Christmas this year, will be different for us. Like so many families across the world, we will have an empty chair at our table.
This, in itself, brings thoughts and feelings I’m unable to express – I haven’t worked out how yet.
It will be a quiet one for us too – just the four of us.
After a pre-Christmas visit from my mum and dad, I decided it was time to get into the festive spirit. It’s been a bit hard to find this year. There’s probably a couple of reasons, the least not being, how fast this year has gone by!
The tree is now up and there are presents under it. Number One daughter has decorated the garden with solar lights – fairy, dragonfly and stars, so she tells me! They all look the same to me. But they seem to possess some kind of magic when they flash in the dark. Good feeling magic.
I’ve dragged out my favourite Amy Grant Christmas Album and now carols ring out.
But what really makes it Christmas, is when we make the Peppermint Chocolate Slice.
My mother-in-law used to make it (and many other delicious goodies) but this year, it’s my turn.
You can see it requires family input and intense concentration.
But eventually it turns into a very yummy base for the slice. It’s about now I usually appear with the wooden spoon and rap knuckles if too much is being pinched!
Creaming the butter and icing sugar has to be a mum job – because it’s just as likely to be eaten before making it into the slice too…
The chocolate layer is the best – and usually the one Mum tries to eat! (As a side line I can remember one Christmas I told Number One Son that we were going to be making this slice and the next minute I heard the microwave going. I didn’t think much of it until I smelt burning… He’d tried to melt the chocolate in the microwave and burnt a hole in the bottom of my plastic mixing bowl! No such excitement this time.)
And this is the end result. So, so Christmasy. Any yummy!
Christmas Day we’ll have roast chicken and pork, cooked by The Boss in the weber, with all the trimmings. I’ll make a pavlova – that’s my specialty and we’ll wash it all down with a cold chardonnay and a beer.
Number One son and I will head to Church before lunch; after all, Jesus’s birthday is the reason I celebrate Christmas.
So tell me, what makes it Christmas at your house? Is it when all the visitors arrive? When the tree goes up? When the presents are wrapped or all of the above?