“Don’t they know it’s Christmas?” I’m sure you know a song about that...
The song was going
round and round in my head all day yesterday on account of the fact that my Little Sister, her fella and I had determined, in face of the looming (and glooming) Lockdown that we would celebrate Christmas Day a little early this year.
I have lots of great blog material from my long weekend break with which to regale you but today I will concentrate on Christmas. As in, yesterday. Didn’t you know it was Christmas?
I was sitting in the conservatory nursing my first mug of coffee of the day yesterday morning when my Little Sister arrived in the scene, all decked out in a Christmas jumper,
carrying a bag full of paper crowns and a large scarecrow-lookalike dressed as Santa. Didn’t I know it was Christmas? she reminded me. I did say it was a pity I hadn’t been forewarned that Christmas was in November 1st this year as I would have
packed my own Christmas jumper, with the word “Jolly” emblazoned across the chest. My brother-in-law offered me a choice of one of several of his own jumpers but, while appropriately grateful, I decided that the red jumper I had packed would probably
be suitably seasonal. I did however select a small silver hat from the contents of the carrier bag which my sister had tipped our, somewhat recklessly, on the floor.
This, as it happened, was just the start. My sister led us into the living room to discover - guess what? - “he” had been! There were three woolly socks, each tied with tinsel and a festive label, laid out in the fireplace, one for each
of us. Mine contained a chocolate biscuit, a flashing badge, a sweet Christmas decoration and the traditional satsuma in the toe of the sock. Oh, yes, and a rather gift of flashing lights which will enable me to transform my two special empty wine bottles,
souvenirs of our Golden Wedding four years ago, into table decorations. I’d admired my hosts’ flashing bottles on my first evening at theirs and asked if they could tell me where they had bought them so I could get some for myself. They had skirted
round giving me an answer - because, had I but known it, they had immediately ordered another set for me from the Amazon Jungle which delivered in time for Christmas!
After this I was taken on a walk around some of my sister’s favourite benches. This proves, if proof were needed, that my sister and I are still, as we always have been, on the same wavelength. I too, have to stop to read any benches erected in
memory of People Unknown But Well Loved when I am out for a walk. The benches we visited were all rather splendid being carved with animals, flowers, leaves - and, in one case, a row of beach huts and a seaside train. Interestingly, although it was Christmas
Day, there was a surprising lack of people parading their new Christmas presents so we couldn’t play my favourite game on a Christmas walk, spotting the new bike, scooter, dolls pram or whatever. Didn’t they know it was Christmas?
Quite a bit later, we set to making this year’s Christmas puddings, one each, to our dear Mum’s recipe, written out in her beautiful handwriting on a small scrap of paper.
My Little Sister tackled making the breadcrumbs and I did my best to chop the almonds but mostly the preparation was weighing and mixing. Plus, of course, the all important Making a Wish While Stirring the Pudding. This ritual was made even more special when
we were joined on FaceTime by my niece Debbie and her daughter Amy, both of whom we instructed to close their eyes and make a wish while we stirred on their behalf. My sister, who has an eye for detail, even made sure to stir the pudding with her left hand
when her left handed granddaughter made her Virtual Wish on a Pudding.
There was a potential problem when we read the final line of our Mum’s recipe to discover
that the puddings needed to be steamed for five to six hours - it was nearly 7 o’clock before we finished chopping, mixing, stirring and wishing. My sister valiantly said she would stay up until they were cooked and would send me up to bed at the usual
Who knows what will happen this Christmas? Who knows who will be seated around our table, open presents with us, and pull crackers containing silly
jokes, paper hats and gifts that nobody will ever remember to take home with them? I’ve even heard some people say they plan to cancel Christmas altogether this year.
Don’t they know it’s Christmas? Lockdowns may come and Lockdowns may go - but nobody will be able to take away the memory of our Early Christmas 2020.