“Hi honey I’m home”
Home….the place where you shut the door on the world, slump in your favourite armchair, turn on the TV and ignore the fact that your four months behind with the mortgage.
Mother Christmas kisses Santa gently on his cheek before handing him a cup of coffee and the remote control.
“So, how was it this year? Did you manage to give all the kids their presents?”
“Yeah, pretty much”
He points the remote control at the TV and presses the on button. Trying to forget that not every child got something this year Santa changes the subject.
“You know, I have a meeting tomorrow”
“What do you mean….tomorrow? What about? Come on, you’ve only just got back from delivering the presents this year…Surely the meeting can wait?”
“But all the family are coming over tomorrow”
Santa ignores the undertone of disappointment in Mother Christmas’s voice as he continues to surf the TV channels. God damn it! A million bloody channels and nothing on. Wanting to avoid watching the ‘Only fools and horses’ Christmas special yet again, he bypasses the channel and continues to press his thumb in a repetitive motion.
He pauses. A big yellow and purple bird dances on the TV, an enormous Easter Egg behind him; removing his boots and reclining the chair he thanks God that someone else is in charge of Easter
Casting his mind back to last Easter he remembers an innocent knock at the door, he opened it and there sneering with a clip board was one of them…..
Dressed in black with shoulders the width of New York stood A Government Inspector who cross matches your details with the centrally held database. If you haven’t paid your TV licence or if like him and Mother Christmas – you are a couple of weeks behind with the card payment you too can sit in the Magistrates Court with all the drug addicts, alcoholics smelling of piss and explain why you’re a little bit on the poor side this month/this year/this decade – delete as applicable.
The Magistrate, honouring one of the 100 books on code must fine you a rather large proportion of your income and then throw you in jail if you can’t pay it!
Oh well…Thinks Santa, it can’t be helped.
Flicking through a few more channels a commercial appears for somewhere warm. The happy family hold hands, their bronzed skin contrasting with the bright coloured swim wear as a poetic voice over incites hand holding and taking time out with the loved ones. The cinematography sweeps in panoramic style at the bleached white beach before cutting to a night scene, kids in bed while mum and dad sip wine by candle light rekindling some lost love.
Santa looks up from the tele towards his love. She works hard and the disappointment that he has to work yet again on Boxing day is evident.
Reaching for his mobile he logs on to the App store, downloads the latest App for the holiday company, retrieves his gold card from his wallet and books a holiday for everyone for the August.
Yep, that’ll fix everything, a week away in the sun. That one week will make up for all the time they rush around and don’t have time to spend with each other.
To be cont’d…