There are hardly any food wise, but there are left over thoughts about this holiday.
Firstly we ate and drank far less than ever before. The meal was simple and afterwards we played cards.
This is a huge thing for me. My memories of childhood card and board games are the stuff of nightmares. Uncles egging us on when playing Monopoly and then losing the plot and calling us stupid if we did not win, or ended up in jail. There was nothing fun, it was competitive and each one of us was constantly being compared to the current winner, who, if they lost a round would be the next victim….so sitting with the girls and the boy, playing cards and laughing was a thrill.
We exercised a lot, at least youngest and I did. She ran 15 k on Christmas morning and I went with her, on the bike….We then did a parkrun this morning, my first ever 5 k. She was finished before I started my third round and came to meet me for the last bit. Brilliant to share that with her. (I had to walk 3 times, but as 3.5 is my longest distance to date, it was still an achievement).
We had fewer gifts than ever before and all of them were useful and had thought put into them.
We spoke to loved ones the world over, Japan, Australia and Belgium.
We watched very little TV and I actually studied yesterday….
So the (leftover) memories of this Christmas are happy. There was none of the pressure of years gone by. The expensive gifts that sometimes were never used, or lost!!
The next few days are for study. Exams loom for two of us and a dissertation for one…..
Tonight I have blanched the sprouts….am about to tackle the chestnuts and will then make the stuffing balls. Pork mince with pancetta, lemon zest and chestnuts….a once a year fiddle that is worth every mouthful.
We have yet to sit, four at the table, to eat since the girls and the boy arrived. Looks like tonight it might not happen either. Still, nothing is wasted.
This has still been the most cost efficient, low key Christmas in years and I am feeling proud. We also managed to fill a bag for the Food Bank today.
We don’t need extravagance and so many need the basics.
At this time of the year we often stuff ourselves with ‘treats’ in the build up to Christmas and with food reserved for the big day…consuming booze and basically anything that we can get away with having in the name of the season….
Today at the local, four of us had ‘Christmas Lunch’. A chicken and avocado wrap, chips and a G&T for £4.99 for me!! I am a true Bah Humbug! sort. Yes we have a little tree, yes one or two get cards, yes, the girls get gifts, usually pajamas and running gear and maybe socks….things they need and will USE, but we do not do fairy lights all over the garden, insane shopping and more and more this time of year serves to remind me of the lonely, cold, hungry, terrified, ill and displaced.
In the pub today an elderly man went down, hard. I went to help him. He was frail and unstable on his pins and had a stick. Fortunately he was on his bottom, no damage done but he was so unsteady when back on his feet, we called for another male customer to get him to the loos, where he was headed. I asked him, after checking he was ok, if he was at the pub with friends and he responded by saying that he had no friends. He smelt of urine and was obviously having difficulty managing his personal hygiene and it made me realise how hypocritical it is to be ‘giving’ at Christmas, which amounts to stuff and not giving more all year round in the form of help, support and volunteering.
The lovely ladies I was with all volunteer, meals on wheels, shopping trips for the elderly and more. Bless them. The old chap managed to get back to his seat to finish his drink. Bless him too.