Christmas is over, at last

I’m not sure how it works elsewhere but we buy a lot of food we don’t normally have, like lobster, prepare it both on Christmas eve and Christmas morning, and then everyone arrives, pitches in where necessary, then all go out to the dining room with a 12 seat table all done up in its Christmas finery, and eat, drink and be merry.

Before we eat its present giving time, and for half an hour there’s Christmas wrapping paper going in all directions, there’s lots of oohs and ahhs, some presents they knew they were getting, some they didn’t.

It’s been the same for many, many years, though this year it was very nearly cancelled.

Covid of course.

But its tendrils of disaster didn’t stretch that far, we kept under the visitor number restriction, and took all the precautions.

The more hardy of the dinners then turned up on Christmas night for seconds, or thirds as the case may be.

In fact left overs last for about two and a half days, so the Christmas festivities go for several days.

Quite often we go away, usually on Boxing day, when the overseas airfares are cheaper.  This year we were going nowhere.

Perhaps there’s a hidden message in that, namely we should probably stay at home from now on.  After all, the grandchildren are growing up, and the eldest is about to get her driver’s licence, and the two eldest are now working, starting that never ending cycle of life where eventually they will have to fend for themselves.

And as they get older we may see less of them as families drift apart, through work and other opportunities. It may not happen, but I am steeling myself for it.  We were lucky that our children didn’t move too far away, and we get to see them all the time.

For a lot of others we know this is not the case, and with Covid they were not able to travel, even across the country to see them for many months.

So, this Christmas, as I sat at the end of the table and surveyed the family, I thanked my lucky starts that right then I had everything I could ever want.

Christmas, post COVID

I made the comment the other day, that I’d rather it was snowing than raining. It was an idiotic comment because we live in the tropics, and it never gets cold enough.

That’s why we go away to the other side of the world where it is snowing every Christmas. There is nothing like a white Christmas, right down to the Bing Crosby song.

Not this year.

It’s Christmas in the 40 degree centigrade heat. Well, it was before we got air-conditioning.

The thing is, for some reason this year I hate everything about Christmas. It’s not COVID because in this country, we’ve all but got rid of it, it’s not because we can’t go away overseas, or that Christmas lunch is at our place and I have to do all the cooking. Well, maybe that’s part of it.

Being locked down for about 10 weeks taught me a few things. One, why can’t the traffic stay off the road, half the useless shops close down, and malls stay empty so that you can get an easy parking space.

Two, I quite like being on my own without having to go out, or have people over. I guess I’m not really a people person. Three, I’ve discovered I don’t need very much, but if I do, there’s an online shop that will sell it to me, and then deliver it so I don’t have to go out, talk to the delivery guy, or worry about having the cash to pay.

I’m perfectly content in a cashless society.

I’m perfectly happy if I don’t have to go out and mingle with the Christmas shoppers, any shoppers for that matter, and especially mall shoppers. They are an extremely weird bunch of people, who never seem to walk in a straight line, and have to walk six abreast as slowly as possible. And the children, don’t you just love the squealing competition. And the people who have to have a reunion in the doorway or exit of a shop, or worse, the check out person is a long lost relative, and they have to catch there and then. Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!!!!!!!

And the tantrums when children don’t get what they want. Wow! The sugar industry, confectionary makers, and soft drink (read soda) companies all should be held to account for the damage their customers cause.

Alright … rant over. You can tell I just spent an hour looking for a car park, three hours trying to get some presents when it should have taken 30 minutes, and the crowds … ugh!

I guess I shouldn’t complain. Life is all but back to normal, and I survived the pandemic. Now there’s a vaccine, it can only get worse, normal life that it.

For those who have forgotten what normal is like, now there’s a vaccine, normal I understand is when 75% of the population has been vaccinated or had it and survived. For those going stir crazy, trust me when I say there’s light at the end of the tunnel. We went through a long tunnel and got to the end.

May it be for you that the news will no longer have saturation coverage of the pandemic, and have something more pleasant to talk about. Other than Brexit or the presidential elections.

We have a battle with China. Seems they hate us, and don’t want anything from us. Lobster eaters here love it, because finally we can get some at affordable prices. Wine, too, might actually be affordable now.

And yes, we finally put up the tree, decorated with tinsel, baubles, and lights.

Not as good as the one at Rockefeller Centre, but once we get a bigger house …….