I always get particularly maudlin at the dismantling of the tree and the scooping up of decorations from far-flung places around the house, particularly as housework ranks low on my list of priorities. The trudge to the recycling plant in the park, dragging my cross (sorry, tree) behind me. Once it's all done, I can admire the streamlined space and the absence of sparkly segments of tinsel littering the passageways. I just have trouble coming to terms with the end of the period of relaxation. No keen consultation of the Radio Times Double Edition (don't deny it, not only did you buy it, you highlighted it) to see what to watch, or most likely to record and never get round to watching. No licence now to slope about in jim-jams, eating cheese, supping ginger wine (delicious!) and chatting to friends who've just popped in. And feeling ok about that, because so is everyone else. Now we must WORK and schedule in time off to strictly regimented segments. I know Christmas brings sadness and disharmony to many, but there IS joy there.
TOP TIP, by the way, passed on by my friend Kerry. Put an old duvet cover (or in my case ANY old duvet cover) over the tree before hauling it out. All needles contained in cover, not lurking in corners to spike a bare foot for months to come.
I've been reading one of Alan Bennett's diaries (very slowly. Not because I don't enjoy it, but because it's in the bathroom, reserved for my post-shower sit in towel to dry off). It made me realise I would LOVE my own 'What I've been up to this week!' type column in a paper/magazine. So would many thousands of others, I'd imagine. So, I've created my own additional section here. Less ranty, reflectiony or reviewy than the other bits.