Early in December, the Princess announced that Saint Nicolas would be coming to our house on December 6. I had thought that since it was 5 years since we last lived in Belgium he might have left the scene but, apparently not. He brought chocolate Santas for herself and Daniel and a chocolate Santa and a packet of cream crackers for Michael. Before the children came downstairs, Mr. Waffle saw the cream crackers and put them away in the cupboard on the basis that Saint Nicolas had made a mistake. In vain, I argued that Saint Nicolas knew Michael. It was only when Michael collapsed in tears on receiving his chocolate Santa (“Saint Nicolas knows that I don’t like chocolate”), that I was vindicated. I flew to the cupboard and threw
up the sash open the doors and gave the packet of cream crackers to a delighted Michael. Daniel didn’t like his chocolate Santa either, unfortunately, and there was, as he pointed out, nothing else for him. All I can say is that Santa Claus better deliver on December 25th. The Princess, meanwhile, took custody of all chocolate Santas.
Even as I write, a plum pudding is sitting steaming on the hob where it has been for several days at this point. I just stuck in a knife and it is still not coming out clean. I have made cranberry and orange sauce. We have purchased the Holly Bough and the RTE Christmas Guide. The Princess is half-way through sticking cloves into an orange.
I found this pointed note on some biscuits this evening:
I have ordered a turkey from the butcher with some trepidation. He says to bring it back to him if it doesn’t fit in the oven and he will cut off its legs. My parents-in-law are coming to us for Christmas dinner but they are very light eaters. My sister-in-law (who with her husband was due to come also but now cannot as she is unwell – but on the mend – in London) has pointed out to me, rightly, I fear, that if I am hoping that my esteemed parents-in-law will take some home with them in a Tupperware bowl, I can think again.
We have begun practising Christmas hymns with the church choir. We have visited the moving crib which is startling. It features a series of scenes from the bible but also, a stuffed dog which, when alive, apparently rescued three people from the Liffey.
We are having drinks on Sunday afternoon. If I know you and you were not invited, I am sorry for the oversight, please come.
On Saturday, we are going to get the Christmas tree. When I was a child, my parents would never let us put up the tree until Christmas Eve. The strain of waiting nearly killed us. I remembered, year after year, pointing out all the other people who had trees while we were still waiting anxiously. I am kinder to my children but they are not one bit grateful having been pushing hard for a tree since early December. Our road now has loads of trees up and they look gorgeous.
I have bought many, but, regrettably, nothing like all, Christmas presents. [There is some problem with the syntax of this sentence but I am too tired to care. Feel free to suggest improvements in the comments.]
I have been to two mulled wine and mince pie evening receptions this week already. I have the work Christmas party tomorrow night, followed by a lunch on Monday for a departing colleague.
How are your own Christmas preparations going?