Last Christmas I didn't have 'Christmas'... We were snowed in for a week and a half leading up to the day, so my Dad was unable to get the turkey. My brother and I robbed a tree from a nearby plantation, and not a single present was exchanged. And spaghetti bolognese followed by icecream replaced Christmas dinner. And although we missed out usual Christmas traditions, like going to church and then on to my grandparents' house, the day still felt special. Just in a different way.
Glimmering, twinkling, rocking, candles set the centrepiece like little stars. Eggs, little obscure moons, sit sprinked with sweet herbs. Green, ugly, peeling sprouts lie like monsters within the shimmering bowl. Hot, steaming, brown gravy is at the top of the table, its smell intense, rich, warm and loving. The vegetables lies upon their magnificent platter, an array of wonderful colours - oranges, reds, yellows, browns. All warming, all rich.
The most fantastic, colossal beast of a bird sits stuffed, golden brown, crisp, juicy, wonderful. It lies on its golden platter, lemons where its head would have been. Succulent rivers of juice ooze from its flesh. Oh, what a magnificent feast this is!
It's not always been pleasant: the bitter and touch Geordie weather and people saw to that. I remember our car got broken into in the town centre while my mother did the Christmas shopping with me in tow. It was snowing at the time, so it was unlikely we could drive with smashed windows, and being the 24th of December it was even more unlikely that we could find anyone to fix them. However, your luck doesn't stay sour for ever, and we managed to find a mechanic, and we were on our way.
I think back now and realise why the smash and grab must have taken place. My mother had left a wrapped brown parcel in the footwell of the passenger seat. The area we were parked in wasn't the nicest either, so when this man saw a brown parcel in a type of car normally used by drug dealers, his heart must have leapt. I only wish I could have seen his face when he opened the parcel to find knitted baby clothes.