We overslept this morning (naughty but nice) and as a result the dinner is going to be far later than usual. Never mind it is as broad as it is long and dinner is happily cooking away in the ovens at the moment. Thus far we have had a very pleasant time of it. Neither of us has eaten a thing as we want to savour the Turkey and the accompaniments as it is only once a year we have the opportunity of this and I doubt we will want much by the time we have finished but simplest at its best. I grew up in a home where one was respectful of the cook's efforts. Mum used to do all the hard work and when I was able to I helped. We were never allowed to eat anything no nibbles, no this and that before eating Christmas dinner. Afterwards the nibbles used to be put out for later on if we wanted them and then we had tea to get through as well. I remember how big those meals were when I was a youngster and how the heck we got through the amount of food that we did I will never know but these days my appetite and that of OH is significantly reduced to what it was. After dinner the ladies were always allowed to put their feet up for a cuppa and a natter whilst the men of the family and some of us older children set too with the washing up and drying by tea towel. Once done the men would go back to sitting down and would often nod off to sleep. Whilst the ladies would be back in the kitchen sorting a bit of tea and getting it so that all needed to be done was brought into the tea table and a bit of a sit down.
As I am typing this up in the computer room the smell of food is wafting upwards (the kitchen is underneath the computer room) and it is making me hungry. However I am going to be a good girl and wait. We have planned, Turkey with streaky bacon, pigs in blankets, home made cranberry and Grand Marnier sauce, bread sauce, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, brussels, peas, and carrots with lashings of home made gravy. then home made Christmas pud if we have room.
Today of all the days for me is the main family day of the year when you are either with your nearest or dearest or thinking of them. A day of celebration.
Second to that is the legend of St Nicholas (Santa Claus) and the gift giving all of which is delightful and full of imagination which is the icing on the cake but not the real reason for Christmas. Like so many things in this country the different celebrations whether folk, pagan, Spiritual, Christian, Catholic are all intertwined and one and the same in this country in particular but at the end of the day it is a celebration of the light coming into the world.
I hope all of you were good and received some nice pressies. I certainly have two very practical gifts from my OH another pair of Uggs and another Marmot jacket. Both keep me toasty and warm which is a main consideration in the things I do these days. OH bought me the same last year bless him; a complete surprise but he has rather spoiled me as the coat is the warmest I have ever had and the boots on my tender feet are magic and oh so comfortable and they have given me so much relief. The comfiest I have ever had. Its surprising how things change as when I was younger I had different priorities; but as you get older you get more practical or should I say the body dictates that you are more practical; but everything in its turn and I am very grateful.
My surprise present to the OH was an antique silver pocket watch with a silver fob chain; a full Hunter with a second hand on it. When my stepson married at the beginning of September his now wife bought him a modern pocket watch to wear with his three piece suit as a surprise gift with a personal engraving on the case. OH was quite taken with this and bearing in mind there is not often something that he would like I took note of this and started to source one for him and had one heck of a job. In the end I sourced the watch and the chain separately and both are simply, classy have been well loved. He is over the moon with it which I am pleased about on two counts. He had not said what he would like for Christmas (very difficult he is here) and I was not sure that I was actually doing the right thing.
As I have said before Christmas is the main time of the year when we "roll the boat out". We are lucky to be able to do this but one year is always very different to another. Next year things will be a bit tougher but you have to take the rough with the smooth and make the most of what you have and who you have. So therefore gather your family in, whether they be birth family, relatives or extended family. Treasure the time together and the little differences as when they are not there it leaves a big space in your life.
So here's to all my family and friends I raise a toast to you and say thank you for putting up with me for yet another year.