I cannot say I was looking forward to Christmas this year.
In fact I was dreading it.
I imagined I would spend the whole time dredging over memories of Christmases past.
However it was not so bad. It was incredibly sad but we got through it.
I found that I could not suppress my love of cooking and photography.
So it was chop, chop chop and click click click away…
I bought the Mary Berry recipe book from the Book People at work. The first recipe that caught my eye was this parma ham, basil and mozzarella concoction. It was pleasant to make and tasted delicious.
My lovely companion loves his cheese. Manchego is one of his favourites.
Salad and breadsticks.
Another game of Jenga with the internationals (Russian, Spanish, Italian and British-Nigerian!)
The turkey was cooked by my sister who had started cooking at seven in the morning.
Christmas is not Christmas without my sister’s homemade apple crumble. The one she made this Christmas was delicious and was finished soon after it came out of the oven. It was made even more tasty with the addition of vanilla ice cream.
Then afterwards we sat at the dinning table and played games.
Card games – PIG and cheat. My sister taught us the rule of PIG and my lovely companion the rules of cheat. Lots of silliness and fun.
Then the Monopoly board game out…
We played from 7pm to quarter to midnight. Six players, lots of banter and bargaining.
We then finally came to opening our Christmas presents at 10 to midnight. Some how the gifts under the tree where the last thing on our mind. Not all of us had gifts for each other – the combination of grief, chaos and general busy-ness had put Christmas shopping low on the priority list of things to do. However those of us, with time and presence of mind had managed to wrap up a few gifts to share. So I was the female ethnic minority Santa sans beard and red coat, and I handed out the gifts. It was bittersweet – I think we all remembered the one who would gratefully take the presents and then not open them! For years it was a source of frustration – to the point that we would give him the presents unwrapped so that we would know he would see and use the gift. Memories of Christmas past, maybe that’s why we left the present opening til last…
So that was Christmas 2014 – we ate good food and more importantly enjoyed each other’s company. Understanding the importance of people not things, understanding that these moments are precious and wonderful. We honoured and remembered our loved one and toasted to a better, brighter, beautiful future.