DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Having one ‘elf’ of a time feeling all lit up

December 13th, 2020 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

I’ve gone a bit bulb-tastic with the outdoors this year, wondering when it all became so competitive. And the little fella on my shelf will be hitching a ride home with Santa asap.

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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: It’s Week 39 and I’m not sure that I can maintain this level of faux festivity until December 25th. Also, I’m trying not to bankrupt myself by putting lights on anything that moves

• I MUST admit that I was not really ‘feeling’ the decorations this year. It could be something to do with the fact that I’m a home worker (get me out of here), I’m not sure, but anyway the most important thing is that they’re up. Other years I’d carefully ponder what would be placed where, and really enjoy the process, but this time ‘round it was more like a game of rings – fling things around the place, see what lands where and hope for the best. At least the tree is straight, depending on what angle you come at it. I did wonder, though, at what point did we start taking the decorating so seriously? I know Instagram is different to real life, but lots of people seem to be losing their marbles over sourcing the perfect wreath or garland and turning it into a full-time job. Sounds exhausting. Bring back tinsel and lametta (if you were fierce posh!) I say.

• I have to admit, though, that I’m finding the outdoor lights quite addictive. I spent what I considered a small fortune and it basically looks… well tragic. So I went round two, and it looks just slightly less tragic. And now I’m considering round three – once I get to the credit union. I did make a fairly fundamental error along the way when I mixed up warm white and white (essentially blue) bulbs. I’m letting on that it doesn’t bother me, but it does. A lot. I feel that I might as well throw in some reds and greens altogether and say I was being ironic. In the meantime, someone is going to get seriously injured in the race to get to bed first here at night, so they won’t be the one left plugging things out. You’ve never seen anything move faster than me when my husband starts stretching. My PB is couch to bed in 3.5 seconds. I know you can get an app that will switch off sockets on demand, but sure, where’s the fun in that? 

• Christmas was put on the temporary back burner in lots of households this week who were given Communion dates. I know at this stage it’s really just about the youngsters getting the sacrament, but it’s a bit of an anti-climax for what’s always such a beautiful day that’s enjoyed by multi-generations. Now, of course, many grandparents won’t get to partake in celebrations at all due to travel restrictions, or perhaps they’re too nervous to go to a restaurant. And let’s be honest, it’s too cold to consider meeting outside for more than a few minutes. Considering what some have suffered this year, in the overall scheme, it’s not a big deal. Just another little one, after loads of other little ones.

• On a lighter note, we welcomed a new member to our household this week. An uninvited one. My husband arrived home from work one day with an Elf on the Shelf (or his knock-off, freakier looking cousin). I love a bit of messing as much as the next person, but I’ve always been quite sceptical about this chap, and had deliberately not made any effort to find out his back story. I mean, Santa? Perfect sense. Elf? No sense. Anyway, he got a bit of a frosty reception for a while (and so did my husband), but we’re going with it. For now. One thing I have made quite clear, though, is that he’s hitching a ride home with Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

• For those wondering, poor Tadhg has taken a dip. He’s back in the vets, this time in Ballincollig in a place that specialises in back injuries. It might as well be Australia as he’s never been beyond the yard so hopefully he doesn’t think we’ve abandoned him. It’s not really looking too hopeful, but we’re still hoping, even if it’s the hope that sometimes gets you in the end.

• It was so nice to be able to take get my hair done at the weekend. I had given myself extra time to queue for a take-out coffee, and while it was a bit tricky to sip at the side of the mask, the whole experience was just lovely. Exchanging bits of news with my stylist, and not the whole salon, thanks to masks and distancing, continues to be a bit tricky, but it’s all in the eyes! Anyway, I’ve made an appointment for January, even though lots are expecting the worst. And hopefully this won’t make people behave too recklessly if they think it’s a foregone conclusion. Remember the wise Dr Tony’s sage advice: Just because we can do something, it doesn’t mean we have to. That pretty much sums up my feelings about the elves too.

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