We’ve been having a perfect Christmas Eve. All the shopping was already done, so this morning we only had to venture out for the newspaper. I savoured this fact while we watched people milling around the shops with that vague hint of panic in their eyes.
While we waited for my parents to arrive for lunch, we listened to Christmas music (I am beyond thrilled with my recently-acquired Christmas music. I made a mix of alternative festive songs, featuring the Ramones, Caitlin Rose, Ryan Adams, Smashing Pumpkins, and so on, and it’s changed how I feel about Christmas music. Which is to say there’s a lot of it that I try to avoid hearing.) It wasn’t what you’d call a traditional Christmas meal, but it was stress-free and all the more fun as a result. We had pizza, and Nigella Lawson’s girdlebuster pie (which I had made last weekend). If you ever make this pie, do not cover it in clingfilm once you’ve poured on the butterscotch topping – the butterscotch will stick to the clingfilm, and you will spend ages trying to save it before the ice cream melts.
After lunch – also cheating on tradition – we exchanged and OPENED presents. On Christmas Eve! Outrageous! (Well, not in some countries. But certainly a cause for eyebrows to be raised here in England.)
The beautifully-wrapped presents you can see here came from my mother, and they were so pretty I was a little reluctant to open them. The one on the top of the pile is wrapped in a map from the little part of Switzerland we like to visit, and inside was a 1940s book about Switzerland. There was an inscription inside which made clear that it has been given as a Christmas present before, to someone’s father, back in 1946. Lovely to think that more than 50 years on, it has become a Christmas present once again.