Ten things I love about Christmas

  • Time with my family. Not everyone gets to have time off over Christmas, and this year I have to work on Boxing Day, but I do love time with my family. Visiting distant relatives is easier too as roads are less busy (assuming you drive at what is usually the rush hour) and it's lovely to sit and just be, with people you love.
  • Mince pies. People get a bit weird if you eat them at other times of the year, but I do love the slightly sharp, slightly sweet, often alcohol infused, taste of a mince pie. Best made at home with homemade pastry - though I've yet to be brave enough to make my own mincemeat. (and yes American readers, it really is meat - well suet - and fruit, the tudors were big on meat and fruit, and jolly well done I say!) 
  • Marzipan. Life should contain more marzipan, Christmas seems happy to take up the slack left by the rest of the year. From marzipan fruits to dark chocolate covered marzipan and marzipan on a cake...mmmm marzipan.
  • Eating odd foods at odd times. Turkey leftovers for breakfast, cake for lunch, toast for tea, Christmas seems to be a time when a sudden urge to eat walnuts is acceptable. The joy of eating what you like, when you like is oddly freeing (matched only by festival living) and while one may end up over full, it's only a couple of days so I think we can risk it..another sausage roll?
  • Alcohol for breakfast. Bucksfizz, drunk only on wedding mornings and Christmas. An excuse to drink cava or champagne with the strange idea that it's healthy because of the orange juice. (don't have alcohol for breakfast if you are planning to drive and visit relatives, obviously)
  • Watching people open gifts. I like getting presents but I know I'm a grown up because I now genuinely prefer to see other people open their gifts. The sight of a child realising as they tear the wrapping that it's the thing they've always (for the last 6 months) wanted...priceless.
  • Helping Father Christmas. Sometimes the great man can't be at every house and so it falls to us parents to take up the slack, obviously we don't have to do this every year and he sends us special instructions when we do, but creeping into a sleeping child's room, hearing them (pretending to) sleep, watching the flicker of eyelids as they dream, and then popping their gifts into a stocking, is the best feeling.

  • Left overs. Related to the eating anything at anytime, but left overs are great. Bubble and squeak, refried christmas pudding (fry a slice in butter - you're welcome) , picking turkey from the bones when you nip to the fridge for more beer, I love leftovers.
  • Christmas lights. I love the festive look the twinkling lights of Christmas give to a home. Once our tree is up adding a coloured warmth to the lounge I never want to take it down.

  • Memories. Memories that are being made and memories of Christmases past, each year we buy a new decoration for the tree and so I remember 2 year old DD choosing a shining toy soldier or a 4 year old DD choose a tinkling ginerbreadman bell. Each Christmas stored in a memory on the tree. I look forward to more memories being created this year too. Not all memories are so happy, as we think of loved ones no longer with us, but somehow the warmth and hope of Christmas (or it may be the sherry) let's us remember the happy times we shared with them.
I hope Christmas holds much joy for you and yours. And that memories, even the sad ones,  flow as liberally as the sherry.

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