If you’re a ‘no mention until December the 22nd now get that rotten tinsel away from me!’ sort of person, you may want to look away now because I am sooooo excited for Christmas. I can’t help it, the feeling has just come over me, I’m susceptible to that winter merriment that annoys the hell out of some people, but do I give a flying fishcake? Not really.
I’m looking forward to stamping the cold from my feet at the German Christmas market and sipping mulled wine in the twinkling lights of the merry-go-round. To nostrils tingling with the rich spiced scents of star anise and cinnamon. To sitting on my bedroom floor with Michael Buble (not in the flesh you understand, just playing) and a glass of wine, wrapping gifts in crisp festive paper. And to Gwen and Elinor’s annual Christmas extravaganza (ie. dinner party), and seeing all our lovely chums, our wholesome and sustaining, yet thrilling and exciting friends, like bowls of muesli sprinkled with popping candy (have I digressed?), all sitting around my dinning table, chatting and eating and wearing those inexplicably itchy cracker hats. Ah such bliss, such cold itchy bliss!
Throughout her life, my Mum has had this air about her, this way that means wherever she goes people just tell her personal details of their lives, even their whole life stories. And as I stood in the queue in the supermarket on Saturday, minding my own business and buying angel delight, I felt as if I had inherited a little of those genes. The old woman behind me came out and told me all about the Christmases of her past. How when she was young she would come home from university and her mother, who I got the impression she loved very dearly, would ask her to make mince pies to hand out to the people on their street, and her siblings would hang around waiting for off cuts, I know that feeling. And how most years they would go and stay on a farm, but that her mother had become to frail to travel, so she found a big, white gooses’ egg on the farm and took it to the kitchen, weighed it and weighed out the flour, butter and sugar to match and made a chocolate cake, covered it with a jar of cherry pie filling and brought it to her mother. I think it must have been her favourite, because when her mother was finally living in a home she saw a big black forest gateau going for 50p in the local supermarket, she bought it with a stack of party bowls and brought it in for her mother, who shared it out among all her friends in the home, reliving those days when she had handed out festive treats to all her neighbours. You see why I’m always hosting dinner parties? Foodie love makes me stupidly emotional.
Do you find it hard to get into the Christmas spirit? Make something nice this year, and give it to someone. It worked for the lady in the supermarket queue, it works for me, it might just work for you.
Yours in festivity,