The Days In-between

I like the days in-between because there are very few expectations of what they should be.

Christmas Eve is supposed to be all expectant and candle-lit. Christmas Day can be all sorts of things but should go smoothly, Boxing Day is, it seems, for shopping and then drinking.

We feel adrift from some of the expectations of Christmas due to being at odds with the world of consumerism and also at odds with one half of our family. Whilst everyone asks where we are going and who we are seeing and then are disappointed with our response that we will be at home, just us. The reality is that with six of us we aren’t lonely at all. We miss those who are not with us but we aren’t ‘missing out’ or sad and isolated. Our family round the table provide plenty to laugh about and we enjoy our own company.

This year we have scrimped on everything all year long so gifts of cheques in Christmas cards went straight on meat purchases. One piece of beef topside for the 25th and a ham the size of a football for the 26th. Dh was so fixated on his marinade for the ham that we forgot to get any stuffing in Waitrose. I invented some with breadcrumbs, satsuma zest, celery and onion and it was “surprisingly good” Cheeky buggers!

The ham was also delicious – what you see above is just over half of what we started with – and we ate both meals off my Nan’s blue willow pattern function plates. My Nan was famed for her buffet meals and she accumulated more than a dozen of each size plate to cater for such occasions. Her attention to detail and the magnificent execution of such affairs led them to become known as Functions within the family even if the guests were only close friends and relatives. She gave them to me years ago when she was still living at her house but not planning functions any more. A year later she was in a nursing home and complaining about the food. We think of her often and none more so when preparing food for lots of people to enjoy.

So, the days that have been so eagerly awaited have now passed. Good food, good times, no rows and no miserableness.

Then the 27th is just what it is. So is today and the day after. Thank goodness.

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