Once upon a time, there lived two pigs who were neighbours in a village called Muddsville. They were called Percy and Pansy. Percy loved Christmas, and spent all year planning everything: what the starter, main and dessert would be; what games to get everyone to play; and the perfect present for everyone. Everything had to be just so.
Pansy also loved Christmas but she took a more laid-back approach. She loved hosting for friends and family on the special day, oh yes. And she spent quite a lot on food and drink, oh yes. But she realised that Christmas Day would never be perfect, simply because no day could ever be perfect. And nobody is perfect either.
Percy spend most of Christmas Eve night double- and triple- checking that all the food was just right. He re-wrapped a few presents that were just a little untidy. He swept all of the floors while his family slept. He had a restless night, worrying over details, and woke up bleary-eyed and headachey in Christmas Day. When his three little piglets ran into his room first thing, he asked his wife to get him some painkillers and a very strong cup of tea. It was going to be a long day. His kids loved their presents, but he worried that they were making too much mess with the wrapping paper and bows.
‘I supposed I should sweep the floors just one more time before everyone arrives,’ he thought to himself with a sigh.
Pansy woke up with her two little piglets jumping in her bed to give her a cuddle. They opened their stockings, and she let them eat all of the sweets and chocolate that they liked. She hugged them hard, realising that soon they wouldn’t be so little, and there weren’t many Christmasses left when they would want to wake her early for a hug. Her family had a lazy breaskfast of toast and jam while watching ‘Stick man’ on telly. She suddenly realised that guests would be arriving soon, but there was always time for a nice soak in the bath first.
Percy’s family and friends had a very good Christmas. The food was delicious and the expensive presents were much appreciated. But Percy felt sad. His Christmas was not perfect. Great Aunt Pollyanna fell asleep during charades and knocked over an expensive bottle of wine. Percy spent ages cleaning the floor. Baby Poppy cried when her parents opened the doll that Percy had spent ages trawling the shops for. Why couldn’t she be more grateful? Grandad Pig drank too much ale and made a fool of himself. Percy went to bed early that night. Where had it all gone wrong? Next year he would just have to try harder.
Pansy left the turkey in the oven too long, so everyone had to have extra potatoes. Uncle Peter accidently opened one of Aunt Petunia’s gifts, and insisted on wearing her frilly pink housecoat for the rest of the day. Two of the cousins fell out over a cracker and had to have a time-out.
When all the guests had gone home that evening, Pansy sat down with her husband on the messy sofa and yawned.
“How do you think that went?” He asked.
“Well… just about perfect,” she smiled. “Now let’s get to bed. The cleaning can wait ’til tomorrow.”