Between you and me, mum:
I can’t stand the thought of being without you at Christmas.
Putting up the tree and laying neatly wrapped presents underneath.
Your Shortbread and Gingerbread cookies along with Christmas cake prepared prior to our arrival and hidden in containers in the cupboard underneath the microwave. After all these years, we know where to look.
The smell of freshly made pancakes on Christmas morning that we smother with butter and maple syrup.
Our hand-crocheted stockings with our names on it always full to the brim and items laid next to them on the lounge room chairs. Terry’s Chocolate Oranges.
Getting out the good cutlery, crockery and crystal used only for special occasions, from the locked antique cupboard. Setting the rarely dined at antique oak dining room table and inserting the extra boards to make room for us all. Candles.
The turkey is in the oven. Yet to come are Yorkshire puddings, mashed potatoes, turnip, honey carrots, peas, gravy and cranberry sauce. Sparking apple juice to fill our crystal glasses.
For dessert there’s always Christmas pudding with at least two tablespoons of hard sauce (Brandy & icing sugar) .
Finishing the day with card games, scrabble, swimming and croquet on the lawn in the earlier years.
Everything but you.