by Lily Ashton
It has not been the usual lead up to Christmas this year. Lockdowns, shops closures and restrictions have seen to that. Despite that, Christmas will be as festive as always.
There will be two trees at home this year. A fir tree with lots of baubles. Red, green, silver, big, small. A string of lights wrapped around the branches. Once evening comes, the fairy lights will come on and twinkle around the room. The second tree will be a white twig affair, with just a few wooden decorations. Its simplicity is elegant and appealing.
On Christmas morning we’ll light the barbeque in the back yard. Last year, we had a special festive breakfast of toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate. We enjoyed it so much that this year we’re going to expand the menu. We’ll barbeque baby sausages, add some maple syrup and tuck them into warm mini rolls. We’ll follow up with melting barbecued marshmallows and tangy tangerines.
We’ll need a long walk after that. A ninety minute hike will take us across the fields and through the woods. There’ll probably be neighbours and friends along the route. Dogs will scamper ahead and children, sometimes with pockets full of candies, lagging behind.
By the time we get home the house will smell of roasting turkey. Christmas dinner will come with all the trimmings. Roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, red cabbage, stuffing with lots of tart cranberry sauce. To follow there’ll be a steaming plum pudding, with extra thick brandy cream.
Afterwards, there’ll be games. Last year we had a special edition of Trivial Pursuit which was great fun. This time we will go back to old favourites like Monopoly and Scrabble. Or maybe somebody will get out a deck of cards. There could even be a round of Charades, if we’re feeling energic enough.
Then it’s movie time. Something Christmassy like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, or perhaps something funny. We’ll see how the mood takes us.
There will be no presents this time. Christmas 2020 is about spending time with the people who mean the most to us. Just good food, laughs and good company.
I hope you spend your day with the special people in your life. I wish you a very merry Christmas, full of family, friends and coziness.
I am the author of the Alice Haydon mysteries series, where murder meets art. Its female protagonist lives on a barge in the English countryside. These warm and witty books are inspired by life around my writing hut on the river. In my spare time, I like to nose around art exhibitions and craft markets.