Alison Goulding: Cameron never messes up Christmas

That's the way to do it: Diaz in The Holiday
That's the way to do it: Diaz in The Holiday
Have your say

IS it possible to love Christmas without being very good at it?

While I excel at the spirit of Christmas i.e. eating mince pies and wearing knitted jumpers, I definitely fall short when it comes to the technical skills it requires.

In my view, wrapping presents is exceedingly difficult, dangerous even, and should not be done without police supervision.

I’ve never managed it yet without sticking my hands together, poking holes in the paper, damaging the gifts slightly and spilling tea everywhere – probably because I insist on watching telly at the same time.

This year I was going to turn it off and concentrate, but then a Katy Perry special came on and I savaged my fingers with the scissors while Teenage Dream was playing.

After I’d stemmed the bleeding it still took ages because I kept misjudging the amount of paper needed per present, mummifying them in eight layers and then struggling to fold it up neatly at the ends.

Nor can I rely on the presents inside to save me from Christmas defeat.

All year long I have thought about what to get everyone, but when it comes down to it I leave it far too late and end up bulk-buying biscuits in attractive tins. Not a terrible present, granted, but definitely lacking in imagination.

The cards are the next stumbling block. My handwriting is truly awful, a drunken spider scrawl across the card that veers wildly from one side to the other and somehow manages to look vaguely offensive. “Merry Christmas Jo” gives of the same vibes as hardcore terrorist graffiti.

It wasn’t just me being fussy either – my friends at work opened the envelopes politely and then sniggered heartlessly at the dodgy scribbles inside.

The other taint to my festive pedigree is not knowing the words to any Christmas carols. I can do the first few lines and then I have to rely entirely on tralalalalalas to get me through.

Maybe that’s why I love Christmas films so much. Cameron Diaz in a cream woolly jumper never messes up Christmas – and if she does it’s always fixed within the 90 minutes before the credits roll.

In fact, my total lack of Christmas ability is making me really worried. It’s a competitive world out there and I feel my odds of staying on the Christmas committee are not good if I can’t even make a holly wreath.

It’s probably the one thing I haven’t inherited from Ma Goulding, who, in a fit of absolute smugness, bought all her presents in November and sent out her beautifully-written cards weeks ago.

On Christmas Eve she’s going to waft around the market buying little bits and pieces to add to a simple, yet chic, family dinner and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind she’ll wake up well rested and serene on the big day itself, with her Christmas outfit all laid out and ironed.

The only thing I can do is keep calm and carry on doing my best.

The tree is up, the glittery deer is hanging on the front door and I’ve got tinsel ready to torment the horses with.

If I’m low on skill I’m 10 out of 10 for effort.