There was the Christmas when

There was the Christmas when Dad left buying the Christmas tree too late and we decorated the rubber plant instead, there was the Christmas when I’d got bowls of dried fruit for mincemeat, the pudding  and the cake, all steeping away in a delicious blend or rum, brandy and orange liqueur – each different, and then I couldn’t remember which bowl was for which item, there was the Christmas when dad bought two turkeys and hung then in the shed – one bird for us, one for Aunty Audrey, and a cat or a fox broke in and ate half of Audrey’s, there was the Christmas where gas pressure was low and the bird took an age to cook and we ate at nearly midnight, and there was the Christmas when we bought a pink bicycle with sparkly bits for my daughter which needed assembling for Christmas morning, and husband and friend Trevor went to the pub – it took them a very long time and much giggling to get the bike constructed, there was the Christmas which I barely remember because I was too young when the outside temperature was so warm we sat having Christmas lunch with the back door open, there were a couple of Christmases when I walked the children round and round the village on Christmas Eve collecting “straw” (dried grass) for Santa’s reindeer to tire them out by bedtime, there were several Christmas’s when my sister and I went for a quick swim in the River Cam on Christmas morning with our swimming club – mince pies and hot chocolate awaited us on getting out! – and there was the Christmas when the children were elves in Santa’s grotto –

And there was this Christmas, when we had a wonderful, marvellous time, but things went awry with the cooking, dinner was late, the parsnips got left in the oven, the sprouts were left in the fridge, ditto the carrots, the mashed potato was a mix of wallpaper paste and lumps, I ran out of time to make the chocolate pudding I had planned (daughter doesn’t like dried fruit!) – but we ended up laughing about the disasters, drinking the wonderful wine my son had brought and eating the fabulous cakes my daughter had baked, and agreeing that once again it was the best Christmas ever!

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