Friday, 24 December 2021
Tick, tick, tick, such a joy to be able to cross off some of the ‘must-dos’ off my interminable list!
How come Mummy somehow managed to arrange her life so that virtually everything was organised by Christmas Eve (and there were nine of us!) The tree decorated, paper chains looped from corner to corner across the ceiling, holly tucked coyly behind picture frames, Christmas cards on every mantel piece, log baskets filled, candles primed and the pantry bursting with Christmas goodies. Mincemeat, plum puddings, brandy butter, cranberry sauce… the stuffing was made, the ham glazed and several batches of soda bread weighed up ready to just mix and pop into the oven when we needed freshly baked loaves over Christmas. The Christmas cake took pride of place on the sideboard, simply decorated with a snow scene embellished with a scattering of silver dragees and Christmas decorations that re-emerged every year from where they were stored in the old Jacobs biscuit tin box.
Mummy’s legendary trifle laced with oodles of sweet sherry, hidden well away so the boys couldn’t demolish it on their return from midnight mass on Christmas Eve.
In later years, we’d all travel back home from far and wide on Christmas eve and gather around the fire while Mummy cut the aforementioned Christmas cake. We’d catch up with each other’s lives over many cups of tea and moist crumbly cake with a thick layer of marzipan – that’s what memories are made of…