Different people celebrate Christmas very differently. And of course some people don’t celebrate at all. Personally, I’d tend towards the latter.
I loathe the commercialisation and waste associated with mass festivities. I don’t own a Christmas jumper, or tinsel earrings. I think family gatherings are over-rated. And I don’t see the point in waiting for a specific date to give gifts.
But it is very, very hard to avoid getting caught up in things when you see all the Christmas fare on sale in the supermarkets. I may not eat turkey or sausage-meat stuffing, but I love fruitcake and Christmas pudding, mince pies, cream and all the speciality cheeses.
I admit that I’m very fortunate that there are no children in my immediate family so I don’t need to put up a tree and organise presents and stocking fillers. And, of course, having no one else to please, we can eat what – and when – we like.
So although we did give in to social expectations and have a celebratory meal, this year we reverted to the Spanish custom of eating together on Christmas Eve.
I doubt many other British households ate paella for their festive meal. And I doubt many other households felt that Christmas was all over well before midnight on the 24th.
But that did mean that I could happily get up early this morning and go for a walk without worrying about whether the vegetables were all prepared and whether there would be time for the pudding to cook – or whether it was going to boil dry while I was out.
Yesterday was a reasonably sunny day and today it was forecast to be around freezing, but bright. I’d forgotten just how hard it rained the other day, though, so I was mildly surprised that I couldn’t walk along by the river as it had overflowed its banks.
It’s really only late afternoon now, as I am writing this, and I imagine there are plenty of families who haven’t yet finished their Christmas lunch, while I am feelng quite abstemious after a perfectly normal day of erratic non-festive food.
I expect many are looking forward to a relaxed day tomorrow, too, with an excess of turkey sandwiches or turkey curry, while I’m really quite keen to get back to my desk after a day of self-enforced idleness during which I have read a book, written some emails and done a bit of clearing up.
Finally, for readers who have kept reading to the end in the hope of something a little more seasonal than flooded rivers, I offer you this festive pig: