Friday, 10 December 2010

Christmas is Coming, The Goose is Getting Fat...

"Please put a penny in the old man's hat."  My Mum used to smile and repeat that rhyme when I was younger.

"If you haven't got a penny, a half-penny will do" (half penny, said "hape-nee" as it's prounounced here in the UK)

"If you haven't got a 'hape-nee,' God bless you!"

Hmm. Christmas IS coming. I can't afford a fat goose. The only fat thing around here is me:)

I won't be able to afford much this Christmas, but that is OK. I have come to terms with it and I'll determine to make the house warm and welcoming and hopefully create happy memories. Love is what Christmas is all about, after all.

I'll go and sing some carols at church - carol services are always packed - and I'll decorate the house and tree as usual. I'll play lots of Christmas music and listen to brass bands...We have snow in the UK at the moment and lights decorate many houses, so it's all beginning to look very festive. I feel a little out of the loop. All I can offer really is hospitality.

Fortunately, I am not fond of many edible Christmas goodies. Mince pies are OK but I eat very few, I don't like Christmas pudding much, or rich Christmas fruit cake. So, I haven't made any. I'll buy a small pudding from a local baker, who makes rich, nutty ones. That will be served after Christmas dinner. I do like thick brandy cream and Stollen though! I shall try to hold back. My man is cooking again this year, so he'll buy the turkey and take on board most of the expense - and hard work. I feel bad about pride is hurt, but I'll hide it and do what I can. I want to be the provider, the hostess. This won't be my show - it will be his, but when all is said and done - does it matter? Nope. I must swallow my pride and learn to accept and take gracefully. That's what I have to do. He'll cook the vegetables. I'll buy and cook a small ham, and do all the trimmings. I'll decorate the table. My adult children will contribute too..buying Stollen, cheese, crackers, a chocolate log perhaps. I shan't over-eat on Christmas day. That bloated feeling is horrible. It's just another day after all - a special day, but not one for gorging on food. I hope I have a handle on that.

I am proud to say I haven't bought any sweets, liquers, chocolates, pastries etc, even though the shops are packed with them right now. I am not tempted by them, so it hasn't been that hard. Even if I wanted to I cannot afford the excess buying.  For years, my parents house, and my own house, the house I shared with my ex husband etc, was always stocked well for Christmas. We used to laugh and buy 'Christmas Fayre' as well called it. We'd stock up week by week on food and drink goodies which we'd put away for the run up to Christmas. In many ways, it's hard not to be able to afford to do that now, but I have to convince myself that it's OK. My tummy and waistline will thank me for it.

Part of me feels sad that I can't go overboard, be the hostess with the mostess, indulge in excess, and part of me feels perhaps this is the way it SHOULD be. There is a case to be made for the immorality of over-indulgence on special occasions I guess, especially when so many people in the world are starving.

I shan't starve, I shall have a jolly, happy family time and for that I am grateful. I am rich  in many ways, and I must remind myself of that, often. This year, my focus is not on food. I have felt a bit like the poor relation. However, is there is a silver lining in that cloud which is the shortage of funds? It's another learning curve for me, that's for sure even though it's been a hard one to take onboard. I have had to tighten my belt, and sometimes, that is a GOOD thing.

A blessing in disguise perhaps?

Food-wise, is the run-up to Christmas day easy for you?


  1. In my life, it is the week between Christmas and the new year. The out of town family begins arriving Christmas Eve and there is someone in town until January 2 or 3. We all have a great time together and food is a part of it.

  2. Great job staying away from all those sweets! I am doing okay so far with the run up. I am a little afraid of that last week, like Lori. Pushing myself to do more exercise for now.

  3. As you know I'm in the same situation as far as money goes this Christmas..I keep reminding myself that it's all about being with ones you love and giving of myself. So far I've done pretty good with not buying goodies...being broke helps that a lot.
    You'll be fine because you really are the "hostess with the mostess" hospitality..
    and when the season's over you will remember the good times you had with your family a lot more than you will remember the food.