Under Pressure

I’m so obsessed with tidiness just now that I’m in danger of making a fastidious surgeon in an operating theatre look like a bin man rolling in mud.

As far as I’m aware I’ve never had OCD, but December is the month when I get the closest. In my case, OCD stands for my annual Organise Christmas Drive.

It always happens every December and, as you’d expect, it doesn’t go down too well at home. As far as I’m concerned, the three wise men at the manger were called Planning, Order and Tidiness, and Tidiness was the King above all the kings. He would be the one bringing the gold, polished to within a millimetre of taking the gilt off, his satnav programmed days before, and his camel filled with water at the cheapest service station. He knew where everything was because it was in its proper place.

If anything goes missing in our house then it’s assumed I’ve tidied it away somewhere, and I get the blame. Which is unfair. Well, it’s sometimes unfair.

The thing is, Christmas planning for me starts on December 1st, and leads to panic by December 2nd when I realise the cards I’ve bought aren’t religious enough for my parents, or they’re too religious for our humanist neighbour who thinks Herod was misunderstood.

Christmas used to be a much simpler time. As a kid I only had to worry about getting my letter to Santa written and sent up the chimney, and any sleepless nights I had were because of realising, too late, that I’d left something off the list which was now, of course, being delivered by a postman in shorts at the North Pole. Life was easy then, Santa was real, MP3s were a ménage a trois in Parliament, and iPads were something my mum made me wear when I had conjunctivitis.

But now it’s all so different.

The only way I can cope with preparations for Christmas is to plan a campaign, have a strategy, know where everything is, and then assault the preparations as if I were sitting a practical exam at Uni. First up is buying the cards, followed by trying to get an idea from people for presents, then realising I’ve lost addresses for the Christmas card list, putting up the tree, noticing I’ve sent a card to someone who has died during the year, buying the gifts, and then panicking when I get a card from someone I’ve decided to cross off the list as I haven’t heard from them in years.

But, worst of all, in amongst this chaos, I have to get my VAT receipts done and off to Customs and Excise. How cruel is that, that they decide I need to put my stuff through in December and actually write a cheque to them when the money could be spent on selection boxes or Chocolate flavoured Baileys. Governments can be cruel.

So, your honour, that’s why my wife is being driven mad by my tidiness and wants to kill me. It’s the only way I can get through the month.

Peace on earth? Not in this house!I’m so obsessed with tidiness just now that I’m in danger of making a fastidious surgeon in an operating theatre look like a bin man rolling in mud. As far as I’m aware I’ve never had OCD, but December is the month when I get the closest. In my case, OCD stands for my annual Organise Christmas Drive.

It always happens every December and, as you’d expect, it doesn’t go down too well at home. As far as I’m concerned, the three wise men at the manger were called Planning, Order and Tidiness, and Tidiness was the King above all the kings. He would be the one bringing the gold, polished to within a millimetre of taking the gilt off, his satnav programmed days before, and his camel filled with water at the cheapest service station. He knew where everything was because it was in its proper place.

 If anything goes missing in our house then it’s assumed I’ve tidied it away somewhere, and I get the blame. Which is unfair. Well, it’s sometimes unfair.

The thing is, Christmas planning for me starts on December 1st, and leads to panic by December 2nd when I realise the cards I’ve bought aren’t religious enough for my parents, or they’re too religious for our humanist neighbour who thinks Herod was misunderstood.

Christmas used to be a much simpler time. As a kid I only had to worry about getting my letter to Santa written and sent up the chimney, and any sleepless nights I had were because of realising, too late, that I’d left something off the list which was now, of course, being delivered by a postman in shorts at the North Pole. Life was easy then, Santa was real, MP3s were a ménage a trois in Parliament, and iPads were something my mum made me wear when I had conjunctivitis.

But now it’s all so different.

The only way I can cope with preparations for Christmas is to plan a campaign, have a strategy, know where everything is, and then assault the preparations as if I were sitting a practical exam at Uni. First up is buying the cards, followed by trying to get an idea from people for presents, then realising I’ve lost addresses for the Christmas card list, putting up the tree, noticing I’ve sent a card to someone who has died during the year, buying the gifts, and then panicking when I get a card from someone I’ve decided to cross off the list as I haven’t heard from them in years.

But, worst of all, in amongst this chaos, I have to get my VAT receipts done and off to Customs and Excise. How cruel is that, that they decide I need to put my stuff through in December and actually write a cheque to them when the money could be spent on selection boxes or Chocolate flavoured Baileys. Governments can be cruel.

So, your honour, that’s why my wife is being driven mad by my tidiness and wants to kill me. It’s the only way I can get through the month.

Peace on earth? Not in this house!

christmas