First published in The Portsmouth News, Tuesday 9th December 2014
It is that time year again. The time of year when, according to Delia Smith, I have missed Christmas already.
Apparently, if I were to have any hope of being prepared, I should have been feeding brandy to mounds of dried fruit bound in muslin months ago.
Unfortunately, back on Planet Lush, various things, such as life, have placed themselves in the way of my festive preparations. However, now that December is upon us, I am Christmassing-galore.
It is both a blessing (my opinion) and a curse (my husband’s) that I am obsessively organized. I cannot bear to leave things to chance, and I like to be ready well in advance. I also love Christmas, so once December strikes, I feel justified in getting my yuletide on. (That’s not a costume; it’s my attempt at sounding down with the kids.)
It is, given my organised nature, a jolly good thing that I am in charge of Christmas in the Lush household. If it were left up to my husband, then I’d be willing to stake a sizeable sum on the wager that we’d be partaking of a chicken breast from the garage and a Petit Filous for dessert on the 25th.
The Christmas card writing is also my domain. This is one of those activities that you remember (falsely) as being festively fun. In the memories that nostalgia built, I am sat, sporting my Christmas jumper, writing messages of joy and goodwill to our nearest, dearest, and far away good friends.
In reality, I am clad in my pjs, cursing the lost address book, and swigging red wine, squinting in the dim lights of the Christmas tree, and muttering about the cost of stamps.
The first cards written will generally list each member of the family to whom they are being sent. There will be a personal message regarding the year that has passed, and wishes of peace for the one that is coming. It will also feature all of our monikers, possibly even the name of a pet or two ‘for jokes’ (see, down with the kids), and maybe a doodle of a paw print.
The final cards that are written will be lucky to get more than an address on the front of the envelope, a stamp that’s stuck on straight, and ‘The Lushes’ scrawled at the bottom. Which is unfortunate, given the alcoholic connotations of the surname when you put it like that.