’twas the night before Christmas

December 21, 2020

My mum has a handful of friends –– all certifiably bonkers –– that she’s known most her life. They’ve been through thick and thin together. And for the good part of a decade, they celebrated Christmas together. Christmas Eve was always a memorable affair. We gathered at our house, and my Mum (in cashmere, reindeer antlers and a festive pinny) did all the cooking. A turkey and a goose. Potatoes roasted in goose fat. Parsnips breaded in parmesan crumbs. Sprouts. Champagne jelly. And a Bûche De Noël. The grownups were three sheets to the wind before we’d even passed around the cocktail sausages. There were charades. There was a quiz. There were paper hats (sitting slightly askew) on everyone’s heads. Nowhere to go for the holidays? My Mum invited you to Christmas Eve dinner. Come one, come all. We laughed ridiculously. We ate enormously. One year, we even made it to midnight mass. Even as sultry teenagers, we loved our Christmas Eve fêtes. So much so that to this day, from opposite sides of the world, all us ‘kids’ send each other notes, revel in nostalgia, think of the laughter and the silliness and the brandy butter. Miss each other.

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