Thursday, 15 December 2011

Wrapped Up

A roll, a push, the material unravels across the table. Swirls of colour shimmer in the light. The scissors leap up to snip. Begin to perform their steps. Blades executed sharp and swift. An Argentine Tango slicing a design made to fit. Pattern laid out and cloaked around the object. Snugly secured with a nip, a tuck and a fold. A pat, a smooth down. A finishing touch. A ribbon tied into a bow. All wrapped up, nowhere to go. It sits with others, waiting to be picked by a benefactor. Impatient for a corner to be ripped. Its attire torn off or tantalisingly peeled. The gift concealed, eager to be revealed by the lucky receiver.

Have you guessed? I'm talking gifts. Presents, tokens, stocking fillers. Those handed out by Santa's helpers. Christmas, a magical time of year. The season of giving, goodwill and cheer. Each person growing up with their own traditions. Father Christmas, Saint Nick or Santa. Stockings or pillowcases hung up. A treat left out for Santa and his reindeer. The anticipation. The sleepless night. A vivid imagination. Did you hear heavy footsteps in the middle of the night? A crash from the open chimney? Wide awake, you tip-toe downstairs and see the mince pie crumbs on the plate. The sherry glass standing empty. Stocking full, about to burst. A stuffed leg of presents. “Santa's been!!” you cry.

This is the scene that will play out in most streets on Christmas Day. Adults, being taken back to the child within. Memories of how it was for them. The thrill of tearing paper. Unwrapping a box containing a new toy to play with. Christmas food, hats, and crackers. Top Of The Pops and family entertainment. The excitement too much. The descent into tiredness and tempers. Christmas terminated.

The 25th is fast approaching. The button marked “play” anxious to be pressed. Begin this home movie over. Generosity, the spirit that prevails each and every year. For the English, it's a good excuse to show their appreciation. A thought. A phone call. A card. Gifts wrapped up to present to the gifts in your life. A piece of advice for receivers: Be careful how you unwrap. A lot can be gleaned from your opening behaviour.

Monty sniffs out which gift is his.