The Perfect Christmas, published in 1932, is my heritage Christmas Bible. Here are some things I should be doing over Christmas, according to its hallowed pages:
- Persuade my guests to eat nothing but fruit and salad on Boxing Day, ostensibly for the sake of their digestion but actually because its the servants day off and I have no idea where the kitchen is let alone how to turn the oven on
- Put a package together for some "come down in the world" at the workhouse, containing things I'd like to have in their situation - razor and shaving soap for example (?) and a pack of cards. Clearly those who have been poor all their lives deserve nothing.
- Be absolutely sure I have enough soda water
- Send out the Christmas Pudding in good time to sons and nephews in regiments abroad
- Entertain my house guests with jolly wheezes like the Underground Game (rival couples set off in opposite directions on the Tube - kind of assumes you live in London) and the Woolworth's Game (supply guests with a sixpence each and challenge them to buy the best bargain, bargains to be chortled over after tea)
- Invite my poor country cousin up for Christmas but be sure to pay for her train journey and give her a black lace evening frock (or the money for a permanent wave) so I can be seen out with her in public. She will also require a gas fire and a hot water bottle in her room, apparently these country cousins feel the cold.