This will be our 26th Christmas together.
Our first was sitting cross-legged at the coffee table in a rented flat, with little gifts as we were both skint and had done most of our Christmas shopping at car boot sales.
Our second was in our first house, so small, you couldn’t even pick up a cat let alone swing one, but it was still a fun day.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to list all of them!
The first Christmas we ‘entertained’ was in 1996 having moved to a bigger house (with dining room). Sadly it was the year my Dad died, so it was just the in-laws, my mum and us.
We’d bought a novelty gift for my father in law, a singing tie, which Mum in law was forever telling him to turn off at the table. This made him play with it even more.
That year, they gave us a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle they hadn’t been able to do, so the following year having completed it, we had it framed and gave it back. He saw the joke, Mum in law didn’t. That was also the year we were invited there for Christmas dinner, and it was Father in law who cooked it.
Sadly he died in 2004, but we had the Mums over for Christmas Day that year, though Hubby had to collect them both, a round trip of almost 20 miles.
I excelled myself at dinner, and was looking forward to chatting and reminiscing about Christmases past over mince pies and tea as we opened our gifts.
Mother in law made a fuss about wanting to watch the soaps on TV. We never had the TV on when we had visitors, and didn’t follow the soaps anyway, but she got quite angry about it and not getting her own way. In fact, she was spoiling the day for everyone with her demands, and announced she wanted to go home where she could do what she wanted in peace.
Hubby got her coat.
Since then, we have reverted back to having Christmas Day to ourselves, except for one occasion in Lincolnshire when we discovered a ‘new friend’ would be on his own for Christmas, so invited him (and his dog) to spend it with us.
We had a pleasant day, but the friendship died the following year, and it is still not clear exactly what we’d done to offend him so much that he slagged us off to anyone who’d listen.
This year we were intending to have Christmas on the boat. We’ve put tiny LED fairy lights up on the helm cover and Fred is sporting a rather fetching blue tinsel scarf.
Not having a freezer, I couldn’t prepare in advance, and was going to get a TV plated dinner for the microwave and anything non perishable for nibbles. Speaking to other boaters here, many of them do exactly that!
Now I shall be doing something I love, spending Christmas morning in the kitchen up to my eyes in fresh veg, stuffing and all the traditional trimmings as I prepare Christmas dinner for our friend, us and the two dogs.
After we’ve stuffed ourselves silly, we will more than likely snooze the afternoon away, giving the dogs a run for the money on who has the loudest snores, and the sprouts will be declaring war on us three humans.