The two year birthday and other ponders

A friend of mine will be 89 in January. So she has decided that 2007, being her 90th year, will be for her an all-year-round celebration, just in case she doesn’t make the big day. She is planning holidays, parties and general fun. Furthermore, if she does get to the Big Day in as fine form as she is now, she will be able to celebrate being 90 for another whole year. I think this is a great idea and certainly one to follow when I next approach a significant date.

After fine words yesterday about writing cards, it didn’t happen. I spent two hours making wreaths and the Sage, after a strenuous day in London, read the papers. There are more wreaths to make this evening, unhappily. The drawing room carpet is stained with crushed holly berries, although I have put down a sheet. I will not do it in another room, I want to be somewhere where there is a lighted fire and company and television and a place to put a wine glass.

Mail order stuff is piling up, and I do hope it is all right as I haven’t got around to opening it yet to check it. Some stuff still to come, but nothing too important. I have ordered the beef for Christmas day but have done nothing else foodwise. A friend makes us a cake – I would make one, but as she kindly gives us one and it lasts all through January, another would be redundant. I no longer make a pudding as we eat so little of it, so will buy one. I’m not sure if this makes for a minimalist Christmas, but I don’t see the point of buying loads of food when we won’t eat much more than usual.

When I was a child, my mother used to work for hours and hours in the kitchen and I’m not sure what she was doing. She did make two stuffings for the turkey and we had a whole ham, but these are easy enough to cook. A big starter would have been too much to eat, so we had consommé (tinned) with added sherry, and followed with Christmas pudding of course. We had a dishwasher, even when I was a small child, so whatever took so long?

When I had children, I knew that their parents’ time was what they really wanted, because that’s what I would have liked to have had, and so I did all the preparations I could in advance and made time plans, with regular stops scheduled for fun with the family. If preparations fell behind, things would be simplified or left out, I never wanted to say I was too busy to enjoy Christmas day with my children.

9 comments on “The two year birthday and other ponders

  1. boyontop

    We have the same pile of mail order pressies as yet un opened and definately un wrapped.

    Beef for Xmas dinner though? Philistine. It must be goose, though a good turkey will do in a pinch. I am firmly of the buy or beg a pudding theme. Getting down on the floor with the kids is clearly a priority.

  2. Z

    Call me Philistine, I can take it.

    We have had goose and turkey in the past, but none of the children are that fond of goose and compare a turkey (even a Norfolk Black) and a prime sirloin on the bone and vote with your tastebuds. I ask each year and beef is always the answer.

  3. Wendz in France

    Z how can you not open your mail order stuff? I would, and do, rip the packaging apart before I even have my coat off..even if it’s a gift for someone else I love opening parcels…how on earth do you remain so disciplined about it.

    I am so with you on beef for Christmas.

    We never ever did turkey or goose in our was always 4 types of meat….a leg of lamb, a roast sirloin, a chicken and roast pork. Always. Every year. But we were 7 in the family and aunts and uncles and grandparents also joined us. So we had tons and tons of food. The next day we all went to the beach for a picnic and ate the left over and a large cold ham with salads.

    This year I’m doing a roast sirloin as well. Just me and Mum and the boys and perhaps my friend and her daughter – if she’s well enough to get out of bed…poor girl is bedridden most of the time.

    I plan to spend the day with my kids, playing with their toys, watching movies and eating…chatting to Mum and going for a late walk.

  4. Z

    Darling, it’s not discipline, it’s busyness, with a touch of indolence and a smidgen of complacency. I haven’t got around to it. And I am sure it’s fine…

    Roast beef is just so good. Do you have Yorkshire pudding, or didn’t that get to South Africa?

  5. Wendz in France

    No Yorkshire pud never made it over there. First time I had it was after my first marriage, when I was about 23…we had a neighbour from Yorkshire and they were shocked we’d never eaten it, so used to do it often and invite us over for lunch on a Sunday. Nice stuff if well made but I have since eaten enough soggy puds to be very wary about it.

  6. Z

    You certainly are, BW. Mind you, you are demonstrating some cheery Christmas spirit yourself – quizzes, pictures of the decorated tree…

    Our tree isn’t up yet, it’s too early.

  7. Z

    Pat, it always gets a bit frantic as time goes by, but I really do aim not to let it get to me. It’s meant to be a pleasure, not an ordeal.


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