With just a month to go of course it’s time to panic. The Observer food monthly may be smugly telling me there’s heaps of time left to bake up some “cheese straws that are as easy as keeping goldfish” to go along with my (as yet unrealised) craftily conjured Christingles, all accompanied by beverages made from ingredients sourced laconically from the summer hedgerows of Dorset plus of course pickles which utilised that imaginary allotment over supply which I’ll effortlessly pull from the pantry – in one months time!!!
(And if you believe that, then a fat man in a red suit will surely be forcing his way down your central heating this winter.)
It all seemed a good idea back in August when the invites went out. Then, my mind’s eye conjured up the niece and nephew singing carols with their cherubic features all aglow in the candlelight as the snow gently pattered against the seasonal window displays, the adults sipping sloe gin or whisky macs by the fireside after indulging in a satisfying display of culinary excellence from yours truly.
It was to be the Christmas of all Christmases – no tantrums, domestics, indigestion or nausea. No, it would be the softly lit, haze of family warmth which all the supplements and magazines assure us is perfectly achievable for the faultlessly organised modern woman.
But the reality has been a heavy workload for the past quarter of a year so, as of this minute, that vision remains firmly where it started – in the mind’s eye.
OK, I’ve ordered the turkey (but what if the post goes missing?) and there is a container of something intended to be sloe gin festering in a corner of the living room which remains undecorated in both the seasonal, and DIY, senses of the word. Merry Christmas everyone!
Plus I’m not sure any of the nine -12 people expected (and just why exactly can’t they confirm exact numbers at this late stage? Waiting for a better offer?) realise I’ve never actually done a Christmas dinner.
No, this is a debut performance on the most hyped up eating day of the year. No pressure there then.
To help me get through this season of plenty, I’ve decided to blog about it here – consider it a form of therapy if you will.
And while I get to grips with all that entails over the next few weeks, the first challenge is purely one of logistics in suddenly increasing a two person household to something resembling a vaguely more stressed and worn version of The Waltons – with added baggage.
So first dilemma of the festivities – is it acceptable in the world of domestic goddessery that the season demands to ask guests to bring their own plates to be filled?