Just once I’d like to do Christmas on the beach but It’d have to be min 24C
It was our first Christmas in Cumbria….a heavy working time for G., but when all the services were over, we walked on the beach with the dog- no-one around except for a few cheerful dog walkers. Came home and took the slow cooked beef out, and warmed the Christmas pud-alone for the first Christmas ever. It was also sad, though, as we missed our family down south in Yorkshire….but, oh, the freedom!
We had many s/c Christmases in Northumberland and loved them all. They were healthy too as we didn’t eat or drink as much and were out walking every day. Christmas lunch was always sandwiches somewhere. Christmas tea tended to be something easy – often mince and dumplings!
Prices then gradually crept up to high season rates and it was no longer a cheap break, so we used to go away in January instead and spend the Christmas with elderly parents.
Probably the first Christmas we were on our own with both the children. We dispensed with traditional christmas dinner & went for something simple so we could just spend the maximum time enjoying it.
Definitely our first Christmas away from home. Daughter was about five at the time and we decided to risk the wrath (or disappointment) of our parents and book two weeks ‘away from it all’ in Haltwhistle. This was before people started to go away for Christmas and self catering accommodation was still at low season rates.
We went to the Christmas Eve carol service in the church. It was a cold crisp night and when we came out there was a halo around the full moon.
The kitchen was fairly basic but we decided we could manage a Bernard Mathews turkey roast.
Christmas morning was a glorious sunny day with bright blue skies. We opened presents and then decided to go for a short walk before lunch. We put a bottle of water and pack of biscuits in a pocket and set off. We dropped down the hill into the tiny village of Haltwhistle, walked through the churchyard and past the church to the river Tyne. It was such a nice day it seemed a shame to turn back, so we took the old railway bridge across the river, skirted the grounds of Bellister Castle and climbed up through the woods. Christmas lunch was the packet of biscuits eaten on a seat looking down over the river. It was a moment to treasure.
We had the turkey roast for tea and still agree it was one of our best Christmases ever.
Apart from the rapidly diminishing magic of childhood Christmases (which is who it really caters for)…what to your memory was YOUR bext Xmas ? I’ve had my nicest usally out of the country – Austria one year, beloved Bavaria another ( O the Alpine glades), Polska and its 12 course Xmas dinner including Carp, Laga Di Garda on another…
But in the strangest way I think my bestest ever was alone at home one year when relatives were all otherwise engaged abroad or elsewhere.
Seriously – Xmas alone. It may conjure up images of of Mr Bean but it was one of the most liberating experiences ever…to be unbeholden to any family member, friend, colleague, frienemy, enemy, package holiday prat, lover, woteva. Just me.
All the trimmings with none of the trappings …full Xmas Dinner to perfection plus trimmings including booze supply, total control of TV… After Eights, Dan Cake Mini Rum Truffles, Eat Me Dates, Dickens, Hamlet cigars, Polish Xmas Cds, Advocaat, Jona Lewie, Radio Times, Fairy lights, Brussel sprouts, hot cranberry sauce, Turkish Delight, Neapolitan chocolates, a cheeseboard, hot punch, individual Xmas puddings, Festive TV: "Alan Partridge Yuletide Special", "The Snowman", "The Shining" amidst a cityscape as quiet as the grave which offered so much serendipity..a time for song…a time for soliloquy…a time for succour and for solace for stargazing…for Shostakovich and Stravinsky.
If you’ve never tried a solitary Xmas don’t believe the skeptics. Try it. Walk out on your friends and family. They’ll be just fine.Either at home or elsewhere or even abroad. You may you just may be pleasantly and hassle freely surprised…
You’re never alone with an eggnog.
Or as my local Balti House has emblazoned behind the counter: "Keep Calm & Curry On."
Whats the bestest ever Xmas you’ve ever had ?