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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nearly that time of year

Christmas is nearly upon us and I'm indebted to Melissa for reminding me about the crackers, which I still haven't bought yet.

I will be scampering off to Marks & Spencer in the dark of night (well it opens at 6am) to get my crackers, turkey crown and some other oddments, then to Sainsbury's for the rest of the stuff (two selection boxes, the pork pie no-one will eat, and more wrapping paper because I fear we will run out and J hasn't even started on my presents yet).

Christmas in my family was always steeped in loony traditions and I am determined to uphold some of them. Viz a viz:
- on Christmas Eve you have to have sausage rolls and baked beans (J not keen on this one, even if the sausage rolls come from Marks & Spencer);
- on Christmas Eve I have to have a whiskey and milk to help me sleep. This one started when I was a kid - it makes you wonder what else used to go in the dummy, apart from rose hip syrup, and how it is I have any teeth at all now;
- on Christmas Day the presents are handed out by me, and preceded by a few chocolate biscuits from a Cadbury's tin;
- paper hats from the crackers must be worn all day. In the photo above, dating from around 1982, I'm competing with my Granddad for the prize. In the photo below, dating from oooh, a long time ago! - we were all doing very well - hats still on at tea-time;
- festive films should ideally include Scrooge with Alastair Sim;
- someone always turns into Victor Meldrew (someone male, I hasten to add). As it is just J and me on Christmas Day, I suspect it will be him. Probably when I decline his invitation to watch Band of Brothers, Hornblower or Hancock - all the dvds I am giving him, creating a rod for my own back, as my mother would say.

When I was a kid, there were other traditions including pillow cases instead of stockings; an enormous tea just hours after the enormous roast capon, and inevitably featuring: trifle and/or a peach gateau on Christmas Day, with the peaches aquaplaning down the Dream Topping; chicken sandwiches; home-made cream slices and meat patties (making use of the bulk quantities of Jus Rol pastry).

So all that remains is to charge your scooners with sherry and let's have a peaceful, happy Christmas!

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