As Christmas Dinner, lovingly cooked by Michael, works its way through my system just enough for me to contemplate cracking open the chocolate orange my mate Barbara bought for me, I have decided to break from the age-old tradition of crashing out in front of the TV by blogging instead.
Michael’s parents are currently sunning it up in Sri Lanka. They like to get away from it all at Christmas, and who can blame them? I stopped going over to my family’s for Christmas as soon as I had a good enough excuse not to. Although I have a good relationship with Mum, and a fairly good relationship with Gran, there are other relatives who, how to put this politely, I don’t much care for. So as soon as I had a better place to be than listening for the umpteenth time how I’m letting myself down for this, that, and the other reason and expecting me to be all smiles and good hair I was off.
Old family christmases used to start with the presents, wrapped as lovingly as they deserved, and greetings scribbled directly on the wrap (why waste money buying tags?). Then there was the dinner, where we’d gather round the best table that was only ever brought out for Christmas, laugh at the increasing senility of my Grandad, laugh at Mum forgetting to serve the stuffing, and watch with awe as Gran would declare herself full to bursting after one slice of turkey and a sprout. It was the same every damn year. The venue changed a couple of times, my Dad was replaced by some hideous creature that couldn’t keep his hands to himself, but as long as Grandad was there being daft and Auntie Hazel kept calling fizzy Country Manor ‘champagne’ and stood up and saluted when the Queen’s Speech came on, Christmas was Christmas was Christmas, whether I was 8 or 18.
Grandad died in 1993, and Auntie Hazel now lives in a care home and barely knows her own family. Mum and the hideous creature parted company a few years later, and I flew the nest and found a new family set up – Michael, me and the cats. We are very fortunate when it comes to our family Christmas. We only have ourselves to entertain. We don’t have to worry about keeping children amused, parents impressed or distant relatives at bay. Christmas for us is like going into hibernation. We came back from a visit to Michael’s Gran on Thursday, closed the front door and vowed to not set foot out of the house again until we had a damn good reason to.
Whatever you and yours are doing today, enjoy it. Christmas greetings to you all from the PigPog Hibernation Hole 🙂