Everything about it seems to have become an irritation, from the hideously cheerful Christmas songs that begin playing everywhere from October onwards, to the desperate grubbing around trying to find a present more interesting than the usual socks, to the yearly search for the Christmas tree and decorations which never seem to be in the place you remember putting them, to the endless trailing round visiting relatives whom though you only see once a year, its still once a year too much. It's enough to have you reaching for the brandy instead of putting it in the Christmas cake! And then of course there is the orgy of eating and drinking leaving you feeling full of guilt and indigestion as a year's dieting is blown in a week.
But before you are sending me the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, I do have some nice words to say about Christmas. Well, one, really. Books.
Santa has thankfully ignored the fact I have not been a good little girl and brought me a bumper crop of pony books which I have been looking for to add to my collection. These include Gillian Baxter's Bargain Horses, K. M. Peyton's The Sound of Distant Cheering and The Grey Ghost by Carolyn Henderson, none of which I have read before. But the best of all by far are a pair of books whose arrival has almost made me want to start singing Jingle Bells and wearing a pair of furry antlers on my head.
These are a first edition of Sabre The Horse From the Sea by Kathleen Herald (aka K. M. Peyton) and also by her a 1950s edition of The Mandrake a Pony.
So pass the After Eight Mints and turkey sandwiches round one more time, turn up the volume on that Christmas Compilation CD, I don't care. I will have my head buried in one of these beauties.
Maybe Christmas isn't so bad after all...