Been ages eh?
I bet you thought this blog was over with but I’ve just been a tad overwhelmed with other stuff. Why does writing always feel like the last thing you should be doing.
Anyway, here’s a festive ramble…a bit of a rant to exorcise a Yuletide ghost or few…
‘You’ve spoiled my Christmas,’ he said.
I was distraught. How could I have been so cruel? Christmas was clearly a lot more important than I’d ever realised. I’d grown up a Jewish kid, I just didn’t know this stuff. Clearly spoiling Christmas was a big deal, I vowed never to do it again.
I asked what other festive rules I needed to learn. I’d accidentally spoiled that first should-have-been-special Christmas by being too tired to go to a party on Christmas Eve. Who knew they were compulsory?
I tried a lot harder the following year. I began planning in, ooh, September. I bought all those glossy mags for perfect housewives. They were full of hints and tips to make the perfect Christmas. I read all the recipes and decorating ideas, I absorbed the requirements of the season.
‘What would you like for Christmas Dinner this year?’ I asked lovingly. ‘We can ring the changes if you like, try something new?’
‘I don’t care, do whatever you like.’
So I did. I don’t like Christmas Pudding very much, it’s a bit heavy after all that meat and potatoes, I thought an ice cream might be lighter. I compared and compiled recipes from all those mags (yeah, pre-Google) and created a masterpiece. It was light and luscious, boozy and fruity and nutty and sublime on a hot mince pie. He loved it.
‘Where’s the pudding though?’
‘This is pudding.’
‘Yes, but the real pudding, the one with brandy butter, is it in the kitchen?’
‘Well, no, I thought we’d have this instead.’
I’d spoiled Christmas.
One year I spoiled Christmas by being a shift worker, the next I spoiled Christmas by being a stay-at-home Mum. It was like an annual rerun of that day at school when they made me play rounders but didn’t tell me the rules.
The day I watched him walk down the path, carrying the suitcases I’d packed for him, I thought, ‘Thank goodness someone else will spoil Christmas this year.’
Christmasses now? Quiet, happy, relatively unspoiled. Apparently it doesn’t have to be my fault…the whole ‘no Santa once you’ve grown up’ thing.
But there are new rules. One of them is that there must be ice cream for pud.
Another is that someone will accuse me of spoiling their Christmas, but it’s ok. They’re joking. And I can actually laugh.