I’ve just come back from a tiny bit of last minute Christmas shopping – a scented candle for my sister and pork pie for my brother in law. In the queue in the butcher’s I met three friends; one picking up a turkey to cook tomorrow with her teenage girls, a very new friend queuing for her free range chicken and a old friend happily accompanied by her grown up son.
There was also a stranger in the queue who was panicking about cooking her first ever turkey, so we all chipped in and gave her the best advice we could – wrap the legs, use the giblets for gravy etc. That’s one of the best things about living in a small town - lives coincide, you constantly bump into people you know, but there are always new people to get to know too. It doesn’t suit everyone but it suits me, I’m essentially a small town girl.
Town was full of people of all ages happily doing their last minute bits and bobs. I especially like the combinations of shoppers you only see at Christmas; older people with grown up children by their side, fathers and sons looking bewildered by shopping lists, and the ubiquitous gaggles of jolly teenage girls heading for New Look.
Christmas gets a lot of stick from all sides as being too commercial or too drunken or too secular, or simply not what it was. But actually I think despite the commercialism and the fol-de-rols, people still regard Christmas as more than simply a couple of weeks off when the weather is bad. It still is a time for family and for friends. It is a time to reflect on the year past and a time to hope we can to do better in the year forward. It is a punctuation point that gives us time out from normal life and an opportunity to recharge out batteries, not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally as well.
When times are hard these things matter even more. There’s a lot of home made stuff going on this year, the TV is full of how to ‘do’ Christmas. But actually we don’t really need instruction; we know how to do Christmas. Every family has its own traditions, and long may that be the case.
So it’s the end of another F & F year. It’s been a bit of a strange one. Hopefully I’ll back to a bit more regular posting in 2012 and maybe a bit later in the year the book will make its debut. In the meantime watch this space and have a very happy healthy and peaceful Christmas.
Moon and Stars Cake
I’ve made a slightly lighter Christmas cake this year and instead of reprising last year’s stained glass decoration I got out my edible glitter and gold powder. It’s easy – cut out the shapes using biscuit cutters, brush with egg white and using a watercolour paintbrush, brush on the edible gold powder. Scatter with glitter. Stick to the icing with more egg white. That’s it. Enjoy.