The house is beginning to be covered in decorations both old and new. Every year I sneak off to Emzo's, the little shop of delights run by the daughters of the local iron merchant down the road, and add more to my hoard. Putting it on account as "goods" which may or may not be attributed to garden or chickens as the need arises in the New Year when we get the monthly bill.
Each room has a colour scheme. Oranges, reds, gold, autumn browns and green in the drawing room, ice white and crystals in the dining room with shocking blood red berries everywhere plus the family of penguins who always adorn the table. Red and green in the kitchen and hallway. And blazing lights and paper chains in the TV room. Every inch of it fake my only concession to my husband who cannot stand Christmas trees and the like. My I have come a long way from the sophisticated white painted twigs I was forced to endure at the beginning of my married life, having the boys means I can indulge in my every Christmas fantasy saying it's all for the children!
I have a lot of traditions that I follow:
- Wishing on the first mince pie of the season (those before advent counted as last year)
- Going to the midnight service and earning a lie in! (OK so that one's out for the time being as the kids do have a tendency to wake a tad early....)
- Always having the Penguin Family as centre piece on the dining table each one reverently taken out of the cabinet where they reside all year
- Always using my Grandmother's crockery for the Christmas table
- Always allowing Dad/Grandpa to boil the brandy and set it alight for the Christmas pud - it takes forever and always lands up over running the Queen's Speech!
- Taking the dogs on their Christmas day walk
- Never forgetting the Queen's Speech even if we do land up catching her at 6pm rather than 3pm owing to mishaps in the kitchen with burning brandy!
- Smoked salmon blinis and champagne for starters
- "Big" soup and freshly baked bread for supper in front of the family movie
- Dogs in beds as a Christmas treat - sorry, no wait that's an every night occurrence!!!