You don’t know me.
Well, you do. But you mostly ignore me.
I’m November 25th. Pleased to meet you.
You probably know my brother, Chris (aka December 25th, although he doesn’t go for the formal nomenclature all that much). He’s very popular.
Loud. Gaudy. Life And Soul Of The Party.
I’m more the quiet type. Blink and you’ll miss me. No tinsel for me. I prefer a comfy pair of slippers, thanks very much. If I’m being really daring I might wear orange socks.
Chris, on the other hand… Well, you can’t miss Chris. And he comes earlier every year, have you noticed? Everyone gets very excited about him. ‘Ooh, can’t wait.’ ‘Thought we’d do a goose this year.’ ’The kids are uncontrollable.’ ‘Have you seen that John Lewis ad?’
And then when he finally arrives you all go a bit loopy, to be honest. Cartloads of food that you don’t eat at any other time of the year, booze, obscene numbers of presents, Leroy bloody Anderson and all the rest of it.
The funny thing is, I bet most of you don’t even know what Chris is all about. Underneath it all, he’s very complex, for all that external brashness.
Me? Well, I’m relatively simple, really. Nothing particularly memorable happened on me. Just like plenty of other days.
I’m Independence Day in Suriname. I suppose that counts for something.
Oh, and The Mousetrap opened on me in 1952.
Trouble is, no matter how hard I try, I’ll always be the little brother. In Chris’s shadow, so to speak. And everyone’s so excited nowadays about Chris arriving that they forget about me. I get swallowed up. I’m just another of those greyish windy days you struggle through while you’re waiting for Chris to arrive.
Last year, I thought, it’ll be different. Something big will happen on me to divert everyone’s attention for just one fleeting moment from my overbearing big brother.
Bernard Matthews died.
Typical. Chris gets his tentacles into everything.
So it goes.
It’s the same for all of us. All the Novembers. We don’t want special treatment. But spare us a thought.
Take tomorrow – November 18th.
The end of the Battle of the Somme, the consecration of St. Peter’s, the approval of the new South African constitution. Birthday of Carl Maria von Weber, Alec Issigonis, Margaret Atwood, Linda Evans and Kim Wilde.
A solid day. An old-fashioned no-nonsense, all-round day.
The kind of day you can take home to meet your parents.
But will anyone be celebrating?
Well, maybe the Mini Owners Club.
Please don’t get me wrong. I like Chris. He’s good fun, great at parties, and has a heart of gold.
But he does tend to muscle in rather.
And you lot only encourage him.
So do us a favour. Just a small one.
Pick a November day. Any one will do. And tell your friends how much you’re looking forward to it. Then, when it arrives, wave a flag or something. Or bake a cake.
You’ll make a small day very happy.