Happy Saturday Lovelies! It's officially 50 days until Christmas so I thought this called for a little Christmas story. This Christmas story is the reason why I'm having to up my Christmas game this year.
Last year my mum and sister went back to the UK in November to visit friends and family. I looked after their pets whilst they were gone... as well as my dad who needed feeding on a daily basis. (Insert cry laughing emoji here).
Upon their return they gave me a gift, they'd wrapped it in festive wrapping paper and oh my was I excited to be receiving a Christmas gift early!
I went through all the British customs of receiving and opening a present. You don't just open it, there's a special way to go about it.
First I exclaimed "For meeee? Why on earth have you gotten MEEEEE a present?"
Then once they confirmed the present they had put in my hands, with a gift tag that clearly red "To Peta Thank you for taking care of the pets and your dad. Love Mum and Jess" was indeed for me, I told them how beautiful the wrapping was.
"Ooooh just look at this wrapping paper! It makes me feel all Christmassy! I love the ribbon!"
Then I carefully unwrapped the present. "Don't want to rip the paper! I'll be keeping this!"
Once I had delicately unwrapped the layers of paper I found the most gorgeous Elf Christmas jumper. Not only was it wonderfully soft and thick it SANG. Oh yes my loves. There's a button you press and it plays Christmas music.
I know, my mind was blown too.
So, of course, I loved this jumper. I was so excited about wearing it for Christmas, especially because I'd called myself an Elf every year for as long as I could remember.
The following week was to be our Christmas work do. Early I know, but it was the only date everyone could make in before Christmas. I vowed to proudly wear my Christmas jumper to the party. We were going to be having dinner and then going to a bar for drinks afterwards. I planned on being designated driver and organised who I was going to be dropping off on my way home when I left early that night.
The Christmas dinner rolled around, both Adam and I rocked up to work in our Christmas jumpers. My students nicknamed me "Elfie", a name that stuck, and we spent the day being as festive as can be.
The dinner was delicious, we all had a great time and I slowly sipped my one glass of wine, covering the glass so it wouldn't be topped up as I was driving home. My boss came over to me and asked in a very surprised manner, why I wasn't drinking?!
"I'm driving home!" I replied, I reeled off a list of people I was dropping off only for him to chuckle and tell me that they had already left or had decided to stay on for the bar.
"So, it looks like you're drinking Peta, get a taxi home!" He said gleefully whilst topping up my glass.
I'm very fortunate to work for two very lovely people who love a good old shindig, at the dinner there was plenty of laughter, some very fun activities with awards. I won the most festive person award. (Who'd have thought it?!)
We each had a piece of card pinned to the back of us, on this piece of card we were to write a positive, lovely, happy notes praising each person, at the end of the dinner we took the card off our backs to reveal heart warming messages to keep forever. (I may or may not have cried.)
Anyway Peta, back to the story. Come on.
After the dinner we headed to a bar in the Marina, tables had been reserved for us with bottles of cava and in no time we were well away. We're quite a big group and rather loud so quickly took over the dance floor encouraging others in the bar to dance with us. More alcoholic beverages were bought, shots were had (tequila, always tequila.) and as I got hot and flustered from all the dancing - I kept taking my jumper off, but putting it back on as I wandered outside to see what the smokers were up to. I'm one of those people that will flutter between groups all night chatting away to everyone.
At some point in the bar we met a group of people who worked on boats and yachts in the marina. This is the point where my memory gets a little hazy, (thanks tequila, you're the best.), most of what I'm about to write I was told the next day, as I stared at the story teller in question, in a very hungover fashion.
Apparently, to prove that I was in fact a Christmas elf, I kept taking my jumper off and popping it back on. To prove I was a teacher I did the same but with my glasses. (Honestly, a year later I still don't possess the vocabulary to try and make this any better or make sense of it.)
We danced a little more and at 03:30 the bar was closing.
"Come back to our boat?" one of the friendly chaps we were drinking with asked us. "We'll have a boat party!" Now, who in their right mind, refuses a boat party?!
At this point there was only five of us left out of about twenty colleagues, my boss - Nina, Alan, Juliana, Karen and myself. So together we excitedly made our way to the boat we were to have a boat party on.
It was the coldest night of the year, yet because alcohol coursed through our bodies, we hadn't noticed. The music on the boat was deafening, we continued to dance the night away barefoot as we weren't allowed on the very expensive boat with shoes. (Juliana didn't as she was staging a land based protest in regards to expensive yachts, she stayed firmly planted on terra firma, and every now and then one of us would hop off the boat and check on her.
At around 06:30, we saw the sun come up and called it a night. The five of us, proud that we had managed to stick together wandered out of the marina. Not before I tried to limbo under a parking barrier, falling and hitting myself in the face with a bottle of cava causing my nose to bleed.
I know, this story really isn't depicting me in the best light right now. Nor will it at all I'm sure.
We gradually went our seperate ways as we reached cross roads and vowed to see each other the next day. It took me nearly an hour to get home when it should have taken ten minutes. Go me.
The next day I awoke with what can only be described as one of the worst hangovers I have ever experienced. I'm not really one for drinking so much that I'm hungover the next day, so I'm definitely not used to the feeling. After a few hours of lazing in bed, I eventually got myself up, observed my room with the overflowing wash basket and thought I'd better pop a wash on. As I gathered the load up, I added my dress and tights from the night before and it hit me. My Elf jumper. It was gone.
I frantically searched high and low, I called the taxi company that had taken me home, called the bar we had been in and contacted the friendly people we had danced the night away with to no avail. My jumper was no where to be seen. The thing is, this wasn't just any old jumper, this was a gift, there was no way I could break the news to my mum and sister, I felt too bad about it. So later that day, I got my act together and headed into town to visit the bar to double check that it really wasn't there. It wasn't.
So I did the only thing I could do. I got online, and after a good while of searching found the jumper. I purchased it and hoped it would arrive before Christmas. Unfortunately it was coming from the UK and Spanish post leaves a lot to be desired at the best of times, International Spanish post mixed with Christmas holidays. Well...let's not even go there.
My family is very big on Christmas, each year we all add a previously agreed upon amount of money into a kitty and use it to go out and celebrate the festivities in the run up to the big day. Every time we were going out they'd ask me where my Christmas jumper was.
I'd reply "Ooooh! Saving it for Christmas Eve!! It's a special one!"
I felt so guilty. I couldn't look them in the eye and I was literally avoiding my family as much as possible in case they asked about the jumper. Christmas Eve was looming by now, it was the 21st of December, the jumper had still not arrived and it was the last day of work. My colleagues thought the whole thing hilarious and asked me on a daily basis if the jumper had arrived yet.
I was beginning to panic. I so should have told my family when I lost it. I had made this so much worse by lying and saying it was hanging beautifully in my wardrobe ready for Christmas Eve. The next day I cycled into town to check the work post box again. NOTHING. I was going out for a drink that afternoon with my family, I crossed everything that they wouldn't ask.
I rocked up to my parent's in a different Christmas jumper.
"You're looking lovely Peta! Lovely jumper, we haven't seen you in your Elf jumper yet." said my mum
This was it. I was going to have to come clean.
"I LOST IT AT THE CHRISTMAS PARTY, YES THAT WAS OVER A MONTH AGO, I KNOW I'M STUPID AND I ORDERED ANOTHER ONE AND IT HASN'T ARRIVED AND I'M SO UPSET AND I'M SORRY!!" The words tumbled manically out of my mouth before I had a chance to stop them. Smooth Peta, smooth.
As predicted they laughed at me, oh did they laugh. Then they began to make fun of me, and this has been going on for a year. (insert monkey covering eyes emoji here.)
My family LOVE anything like this to take the mick out of someone. For a year now this has been gold. Whenever I've lost something, made a mistake, mentioned Christmas, mentioned Winter (!!), the story of the Christmas jumper has been brought up. Always ending with "and that is why Santa fired Peta the Elf, she was drinking on the job."
This Christmas I'm going all out. I've been secretly planning Christmas things for the past six weeks. Yep, I know I'm twenty six, I know I probably have so many more important things I should be spending my time on. But I love Christmas so much, I'll be spreading Christmas cheer for all to hear as loudly as I can. (I apologise in advance!)
I hope you enjoyed this little festive story. It still makes me giggle when I think of it, and my brand new Elf jumper arrived on the 10th of January, (gotta love Spanish post) and has been hanging in my wardrobe ever since ready for this Christmas. Guess who won't be wearing her Christmas jumper to the staff dinner this year!