Is there no end to his talents?? This very amusing account of the family Christmas, seen through the eyes of Mat Jones, was written last year and presented at our Carols by Candlelight. However, as the theme is timeless, please read on and judge for yourselves ......
I may not be of any religious persuasion or turn to a holy book on any occasion, but there is one festival that always manages to hit me right in the sentimentals with its baubles, fires and fir trees.
I really really love Christmas.
It’s not because I especially need five new pairs of socks, Or that I think the story of the nativity particularly rocks. But there’s something about that cosy sensation Two dozen empty wrappers in a box of Celebrations.
It’s a fond feeling of deja vu like a repeat of Blackadder’s Christmas Carol on BBC2. It’s mulled wine finally back on the menu. And rolling out Christmas songs that you know all the words to.
Before the sun draws breath the festivities begin with an eruption of gift wrap and strong coffee or gin. And as the night turns to dawn and gifts strew the floor Breakfast takes shape beneath a cavernous yawn.
On the table there’s toast, marmalade and jam, scrambled eggs, orange juice, ketchup and ham. At 9am the grown-ups pour some bucks fizz because, after all, it’s all about the kids.
With everyone full to bursting and Mum and Dad half-cut It’s time to consider dressing because lunch is nearly up. For some reason the season demands attire with more clout The only day of the year you dress up to not go out
The kids spend the morning quietly ‘non parentis’ Mum a frenzy in the kitchen, dad her clumsy apprentice. Before anyone knows it it’s the middle of the day and the family arrive to stand in the kitchen and get in the way.
Then it’s dishes to the table, a feast for a dozen kings. Red wine, bad jokes, paper hats and spilling things. Set fire to the desert with no thought for personal safety. ‘I really couldn’t manage another mouthful, well maybe’.
The lunch table a wasteland, paper hats on the floor, the dog, eager for detritus, creeps carefully through the door. Dad’s in his element, there’s washing up to be done, as the grandparents on the sofa nod off one by one. The kids on the carpet play their new games with Mum while the sleepers on the sofa chew imaginary gum.
And as the sun sinks away outside the cat-nappers gently begin to creep back to life as the eyes ease open trying to look like they haven’t been to sleep. More wine? A cheeky Port? Suddenly everyone’s back. More games, more jokes from the recently awoke and the table cloth gets a flak. It’s time for a new spread, with pies and cheese and meat because as a wise man once said, of course, ’I’m not hungry, but I could eat’
And so the evening continues, until the last festive eyelid drops. The kids are broken, the grown-ups are flaked and the last of the corks are popped. The belts are loosened, the feet are up, the paper hats askew. The fire smoulders on as the snug dreamers dream, gently steeped in its warm crimson hue.
And that is why I love Christmas like I do. Because it’s not about the what or the how, but the who. The people you love with your quirky little ways are really all you need for perfect Christmas days.