Well, here we are again…….another wonderfulChristmas bites the dust and I am thinking hard about New Year Resolutions. I LOVE Christmas time and absolutely everything that goes with it from the food, to the people, to the silly games and hats, to trivia, to pass the parcel, to crackers and the silly jokes, to the Queen’s Speech on Christmas day, to Morris dancers and the countryside, eating far too much, the excitement of children, bad taste Christmas Jumpers (sweaters), Holly and Mistletoe, wearing boots and scarves and being able to see your breath……..although this year was the mildest Christmas ever…….I could go on!
The Wednesday before Christmas I went into London where my niece was singing in St James Church in Piccadilly. A wonderfully old church designed by Sir Christopher Wren and set in a lovely part of London. The lights were wonderful and the sounds of music from street players and piped music from the shops could be heard everywhere, aromas from street vendors and restaurants tempted the palate and the windows of the stores were amazing, always spectacular and clearly a long time in the making as each store attempts to bigger and better than the next and bigger and better than last year. The whole of Leicester Square had been transformed into a funfair with a big wheel and stalls and a hug Coca Cola Bus with Santa giving away free cans of coke. It was noisy and bustling and everyone was having a wonderful time. The concert was excellent and certainly started the Christmas for me.
I never cease to be amazed at how much time is spent in the preparation leading up to the event only for it all to over so soon. Here in England has been nice because Boxing Day fell on Saturday Monday is also a bank holiday in lieu of that so it has been a 4 day holiday. Of course, on Boxing Day many stores were open with sales galore and people were out shopping for bargains. Not me though, I want to keep the holiday spirit as long as possible so will be avoiding shopping for as long as possible and continuing enjoying time with family and friends.
Christmas is a much bigger celebration here than in America and Boxing Day which is the day after Christmas Day and so named from the olden days when the gentry would send their servants home for the day with boxes of leftover food for their families, and is also a bank holiday. Of course, I remember when everything would close for the holiday which gave families time to be together and if had forgotten to buy something, it was tough luck, nowadays there are always shops open, even on Christmas Day……a Godsend really because one of the toys with undoubtedly need batteries which of course, you do not have in the house and the recipient of the said toy will burst into tears until batteries are found. There have been many years spent searching for a shop that is open, good times!
Traditionally there are crackers on the table that are pulled before we eat just so we can all wear the silly hats found within, many people can still be found wearing the hats late into the evening albeit by this time a little worn around the edges and at a jaunty angle. Along with the hats will be an extremely silly joke like :
What happened to the man who stole an Advent Calendar?
He got 25 days!
What do vampires sing on New Year’s Eve?
Old Fangs Syne!
They are very corny and seldom do not improve with the telling, but Christmas lunch wouldn’t be complete without the chorus of groans that the corny cracker jokes always provoke.
The turkey will have been in the oven overnight and will fill the house with a wonderful aroma which is mixed with warm mince pies, gammon, roast potatoes and stuffing…..possibly my favourite lunch of the year.
Christmas puddings will have been made in August or even kept from the previous year and topped with a generous amount of brandy which to the delight of everyone around the table will be set alight, cue for lots of oohs and aahs, lights are always switched off to give a greater effect.The pudding will be served with brandy butter and cream, for those who do not care for the pudding there will be a good old English trifle, again laced with brandy or a good dollop of sherry! Not the healthiest of meals but oh boy, it is fabulous.
The Queen’s speech is always on at 3pm on Christmas afternoon and in general everything will stop for this and everyone will listen, I can remember this from being very young and this tradition continues in most households today although if lunch goes on later we have the option of catch up or recording it to watch later, how times change!
I was in Worcester for Christmas, a gorgeous part of the country and I was tucked away in a place called Holt, deep in the countryside. On Boxing Day we drove out to a stately home which of course was closed to the public but has the most glorious walks, always a good idea after overindulging the previous day. Ending up in a country pub miles from anywhere with hops hanging from the rafters and lots of happy chatter ended to outing perfectly. Oh and on the way we came across the traditional Morris Dancers doing their stuff in the village. That was great fun and we could not resist the temptation to join in when invited……
The journey home was exceptionally good considering there were hundreds of cars all travelling in the same direction as us, we had to slow down occasionally but no being stuck in a jam for hours which was great. Four hours saw us back home, unpacked and relaxing at 8:30pm.
As I write this blog I can see into the where the sun is shining, the sky is blue and it is a perfect day to walk along the seafront to meet friends for lunch. Family are coming for lunch tomorrow which means I will be getting the cook books out again and finding a recipe which bears no resemblance to Christmas whatsoever….but we will have silly crackers!!!!!
I have been following the activities in Lake Worth and you might know that a part of my heart was there but we have booked our return flights and will be back unusually early in 4 weeks WOOHOO!!!!!
Going to see Wicked in London on New Year’s Eve and back in time to celebrate the New Year in style with family and friends.
I hope the New Year is amazing for all my wonderful friends in Lake Worth, I hope it brings such happiness, good health, peace and contentment to everyone.