Like much of life over the past few months, Christmas is likely to be a rather a different, ‘alternative’ affair for us this year.
It’s true to say that over recent years I’ve re-evaluated Christmas anyway, having decided the whole season had been blown out of proportion, and this year brings further limitations.
A few years back I ‘culled’ my Christmas card list, deciding that although it was lovely to remember certain people at this time of year, it was pointless to continue sending greetings to those that I haven’t clapped eyes on since circa 1976! The present list also underwent cutbacks, with the ruthlessness of a struggling chancellor (make of that comment what you will), with only my nearest and dearest on the receiving end of my gifts.
Then there was the whole issue of how much time I wanted to spend in the kitchen. I love a bit of baking when I’m in the mood for it, but don’t want to spend the Christmas season closeted in the kitchen, wiping my fevered brow! This year I don’t even have a kitchen, just an old workbench with a tabletop oven and an old dresser that has to house all necessary crockery as well as basic food items. I will cook our turkey crown and small gammon joint on Christmas Eve leaving just some potatoes and veg to sort out on the big day, when I will make use of some of the great shop-bought desserts that are around.
We may be ‘glamping’ in our glorified shed, but we will still have some family round for the day, after all, Christmas should primarily be about people and not things. Ok we’ll all have to crowd round our meagre heaters to keep warm, but no doubt we’ll be helped along by the odd dram of Christmas spirits. The surroundings may be strange, but I’m sure the atmosphere will be as jolly as ever.
And of course, this will be our first country Christmas, making it easy to have a scenic stroll to combat any excesses, although I have to admit, I’ve cut back greatly on the food shopping too. Years ago I did sometimes get carried away with Christmas food shopping, but have modified this in recent times and even more so this year due to lack of storage space.
So as I prepare to celebrate Christmas in my new ‘almost home’, I’ll be looking forward to some family time, accompanied by a modest dinner and the odd glass of cherry brandy, absorbing my new surroundings and just enjoying the moment.