Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A 1930s Christmas

Extreme gift buying stress (don't try to buy anyone a special holiday for a special birthday without involving them in the buying of it is my conclusion, in case for some reason their nearest and dearest are unaware that the date you have chosen together is the one date of the entire year that they apparently cannot possibly leave the country, leading BA to demand an extra monkey on top of what you have already paid for the privilege of changing flight and hotel times ) has led me to return to a more festive age. Well, more festive for some.

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.
I must be off to buy some more soda water.

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