Sunday 25 December 2011

Traditions old and new

Still with the Christmas stockings, the healthy breakfast spurned in favour of chocolate, deliberately unlabelled gifts under the tree that no-one could identify; plus someone who shall be nameless who turned out to be too fat for a Santa suit: no comment. Pine needles and scented lilies.

Then acrimonious squabbling over the Secret Santa rules, a long cheerful dinner at cobbled-together tables with ham and salmon and baby carrots but no gravy (forgotten) and no herbs in the stuffing balls (forgotten); and pavlova with raspberries and strawberries, and pudding with sauce but no brandy butter (forgotten). And feeble cracker jokes (a locomotive made of toffee? A chew-chew train) but no solemn toast to Absent Friends (shamefully forgotten this year). But new friends at the table, Rosa from Honduras (where there are 7 million people and only one McDonald's) and Andrea from Seattle (really? We went there last year!) and Skyping to a prettily frigid Winnipeg and phoning a damp and dismal Lancashire.

Then home with a share of the left-overs for a nap in the sun, the Queen's Message, toffee and chocolates, Tim Minchin, Graham Norton, the Royal Variety Performance with two Kiwis - Hayley Westenra and the Boy with Tape on his Face - and no ads. It'll do.

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