Well, there you are - it's been and gone once more and I breathe a huge sigh of relief. When did I put away childish things and become a grumpy old woman? Can't say... Some of the stress was alleviated by finally remembering to shop early and send my Christmas cards before I'd begun to receive them. And this year the festive meal was eaten at the home of my eldest son and his young family. But my decorations grew ever more minimalist, amounting to a display of greetings cards and a solitary quilted and sparkly star from the V & A shop! No tree, no fairy lights! I did used to enjoy all the frippery, really I did. I remember in my late teens persuading my mother to let my artistic imagination run amok, and now I understand her own reluctance. So there it is, it's genetic and there's nothing to be done. And don't get me started on New Year's Eve!!
In about 1573 Thomas Tusser wrote: At Christmas play and make good cheere, for Christmas comes but once a yeere. Good job too. He also wrote: At Christmas the hardnes of Winter doth rage, a griper of all things and specially age: then lightly poore people, the yoong with the old, be sorest oppressed with hunger and cold. What season the better, of all the whole yeere, thy needie poore neighbour to comfort and cheere? Can't argue with that, and I made a point of giving to as many charities as possible. So roll on spring!