I don’t watch much TV these days. I seem to find escapism in ‘Strictly Come Dancing‘ but need the focus demanded by international drama with subtitles to keep me engaged with the small screen. And I suppose subconsciously I’m avoiding all the festive TV ads and the charity appeals. Because of course we must either fit into the warm extended family and friends vignette or should be doing much more to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

Frankly, I’m going to be very selfish again this year, batten down the hatches and retreat into the quite solitude to reflect with Hector on Christmases past. The times when we’d wake up really early because Stephen would get over excited and need to pounce on his stocking and start into that chocolate orange before breakfast! “We’re grown-ups and we pay our own way, so we can do what we like today”. He would then embark on creating a splendid feast of goose or other bird (never turkey) which required the support of his very own sous chef and chief washing-up serf, me. We gave up taking Hector for a walk on the 25th as the sight of the bird was too much for him to be persuaded to leave the kitchen. Needless to say, we never made it to pudding!

This year, like the past five, I shall meet my family and church friends at Toft and then return to Hector for a few glasses of champagne and a bacon du bedat. The Doc discovered this little savoury treat reading a Stephen Fry book and we’ve been constructing them ever since. Well it’s within my culinary level of proficiency. Hector and I then loll on the sofa reading and reflecting on what Christmas used to be like. It was always an intimate affair chez McKee. From the outset we agreed that we wouldn’t share the day with family and end up in the national ritual of ‘who’s turn is it to host/travel this year’. So I shall continue our ritual of self-indulgence and doing exactly what we want, when we want.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. The Oldies plus my sister’s clan will descend on Boxing Day for the first time. My fabulous nephew Sam is shopping for the Roast Beef with me and I’m hoping he can be persuaded to lead in the cooking – he has inherited his uncle’s talent. We will no doubt have a very jolly time with my Pa practising his latest jokes.

 However you like to spend your time at Christmas, I hope all your wishes come true. Amidst the festivities please spare a thought for those of us who find this time a bit more challenging. And why not join us and give monthly to MIND, SHELTER & The SAMARITANS as we know it’s hard for many people to cope throughout the year.  

With warm wishes for a very Happy Christmas.Sara and Hector McKee

Sara & Hector