Notwithstanding the promises we set out to keep and the limits we try to keep ourselves within, we always end up with the same problem when packing for our Christmas holidays – the amount of space available is by no means sufficient for the number of things we have to bring down to The Rock with us. Somewhere along the line we inadvertently throw caution to the wind, overbuy gifts and somehow think that the problem won’t exist this year round. And of course, it always presents its’ ugly head this time of the year. And so my headaches start, and I try to think about what we can live without for the coming month. Suddenly nothing seems indispensable.
We have gotten better at packing. After so many visits to and fro The Rock, I can pack a miniscule hand-luggage for my things and those of C’s in no time. Weekend visits are not that hard to pack for especially when you’re visiting family, because you always know that if you forget a jacket, socks or a scarf you can always borrow one from them. Longer visits are harder to think for, especially winter ones where the clothes are bulkier and space becomes so limited too quickly. And Christmas visits are a nightmare – the additional headaches of bringing down all the Christmas gifts in one piece is a tense affair. Winter, Christmas visits with a baby? I won’t even try to explain that one!
At the moment our living room is starting to resemble Zara during the sales period – items of clothing everywhere – on the floor, on the chairs, dining table – every small space is taken up by things we have to bring down with us. I have lists of things I must not forget – most notably the dress I intend to wear for my sis-in-law’s wedding, and C’s flower-girl shoes. Forgetting those would cause a small issue. I’m also looking at weather reports because one thing I always get wrong is the weather. Last October we visited The Rock and I took winter clothes for C because we already had winter weather here. Poor baby spent a weekend in tights and long-sleeved tops when everyone else was running around bare-legged and in summer dresses. I’m sure (and hoping) we won’t have this problem this time round.
If and when we pack there always comes the next hurdle – going through airport security. From the Maltese end, I do not think about it one bit. Sad to say but they have the most lax airport security I’ve ever encountered. I have passed baby milk without being asked to taste it and I’ve had on boots and belts and not removed them. Sad and scary as well. English airports are different – although I have to admit that having a push-chair and a baby gives you that bit more leniency. But the security checks are a nightmare. I clearly remember the instance when female officer told me that she would have to check Cesca when we crossed over last year – she was only three months at the time! I was furious but you can’t really argue with them can you? Nowadays they take off her shoes and jackets and search her just as they do me whenever the damned bleeper goes off. Which it does quite frequently, because I always forget some bibs and bobs in my pockets. And even though it’s normally change or baby hair-clips, the look on the officer’s face goes from a friendly one to a suddenly suspicious one.
The next five days will be hectic and I already have a headache just from thinking about it. My wish is to blink and have it all done and ready. I need to hire my own personal genie this time of the year.