The bin men have literally just hauled off the six huge bag loads of rubbish produced by myself and my family this Christmas. As their filthy dustcart revved off into the distance I felt a pang or two of regret... regret that Christmas is over again for another year and regret at having produced so much waste. The amount of extraneous packaging was frightening, most of it from the kid's toys - huge folded up and moulded pieces of industrial sized cardboard which defied any attempt to flatpack them into as small a shape as possible for easy disposal.
I also have to say that, despite my initial smugness at avoiding the High Street crowds this year by shopping entirely on-line, the negative of this has been loads and loads of extra cardboard packaging, polystyrene and padding hanging about the house which has only added to our Christmas carbon footprint.
Put it this way: I nearly entitled this post "Return Of The Sasquatch".
Refuse gripes aside I must admit Christmas was highly enjoyable - it being Tom's first only added to the specialness of it all. Not that Tom was particularly impressed - or even interested - in any of the presents we'd bought for him, preferring instead the occasional bottle of milk...
However, for the rest of us, there were some cool presents flying around this year that put smiles on all our faces. Among the pile of goodies I lavished on Karen was the Bladerunner 5 disc boxed set, a copy of Newman & Baddiel's History Today, an ocean of DVDS and books and some richly gorgeous jewellery. Ben had a Transformer voice mask (oh how we regret buying that...), a Lego remote control car and his own MP3 player.
Myself? I found myself presented with an ION USB turntable so that I can transfer my immense vinyl record collection to MP3 format, a Lego AT-AT Walker (Star Wars fans will understand the coolness of this) that actually walks (!) and some fab DVDS - Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix, Rome Season 2 and 300 to name but a few. In fact coupled with the stash of DVDs I bought Karen we've now got so many movies to watch we could actually cancel our subscription to cable TV and still have stuff to watch right up to mid April.
Hmm. You know, that's not a bad idea... especially given how dire Christmas telly was this year. Doctor Who was a major disappointment. So much so I can't motivate myself to even write about it. Ballet Shoes was enjoyable and nice to see Emma Watson on TV spreading her acting wings. And Extras last night was very enjoyable. I actually found myself getting quite teary eyed towards the end. I guess I've still got too much Christmas sentimentality flowing around my blood stream.
Talking of which... I got some whisky for Christmas too and it's now baying for my company. Cheers one and all!