The dinner is prepared and the meat in the oven. Presents will shortly be opened.
This year our preparations have been in two stages. An early beginning when I was well ahead of where I needed to be and then (because of a spell in bed) a last minute panic. The cards got sent out on the day of Royal Mail's deadline at the weekend. On Tuesday Partner-who-loves-tea and I went to the three local supermarkets (Aldi, Tesco, and Sainsburys) and bought them. I don't mean that we made purchases - I mean we bought them. Or that is how it seemed. While in Tesco's we met a friend who has a husband, children and about twelve grandchildren. In her trolley she had seven items. Our trolley had splayed wheels because of the weight and was overflowing leaving a trail of items. There is something wrong when that happens. A trip to the bank sorted an additional mortgage to pay for it all. Getting home was OK but to comply with the car's handbook we should really have pumped up the back tyres by a few psi because of the additional weight....
The tree was late going up but it is there now and the presents are wrapped and safely underneath it.
Doesn't one of our US friends wrap her gifts beautifully - the ones with the big red ribbon. What is in there is hardly important when the attention to wrapping shows such love.
Friend-uber-special sent us a Vintage Shiny-brite for the tree and every year when we put it on we shall think of her and her husband.
And this year we have also added a Christmas pickle!
In the 1880s Woolworth stores started selling glass ornaments imported from Germany and some were in the shape of various fruit and vegetables. It seems that pickles must have been among the selection! Around the same time it was claimed that the Christmas Pickle was a very old German tradition and that the pickle was the last ornament hung on the Christmas tree and then the first child to find the pickle got an extra present. However, this seems to be a total myth! Not many people in Germany have even heard of the Christmas Pickle!
There is an equally unlikely story linked to St. Nicholas. It's a medieval tale of two Spanish boys travelling home from a boarding school for the holidays. When they stopped at an inn for the night, the evil innkeeper killed the boys and put them in a pickle barrel. That evening, St. Nicholas stopped at the same inn, found the boys in the barrel and miraculously bought them back to life! But it is most likely that an ornament salesmen, with a lot of spare pickles to sell, invented the legend of the Christmas Pickle!
It has been such a mild winter so far that the birds are nesting – or at least this one from New Jersey is…
We will have to make such the squirrel doesn’t get the eggs.
We also put up two new decorations that we had bought ourselves. We usually get one or two new ones each year.
Lots of Love to you all...