Even though it’s generally over 30 degrees Celsius outside and I’m almost 40, there’s something about Christmas that makes me want to walk around in an oversized overcoat, clicking my heels and saying “Gawd bless yer heart, guvna!”
I put it down to too much exposure to cheap made-for-TV versions of A Christmas Carol as a child.
My husband, however, holds little affection for me talking like a cheeky cockney chappie. Just the other day, he even had a little rant about “cockney rhyming slang” that can be summarised thus: “What. Is. The. Fucking. Point?”
“It can be funny,” I said. “For example: ‘pony’ is a goodie. I always liked that when we lived in London.”
“Yes, but how funny is it really?” my husband snarled. “Let’s look at it for a moment: ‘pony and trap’ rhymes with ‘crap’. Where exactly is the humour in that?”
Which just makes me wish I knew the rhyming slang word for “bahumbug”.
Christmas is for the children. We all know that. So what do my children have to say about Christmas?
When I recently posted Mr Justice’s latest “Christmas Story” on twitter, people must have thought I was making it up. But here is the proof:
A Christmas Card. Once a boy was making a mess on the Christmas tree. He was shooting sauce at it. Then 100000000000000000000000000 ninjas burst through the window. Then one of the ninjas said “May the force be with your poos.”
And here is a picture The Pixie painted of Santa, projectile vomiting:
As for Tiddles McGee? Well, Tiddles McGee, aged all of three, just jumps up and down and shouts “WHERE’S MY PRESENT?”.
Yes, Christmas is for the children, all right.
On the day that my grandfather died, I began to bake. Up until then, my interest in the art of home-baking had been sporadic and (largely) disastrous.
Ever seen what happens to your beaters when you fail to soften your butter before creaming it?
Ever seen the look on a small child’s face when biting into a banana cake containing large lumps of bicarbonate of soda?
Ever made a cake that is pure charcoal on the outside and completely uncooked batter on the inside?
Well, I have done all of this and more – and might have continued to do so on those few occasions I was legally permitted to enter a kitchen. But there was something about my grandfather’s passing made me feel it was time to step up to the mark at the ripe old age of 34. And, although it was February, I decided to bake my grandmother’s Christmas cookies for my family who were gathering together for the funeral.
I mixed and rolled and pressed and baked and, as I did so, with every single cookie I made, I felt like I was honouring my grandparents’ memory and the risks and sacrifices they’d made so that I might be here today.
Of course, when my cookies came out of the oven, they didn’t taste at all like my grandmother’s.
I’ve made them many times since – every Christmas since 2004, in fact – and they still don’t taste anything like hers. But the problem is, I can’t remember what hers taste like any more.
But the recipe that I’ve made has become my own and one that my children now know and will grow up with.
My husband said the same applies to “whistling solos” in folksongs as they are passed down from generation to generation. I said “Whatever” and then added a cheeky “guvna” just to piss him off.
Merry Christmas, everyone.