Thursday, 8 December 2011


Good evening, folks, from a fairly warm Corfu, Tis the season to be jolly or is it? So many people I have spoken to this year have told me the same thing. Christmas no longer holds any meaning for them. Leaving the religious issue aside, Christmas, for most, used to mean a time of joy, families getting together, good food and the sharing of gifts as symbolic representation of the birth of Christ. As a child, I used to adore Christmas. I reveled in the smells wafting from the kitchen. All homemade in those days, folks. My mother made her own cake, mince pies, puddings, own stuffing, fresh turkey. Of course, a few French delicacies where added. My mother made the most scrumptious liver pate and a salmon mousse for which she is renowned on four corners of the globe. Long after I believed in Santa, it was still a thrill waking up to exciting packages under the tree. As children growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, Christmas and birthdays was the time for receiving that gift you’d longed for all year. There was none of this, don’t worry, dear, mum will order it on Amazon – all-year-round spoiling that goes on today. The amount of money spent nowadays on unnecessary food and mountains of gifts is, quite frankly, in my opinion, obscene.
Oh I hear the battle cry go up – but you would do the same if you had the money. I beg to differ. I do not share this modern obsession with collecting ‘stuff’ just because I can. And where is the joy and thought that used to go into Christmas shopping? Again, back to my youth. Walking through the town with my sisters, to the background chorus of Christmas carols, choosing one totally useless but straight from the heart present for our mother – usually a gift box of Yardley soap and talc but she loved it. Now, I have even heard of folk calling each other up, Next catalogue open on their knees while they tell each other what to buy for themselves. Oh tidings of great joy – not!
Christmas should be about {again, I am not getting into a religious discussion} sharing quality time with friends and family, enjoying good food without excess and raising a glass {or two} to the promise of a better year. So folks, I dare you. Fill your kids’ stocking with a tangerine and a handful of walnuts, cancel the enormous Toys R Us and Amazon order, snuggle up with a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine and shove in a dvd of It’s a Wonderful Life.