It's the pointy end of 2021, and I have a lot on my mind.
Focus is not easy when the tinsel and the tunes are rolled out. There's so much shiny stuff to distract you from all the important things that adult people need to deal with (usually filed under 'Life', 'Death' and 'Taxes/Finances').
But I'm obsessed with a festive mystery.
It involves homewares.
My burning question is: who buys Christmas cushions? Cushions for Christmas?
There are shelves, walls, of them, and they are doing my head in.
I love homewares. They are my favourite thing to browse.
Some people would argue that a scatter cushion is useless. They would be wrong.
A well-chosen cushion is like a rug in that it can "really tie the room together" (The Dude, The Big Lebowski).
But festive soft furnishings?
Someone's having a laugh.
It seems that Christmas is not the only magnet for a flood of questionable flair. I visited a homewares shop at Easter and it felt like I had fallen down a rabbit hole.
I was looking for towels, but I couldn't find them among the piles of decorated eggs and the bouncing bunny plague.
I know Easter is a big deal in some homes and religions, but I'm not sure where rabbit tumblers fit into the picture.
I asked the shop assistant if she sold a lot of Easter-themed napery, crockery, cake forks . . .
"Oh yes," she replied.
"What, so, people actually buy bunny tea towels and placemat sets?" I asked.
She nodded, but I sensed a "Yeah, I have no idea why" vibe.
This week, I was in the same shop and toyed momentarily with buying an over-priced silver reindeer bottle-opener before deciding it was all too weird.
I often think about the "blood trees" that Melania Trump chose one year to decorate the White House. At the time, her take on the most wonderful time of the year was chilling.
But, in hindsight, Melania's dystopian decoration was on point.
My 2021 Christmas decoration of choice is a DIY angel made from a blue face mask.
It's handmade, cheap, and symbolic.
If I can just track down a pair of those jazzy white personal protection coveralls in my size at Bunnings, I reckon I could really tie my festive lounge room together.
Maybe Christmas cushions could be part of the look?
Placed exactly 1.5 metres apart, the cushions would reassure and comfort my guests, just like a green vaccination tick and a thorough spritz of Ho Ho Ho Hand Sanitiser (with glitter).
I'm also thinking about Santa sanitary wipes and individually wrapped peanuts.
But there will be no Secret Santa this year as it would inevitably confuse the contact tracers.
Actually, maybe our crack team of tracers could get to the bottom of who's buying Christmas cushions?
Then there's the other festive mystery about who actually eats fruit mince pies . . .
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