Ah February! How I love February. To me it signifies the wonderfully peaceful month where we can breathe a collective sigh of relief and regain our equilibrium.
We all know that feeling of dread as November becomes December and suddenly Christmas becomes a reality. Even if you have been organised enough to have the gifts already bought and wrapped, there are so many other aspects to consider. Christmas cards, menus, holidays, guests. The list seems never ending.
The Christmas tree is looking shabby, the lights don’t work properly, and don’t even think of putting up a garden display, the one next door will keep us awake half the night with flashing lights and streams of cars.
School can’t have broken up already, where are your book lists? Why have you let your friends sign your school dress?
Who is coming for Christmas dinner? I wonder what their food restrictions are and whether they are still fighting with Auntie Jack. I never know who is staying overnight (or longer), where the blow up bed is and I can’t be sure it didn’t have a leak last time we used it.
There are questions around New Year’s Eve, especially about ensuring there is enough alcohol. Where is the countdown and are they having fireworks? Have you worked out your New Year’s resolutions?
We go camping in January and there’s always a cloud over whether the site has been booked or not. I’m sure it was supposed to be done in September.
How many are coming for Australia Day? The gas bottle is empty. The local shop is still closed for the holidays and I’m sure we need water bombs and water pistols.
I found the book list on the school website, but the shops are packed and there are kids everywhere. I can’t get the kids’ haircut before they go back, hairdressers are booked out and there is still that replacement uniform and new shoes to buy.
Then we turn the page on the calendar… and it’s February!
The frantic months of gift buying and cooking are distant memories. Christmas decorations are restored to their rightful place in the roof space and useless gifts fed to charity bins.
Friends and relatives have been waved off with a much anticipated farewell, and empty pantries replenished. Meanwhile the mountains of holiday washing that engulfed the laundry and overworked the washing machine have melted back into cupboards and drawers.
Countdowns, fireworks and ‘never again’ hangovers have now faded from our minds along with the enthusiastic start of new resolutions, no doubt diluted by the extravagances of Australia Day.
Uniforms, equipment, stationery and shoes have drained bulimic bank accounts and as schools and businesses get back into full swing we turn the page on the calendar and the holiday season is finally over.
February brings with it a sense of normality. The traffic dissipates after the morning rush, the shopping malls are quiet and much-loved shows reappear on the television.
We know Easter is lurking ready to pounce in March or April, but February, ahh February is always a safe haven. For this month at least, all is quiet in my world.