Twenty days to go until Christmas.
It’s going to be a funny one. And I don’t mean ‘funny ha ha’.
What are your plans? Are you going for the full 3-household Christmas bubble from 23rd to 27th December? Or will you retreat from the world and use the holiday period as a much-needed excuse to go nowhere and see no-one? Or (what I expect most of us will end up doing), something in between?
I spent Christmas with my parents last year.
This year I’ve decided not to do that. I’ll be seeing them before the Big Day, I try to see them once a month at least – and this year I feel that I need to have Christmas on my own. It’s what I would have chosen to do anyway, without Covid. It’ll be my first Christmas on my own since my husband left, and it needs to be done.
I’ll be putting the decorations up next week, when I have a bit of annual leave. I don’t have a loft, as this house has a ‘proper’ attic (it’s where the lodger lives). Instead there’s a big walk-in cupboard up there, and the decorations are somewhere at the back.
Without a lodger, getting them out is easy – just empty the cupboard into the attic bedroom until the Christmas boxes appear. But I can’t do that when the bedroom’s occupied, so it’s going to be a bit like one of those Chinese tile puzzles, where you move the tiles around and eventually you make a picture (or find the baubles).
I’m working on the 23rd, but on the 24th I plan to follow an Icelandic custom I read about the other day – basically you spend Christmas Eve reading a good book and drinking hot chocolate. That sounds like a plan!!
I’ve suggested to my lodger that we have Christmas dinner together. It seems just a bit odd to be sharing a house with someone and not do that. He would normally have gone home for Christmas (he’s from Spain), but can’t this year, so I think he’s quite happy with that idea too.
I’m going to cook a duck – a turkey is far too big for two, and a chicken is a bit ‘ordinary’. With parsnips, sprouts (my all-time favourite veg), roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pigs in blankets, gravy (made with giblets if I can find a duck that comes with the giblets), and Cumberland sauce. And Christmas pudding for pudding, with an alternative as well (to be decided). You’ve got to have a choice of pudding.
I might see if the lodger wants to contribute the starter – some Spanish tapas might be fun!!
There’ll be wine, and a glass of port to finish (I think I must have been an elderly Victorian gentleman in a past life – I do like a glass of port).
I have to admit I’m not feeling particularly Christmassy yet – although I found myself singing along to ‘Frosty the Snowman’ when it was playing at work the other day…
I don’t celebrate it as a religious festival, but I do enjoy having a house full of family.
Maybe next year.
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