Deck the halls… Wait, what?

The other day I was reading the junk mail while eating my breakfast cereal, as usual. As I turned the page in one of the colourful flyers from a national retailer, my eyes lit on an image of a faux Christmas tree, available in two sizes, get in quick because these prices won’t last. I looked up just in time to see pigs flying past my window. It’s still September, right?

I’ve already seen those chocolate Advent calendars on sale at my local supermarket, right next to the checkout where my kids can’t possibly miss seeing them. I’m wondering if I’ll see hot cross buns at the bakery next time I go in. Holidays seem to come earlier and earlier each year, and this bothers me.

You see, I love holidays, particularly Christmas. The decorations! The fairy lights! The cookies! The carols! My mother-in-law’s trifle, which I steer everyone else away from at the dessert table so that there’s more for me! But I do not love thinking about Christmas in September. Particularly when I’m still trying to work out what to do with my children during the upcoming school holidays. There’s planning ahead, and then there’s crazy-making. Buying a Christmas tree in September is crazy. I don’t care how good the price is or how limited the stock. IT IS NOT TIME YET, PEOPLE.

Because if I start going down the rabbit-hole of holiday planning now, I’ll have to face present-buying, and menu-planning, and guest lists, and Christmas cards – okay, so I haven’t sent a Christmas card out since 2004, never mind that last one – and annual leave, and new outfits, and the summer holidays. Oh, and New Year’s, which is so close to Christmas that I might as well get that sorted at the same time. I can’t deal with all that when I still haven’t taken the feather duvets off the beds in our house. As far as I’m concerned, it’s still winter and I’m still hibernating.

I could be tempted with a hot cross bun, though – just don’t mention Easter bunnies or coloured eggs yet.

 What I’m reading this week: The House on Sunset Lake, by Tasmina Perry (Hachette $34.99)

There’s something about this novel that makes me think of a Nicholas Sparks story – in a good way (I am a sucker for a Nicholas Sparks story). A boy from the (sort of) wrong side of the tracks, a rich Southern belle, a hot and heady summer… And then a cruel separation, life goes on, but neither of them has forgotten the other or the time they spent together. Twenty years later, the boy-turned-man returns to Casa D’Or, the girl’s childhood home where their unforgettable summer took place. This time, though, he’s there for work – turning the run-down mansion into a luxury hotel. Of course he has to see the girl again, and of course they both revisit their shared past. Secrets come out, the ghosts of the past are disturbed, and this beguiling house with its tragic history is at the centre of everything. This is a great beach read with satisfying twists. Romantic and mysterious, it may remind you of your own lost love from the distant past… And make you wonder what might have been.


Have a great week.
Katherine Granich

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