Because, to all of you online today, it means I can say this: Happy Christmas, and I hope you’re having a wonderful day, and that things are going swimmingly, you’re surrounded by the people you love, and you’re giving and receiving wonderful things.
As we speak I am probably: getting out of bed and opening a book or two in lieu, this year, of a stocking (no chocolate nor nuffink because I’m a big girl now…); then breakfast (don’t you find breakfast on Christmas day is always really boring because it’s not like there’s a special Christmas Breakfast you can have so you’re just chewing through your porridge or whatever and thinking Presentspresentspresentspresents!; then we’ll all dress and a delegation of us will go to Church (this is the second year in my life that I’ll have gone to church on Christmas Day (fingers crossed); and then we’ll settle into my aunt’s sitting room for, well, the presents, me and my parents and my sister, aunt and uncle, cousins, grandmother, and the tree. There will probably be coffee and too much chocolate and things – how many times will we all be told to watch our appetites? and probably Bailey’s before too long, to be quite honest. The meal, and attendant preparation, crackers and hats and whatnot before the walk over the Common and back again, recounting anecdotes from all the many times we’ve done this walk on this day before, and back to madrigals and charades and other games and musical entertainments and too much to drink probably on all of our parts and eventually bed.
What do you do at Christmas? Because it’s weird, there are so many traditions, and you kind of assume that Christmas day is roughly the same for everyone, but some of my friends see cauliflower cheese as a traditional side dish to the Christmas Day meal, and/or yorkshire puddings; we have never watched the Queen’s Speech and I don’t expect that we ever will (I always half mean to, out of curiousity, but I never have); and I suppose there are plenty of people who don’t play charades or sing madrigals or go for a walk but do something equally eccentric instead. Actually our most eccentric family tradition is to do the 1812 overture and where there should be canons being set off, to have party poppers instead – so we’re all given a supply of two or three, and my uncle conducts us to set them off one by one or all together, waving frantically at us to indicate (somehow) what is supposed to happen. It’s hilarious and it can work really well but equally it can be just a disaster, albeit a well-meaning, amusing and wonderful sort of a disaster. Last time we all did it my uncle was pretty drunk, which was very funny, although I believe he then went to ‘have a nap’, and promptly passed out… .
Anyway, as I type, I still haven’t tidied my room, and I still haven’t put on any music… Once again, a very happy Christmas to you all, and all best wishes for the coming year.