Entirely in keeping with the chimerical quality of the assurances one makes to oneself and others as the year ends, I am putting off Police Story for one more time.
Instead, I shall leave y'all for a couple of days with a story, as befits the season, about gifts, children, and doing everything one can as a parent to make the day a memorable one for those one loves.
From China Mieville's book of short stories, Looking For Jake and Other Stories, the story, 'Tis The Season:
Call me childish, but I love all the nonsense - the snow, the trees, the tinsel, the turkey. I love presents. I love carols and cheesy songs. I just love Christmas™.First published in the Socialist Review in 2004. Read the rest of it here.
That's why I was so excited. And not just for me, but for Annie. Aylsa, her mum, said she didn't see the big deal and why was I a sentimentalist, but I knew Annie couldn't wait. She might have been 14, but when it came to this I was sure she was still a little girl, dreaming of stockings by the chimney. Whenever it's my turn to take Annie - me and Aylsa have alternated since the divorce - I do my best on the 25th.
I admit Aylsa made me feel bad. I was dreading Annie's disappointment. So I can hardly tell you how delighted I was when I found out that for the first time ever I was going to be able to make a proper celebration of it.
Don't get me wrong. I haven't got shares in YuleCo, and I can't afford a one-day end-user licence, so I couldn't have a legal party. I'd briefly considered buying from one of the budget competitors like XmasTym, or a spinoff from a non-specialist like Coca-Crissmas, but the idea of doing it on the cheap was just depressing. I wouldn't have been able to use much of the traditional stuff, and if you can't have all of it, why have any? (XmasTym had the rights to Egg Nog. But Egg Nog's disgusting.) Those other firms keep trying to create their own alternatives to proprietary classics like reindeer and snowmen, but they never take off. I'll never forget Annie's underwhelmed response to the JingleMas Holiday Gecko.
No, like most people, I was going to have a little MidWinter Event, just Annie and me. So long as I was careful to steer clear of licenced products we'd be fine.