Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

Christmas, like the rest of my life, is modelled on Peppa Pig

on December 23, 2012

For a while I’ve been irritated by people counting down the number of days until an event by writing “x sleeps to go!” on Facebook, without really knowing why.  I thought it might just be me being too easily irritated.  And then I thought it might be because ‘sleep’ is a verb rather than a noun.  But you can ask if someone has had a good sleep, so it *can* be used as a noun.  Finally I worked it out, and went to my lovely Oxford English Dictionary to check.  It’s a mass, or non-count, noun – an object which can’t be counted, like water.  Now I feel better, and I hope it won’t irritate me any more.

I am a grammar pedant.  Please feel free to judge any mistakes I make extra harshly.  Look out, in particular, for the misuse of ‘fewer’ and ‘less’.  I have yet to find an example where it actually matters which one you use, so I use them interchangeably (I’d be interested in any examples of this; less interested in people trying to explain to me what the difference is. I do know – I just don’t think it matters).  You can also mock me for my overuse of ellipsis if you like.

Anyway, the point of this is…? Well, you’re all thinking ‘two sleeps until Christmas!’.  In this house, it’s just one.  Finally, both girls are in bed asleep and we’re waiting for Father Christmas to arrive.  As the girls are at their dad’s house for the whole of Christmas Day, I wrote to Father Christmas and asked him if he could make a special visit a night early to bring their presents.  So we’ve put out the mince pie and a glass of milk (Big Girl’s choice – I think it’s what Peppa Pig does), and an apple for the reindeer.  We’ve put stockings under the tree (Big Girl tells me this is where they go – I think this is also where Peppa Pig puts them). We’ve discussed how Father Christmas is going to get into the house as our fireplace is blocked up, and whether he’s likely to bring the reindeer in or take the apple out to the reindeer on the roof.  We also got out the lovely wooden nativity set, which Big Girl likes playing with and Small Girl likes taking to bits and throwing on the floor.  This may become a Christmas Eve tradition – we can talk about the Christmas story and it saves it taking up space on the mantelpiece (or floor…).

So hopefully tomorrow morning will be Christmas chaos, and then their dad is coming to pick them up at 1pm, after lunch.  I’ve forgotten to buy anything nice to eat for breakfast or lunch, so that might have to be introduced to the Christmas rituals next year.  And then I’m off to spend Christmas with my family.

I’m not really sure how this is going to go.  I am staying at my middle sister’s house.  This will be much easier without two small children.  We’re going out to a pub for Christmas dinner.  This will be easier without two small children.  I will get to open presents all by myself.  I’m planning on going on Christmas morning to the church that Ex-Husband and I went to together when I was a student, and where we got married, which I haven’t been back to since he left.  This may precipitate an hour of crying in a church service where not so many people know me any more.  Fortunately I have no shame about crying in public.  And then I plan to test the boundaries of how much it is acceptable to drink in front of your parents.  Again, easier and more acceptable without two children to look after the following morning.

If I can’t have my children with me for Christmas, I might as well make the most of it, right?  Including the sleep.


5 responses to “Christmas, like the rest of my life, is modelled on Peppa Pig

  1. Zoe says:

    if you have flour eggs and milk, you could make pancakes for breakfast? if you have soya flour,. you could make vegan pancakes, which are clearly superior! will be lovely to see you Xmas day.

  2. James H says:

    Now, my brain is a little addled by the remarkable busy-ness of the last couple of weeks, and I suspect the one remaining sermon I’m trying to write (for tonight) may just be a jumble of unintelligible ramblings. So I may have this very wrong. But I have a hunch that the two primary problems of your opening paragraphs might resolve one another. Indeed, wouldn’t (at least part of) the import of correctly using fewer/less lie in helping distinguish the mass noun? After all, I could only have had less sleep last night, not fewer sleep. And my personal limitations having done so, wouldn’t make me a fewer person (or fewer people, I think I’m only one person in general), but quite possibly less of a person for the lack of patience I exhibit? (Which assumption relies on multiple senses of ‘person’ – both the countable singular of people and the non-count object which is the abstract of human-ness.)

    As it happens, I slept OK last night, so it’s really just an addled brain at work. But there we go.

    In the meantime, a very happy Christmas from all of us! Hope to see you soon.

    • James H says:

      (sorry about the rogue comma, don’t want to cause further distress)

      • Blimey! You might be a genius! I’m going to think about this when I have more time (and fewer children to look after…)

        • James H says:

          (and we’re used to multiple uses of the same word aren’t we? “There are fewer liquids (countable, individual instances) in a giant mug of steaming tea than there are in a Harvey Wallbanger. Though perhaps there will be be less liquid (mass noun) in the cocktail than in the tea.” Get fewer/less the wrong way round and I should imagine it would all taste quite nasty.)

          Right. I’m going to stop thinking about this now so that (a) I can finish the sermon and (b) you can think about it at your leisure. Sorry, I got a bit obsessed there for a few minutes.

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