One of the few – the very few – advantages of 2020 is like to be that there will be time for reading at Christmas this year.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. I love doing all the Christmassy things, from putting up the tree, with or without feline intervention, to packing presents at the last moment.
Homegrown Christmas Traditions
Christmas cards go wherever I can throw a washing line to drape them over. I usually fill the house with greenery for the solstice. By Christmas Eve the house smells of pine and foliage and oranges.
And I decorate the tree. Ah, my dear tree. Family tradition was to decorate it on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, while we listened to Carols from Kings on the radio. (It’s still available on BBC3, and also on BBC TV and probably I-player and podcast too.) It was ready, but without lights, for when my father came home from work.
The lights were A Man’s Job. At least one of the little bulbs would need be replaced and he was OIC technology. Continue reading →
This is the time of year when school children up and down the land are required to produce an essay, project or even, God help us, art homework on the subject of What I Did On My Holiday.
They are supposed to have had some wonderful new experience to share with their grateful class mates. At least, I suppose that’s the idea.
Might be a bit of a damp squib this year, I’d say. For a lot of people, anyway. But for some of us it was always torture.
Not necessarily because you’d had a bad holiday, either. Just because of the impossibility of a) selection and b) giving enough context without boring the pants off your class mates. Ten-year-olds make a tough audience. I speak from experience. Except once.
What I Did on My Holiday at Christmas
At my primary school one year we got the assignment when we went back in January as well. (My mother blamed the teacher’s Christmas-through-New Year hangover. Though she didn’t tell me that until after my 21st birthday.)