Not just for Christmas


We spent the morning in B&Q yesterday.

A hardware superstore.  Everything from seasonal must-haves (we got a “Santa Stop Here” sign reduced to £2.00), to everything needed to refurbish your home for thousands of £s.  We went there, our two youngest grandsons and me, because it was freezing outside.  Too cold to play in the park.

Nana passed on this outing.  Hardware is not her thing.  It wasn’t mine either.  It was the display of Christmas stuff!

We spent at least an hour there as the two boys were in awe of the lights, the inflatable snowmen, the led-lit reindeer, the illuminated snow, the …

Young children don’t look once and move on.  Young children circulate and recirculate and repeat the circulation.  Then there were the hard-hats and work gloves … the display bathrooms with different shower-cubicles and toilets … the display kitchens with all those drawers and cupboards to inspect (at least one must have a “snack box” like in Nana’s kitchen) … the electrical tools … the screws and nails … the (working flushing) toilet … and the Christmas stuff .. . and around it all again.

And everywhere those wide aisles with shiny floors … both boys hanging onto the back of the empty shopping trolley while I pushed: a cross between skating and skiing!

It took two and a half hours.  We became pals with the friendly meet-and-greet chap – his station was between the Christmas stuff and the toilets (Tommy is out of nappies and into peeing in a big toilet).

On the way back to “Nana’s house” we stopped at the donut shop (as the boys call our local budget supermarket) for two donuts.  The “donut shop” has baskets on wheels with a fold-out handle thingy.  Ideal for two young chaps to make their own “wilderness sledge”. Not so ideal in a busy supermarket full of shoppers intent on shop ‘n go.  But little people with a smiling Granddad in tow get away with many things.  And we did.  Little people (with a Granddad in tow) exude fun on a trip like yesterday.

And I have found that fun is tolerated (if not always embraced).

Before our daughter married and became Mummy to these young men, she and I had a tradition of going shopping for the last-minute fresh-food Christmas bits and pieces (Nana always passed on this outing as well).  Together we enjoyed the crush of shoppers … all those determined “get out of my way” looks on their faces … we would speak to anyone we passed … share a word of commiseration with any harassed store worker … point confused and wide-eyed shoppers to the right  aisles …

Together we enjoyed finding fun in the least fun-filled place on earth.  

THAT was the tradition.

I think fun is under-rated at this time of year.

Being “in the Christmas Spirit” … having everything prepared … having everything under control to enjoy Christmas “properly” … ?  That is the obligation and duty of the “Christmas Spirit”.

But simple fun … having fun … finding fun where fun is not … ?

That’s not just for Christmas.

That’s Living.

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