than previous years.

It was just Alex and I, my Dad and Maria for actual dinner. My sister and her husband Craig came over after they had been to his family for dinner, and it was just a quiet relaxed evening with a lot of chocolate and cheese eaten, and a bit of gin drank. (It needs drinking, sad times. Since the pub is closing in less than a week, theres not much stock left, so instead of tonic, I had gin, lemonade and lime. It reminded me of the end of term parties we had at the Union where you’d end up with awful combinations like gin and coke. You will only ever make that mistake once)

We drove back to Bristol Monday afternoon, and I’ve been embracing the holiday – staying in my PJ’s, drinking tea all day, and munching leftovers! My company is shut down until next Tuesday, so hopefully I’ll get some productive things done while I’m out of the office, but I suspect I’ll just keep doing nothing. Its nice to do nothing when you’ve got a job to go back to – not like last year!

(photo above of me aged about 6/7, going to a disco, wearing Mum’s screw on earrings and having had my hair curled with her hot rollers. Always stylish. I actually managed not to take a single photo this holiday – not even a snap of my dinner on Instagram!)

Why I Hate Secret Santas

The giant creepy Santa that stands outside my office window. Its actually more hideous in the daylight.

Its been a long time since I felt really festive in the run up to Christmas, but this year has been a bit different, with a few more parties (all of which were fun and produced horrid photos. The shoes, by the way, have become a little more comfortable with each wear (and by a little, I mean a minute fraction), but I am still very grateful that I have a pair of Redfoot folding pumps* which I bought a few years ago and are still in reasonably good shape.)

Theres just one thing that I really dislike about this time of year. Secret Santa. Whoever came up with this as a “fun” office activity has obviously never worked in an office. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure its a great activity when you get someone you know so well, and can find a perfect present within the price limit. But I never have. Theres two ways of doing the secret Santa – where you pick names out of a hat, in which case its incredibly likely that you will end up with the person you can’t stand in the office, or someone who has started a week before so you know absolutely nothing about them. The other way is where you pick whether you will buy for a boy or a girl – a generic choice is not always a good thing.

So choosing the gift – thats the first problem. You end up panic buying something that you hope someone will like. And theres the second half. Receiving. Even if you pick the most perfect gift for someone, you’re still going to end up with something picked up at the garage/pound shop. Your reaction can only be a polite smile, a “How cute!/useful!/unusual!” (Unusual is the best choice, it covers a multitude of sins.) and a note to yourself to put it in the next charity bag. (But you won’t, and it will just collect dust at home until you end up regifting it yourself. Its like a hideous cycle!)

The only Secret Santa I participate in is with my Four Feet – someones boyfriend chooses who we all get and messages us on Facebook to tell us who to buy for. It works quite well! An exception to the rule – but then we have all known each other for at least 20 years (Oh. We’re old.)

Whats the worst thing you’ve ever received in a Secret Santa? Alternatively, give me some hope and tell me what the best thing you’ve ever had is!

Subtle Hints…

xmas wishlist 2011

Whenever anyone has asked me what I want for Christmas (and actually, for my birthday as well), I just shrug. I don’t especially need anything (well, perhaps a new pair of GHD’s, as my almost 7 year old pair are a little dodgy on the wiring) but these are things I would quite like. My choice of things here is probably a good indication of things that I’d really like but can’t justify buying myself.

Since I know that Alex reads this (Conversation on Wednesday night: “Hey you blogged” “Yes, I do that sometimes. Wait, you follow my blog?” “Yeah, its a good way to see if you’re alive or not” “…er, you do know I schedule my posts?”), all the above, please, thanks, love yoooooooou!

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