Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Updated note to self about Christmas

This is a quick summary of what is needed to make a perfectly satisfactory Christmas, based on what has worked for several previous Christmases. There is only us to please now, so no need to succumb to seasonal panic and depression.


For Christmas dinner, all we need is a piece of dead animal to roast. Or a chicken. G doesn't like turkey, so forget turkey and just get a small roasting joint of some kind. Pork is good because we can have stuffing and applesauce. Yum! But beef is fine too if there is no pork or chicken left by the time you do the shopping (which is unlikely, to be honest, even if you leave it until Christmas eve like you did last year because we'd been away).

Make sure we have a pack of stuffing mix and a jar of applesauce or a couple of cooking apples.

For veggies we need: potatoes, sprouts, carrots and parsnips, also frozen peas and onions (for gravy).


Sadly the bakers in town where I used to buy puddings has turned into a café, but the Co-op have some nice ones. But if you've left it too late and they've all gone, remember these are actually very easy to make. Bread will grate perfectly well straight from the freezer, so you just stir everything together and steam for hours and hours. If you are totally disorganised (what do you mean "if"?) they can even be made on Christmas eve and then eaten at New Year and then for special treats whenever. After a big dinner, do you really appreciate a heavy pudding? If you use the recipe in the slow cooker book it avoids making kitchen into a Turkish bath. The second batch can even be cooked on Christmas day in the slow cooker. (Like you did once.) It won't get in the way of the other cooking. Heinz treacle sponge from a tin with custard is fine for Christmas dinner. Or ice cream.


Make sure we have the usual wine box in the fridge and also get a couple of bottles of better stuff for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.


A box of biscuits for cheese is nice. Also a box of special chocolate biscuits. DON'T get chocolates, you'll only eat too many and regret it, besides, you might get chocolates as a present. If you want to buy chocolates as a treat, do so at another time of year when you're more active and will use the calories. Make mince pies as the mood takes you, we don't need them for Christmas Day.


Just make sure we have a normal amount of bread, milk etc. Remember that in cases of emergency, Spar is open on Boxing Day. No need to panic that we'll run out of food and starve, the shops are only shut for two days and then it's back to normal. Oh, but don't run out of cheese or coffee!!


Ask daughter and son if there's anything the grandkids want and send money so they can buy the things to "send to Father Christmas" for delivery in due course. If you see something small that G would like, get it. If you have any bright ideas, you can buy or make small presents, otherwise everyone has money. To make the money more interesting to receive, look in the Christmas, folder on the computer where you will find a card suitable for holding a cheque. If you have time, enhance with glitter. But this is not essential, don't make a rod for your own back. Try to post these before Christmas, but I expect they'll be grateful for the money in the New Year, even if you don't post the cheques until Boxing Day. (Like you did one Christmas.) Treat yourself to a present if there's something you fancy.

Christmas cards

These don't take as long to do as you always think they will. Even including a small note with family news doesn't take long. Early in December, check you have enough cards (about 30) and address labels. Buy more if required. At a pinch, you can hand write the envelopes, but that is tedious! Look out for packs of cards sold off cheaply after Christmas. NB: This is not actually about saving money, but buying just after Christmas means that when you're stressed and depressed next December, you'll already have what you need. Simply print out the labels, write the cards and stuff into envelopes.Cards can be written in front of the TV. A glass of wine beforehand might calm your nerves. (Not normally an advisable tactic, but you only do this once a year, so you can make an exception). Stick address label on envelope. Put stamps on envelopes. The airmail card to Paddy might catch you out. Remember to do that one early. Drop envelopes into post box.


A real tree smells lovely but the two tiny artificial ones are fine and don't shed needles. We have sufficient baubles and tinsel, no need to buy more until these get shabby. Hang the Christmas cards up at the conservatory window.

Seeing family

See people before and/or after Christmas Day not on the day itself. Arrange visits as suits the situation at the time. Probably go to Dad's on Boxing Day, weather and quantity of diesel permitting
Remember to check amount of diesel in tank! (It was OK this year, but you had forgotten to check, hadn't you?)

So that's it. Nothing to get worked up about now is there?

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