‘Tis The Season Of Goodwill To All Men

The Christmas preparations at Dyson Abbey are always planned like a military campaign. The arrival of the Christmas tree usually heralds the start and this year was no exception. We’d spent the week before retrieving all the decorations from the loft and I’d climbed up the attic ladder that many times, xmas pictures 030I was beginning to feel like a mountain goat. It took four of us heaving and pushing to get it through the front door and that was only after my Dad had removed the door from its hinges to accommodate it’s huge girth. As we strenuously pushed and dragged the Noble Fir into the house, my mother vacuumed the pine needles from under our feet as they were dispensed in our exertions. She was pretty relentless in her ministrations and to add to the scratches we now had bruised ankles to add to our catalogue of injuries. Bearing our scars like the real troopers we were, we helped with the tree decorating whilst my mother barked orders like a general. The tree looked very spectacular until the following morning when we discovered that during the night, Hobo had invented a new game of perching on one of the branches.

I'm the bomb!

I’m the bomb!

Clearly, a Noble Spruce is unaccustomed to an animal the size of a small Shetland pony perching on it and the next morning all our handiwork was strewn across my mother’s shag pile carpet. It looked unlikely at that point whether Hobo would be receiving any turkey during Christmas lunch.

The houses in our street bear a strong resemblance to the strip in Las Vegas. My Dad is a tad over- zealous when it comes to outside Xmas lighting and clearly has too much time on his hands. Frankly, the house is so well-lit; I’m surprised that a Boeing 747 hasn’t yet landed on the drive. In fact, I’m pretty sure that you can see our house from Space along with the Great Wall of China.

Christmas shopping had been carried out weeks in advance to avoid the rush and on the occasions that Dad chauffeured us all in town, he parked miles away from the city centre as he has an aversion to paying for parking. Which is all well and good when you arrive but when you have to trudge miles back to the car overloaded with shopping bags, most of your Christmas goodwill disintegrates in the route march back to the car. Trust me when I say that there is no goodwill amongst Christmas shoppers when they are hell-bent on retrieving the must-have toy for their offspring. To add to the war wounds from the tree incident, I also have bruised shins and thighs from being rammed by over-zealous trolley wielding customers.

The best Royal Doulton china was washed off to make an appearance on Christmas day along with the Edinburgh crystal and the best table linen. It was all rather wasted on my Dad, who God love him would rather be down at his allotment with a banana sandwich & a flask of tea than sat stiffly at the table in his new Christmas jumper (the creases still visible from the packaging).

Dishes washed and put away, along with enough Turkey which would be made into stews, casseroles, sandwiches and soups over the coming days, Christmas lunch was over for another year. Despite the hard work, the bruised feet and petty squabbles it would be the laughter, teasing and time spent together over a shared joyous meal that would be remembered during the years to come.

41 thoughts on “‘Tis The Season Of Goodwill To All Men

    • I’m not a fan of Turkey would much rather have chicken but no doubt the Turkey will be making lots of comebacks in all our meals this week as I’m sure it will in nearly every household in the world. Wishing you a year of blessings – Dallas x PS How’s your little cutie?

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  1. Wonderful and funny tribute for memorable family public holiday – I’m glad the Boeing didn’t land .. because then you would have more mayhem . Good for your dad – that he wants to do things better and worse than his neighbors. You should be a comedian. So funny … you really made my night. By the way I hate turkey in any form and especially turkey curry. *smile

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  2. Your cat’s name is Hobo? That is awesome! Our dog usually leaves the tree alone–he has been prone in years past to drink water from the tree stand but that’s about it. The major “no no” incident happened yesterday when he “helped himself” to the foie gras we accidentally left out as hors d’oeuvres in the living room. We had all migrated from the living room to the dining room for dinner and had forgotten to put the platter away.

    Also your comments about feeling like a mountain goat and your house’s excessive Christmas lights attracting a commercial air jet made me laugh!

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    • Hobo was a rescue and they named him that because by the time he was six months old he’d been returned five times but I’m pleased to say that he’s lived with us for the past eight years now. I’m sure your dog felt that you had a laid a place for him at the hors d’oeuvres table and didn’t want to be left out – hope he didn’t get into too much trouble!

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  3. Beautifully written. I especially like the image of your mother’s battle of wills against a tree that would shed itself all over the interior of her orderly house. I can see the vaccuuming and her bid to assert dominance in her own domain. All the best you and your family in 2013.

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  4. Well sure sounds like you had a great Christmas in spite of the bruises.
    Did Hobo ever get any turkey? Our 16lb. all white cat Ripley is quite lazy (big surprise) and completely ignores the tree other then to nap under it.
    HNY!

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    • I think his misdemeanour had been forgotten about by the time Christmas Day Lunch rolled around so he enjoyed his lunch with relish. 16lb is some size and obviously much loved and spoilt (aren’t all cats). Wishing you a very Happy New Year and that the year ahead brings you much happiness, Phil.

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  5. Oh dear…. I don’t know how this post slipped by me, but I was very happy to read it as I’m starting to get caught up finally. Sounds like you had a lovely Christmas. My husband used to go bonkers with the lights and I was the one who had to play mountain goat. Our very long driveway was lit up like a runway as well. It made Christmas very hectic, but hubby enjoyed it. This year I thoroughly enjoyed and soaked up the peace and quiet. I love turkey! I should do it up more often.

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    • I spent a very simple and quiet Christmas in Turkey one year and that was lovely but I guess that was because I knew that my family would be right here waiting. I suppose I’d miss the squabbles and the mayhem if I couldn’t do it anymore. They do say be careful what you wish for!

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  6. This is hilarious! And that photo of Hobo is the best. One of my cats growing up took down a tree one year. The current ones are better behaved…Actually, no, they aren’t, they just aren’t interested in the tree for some reason. 🙂

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      • I know lots of people who put fishing line around the trunk and secure it into the wall. The only kind of tree we’ve had with these cats is a fake one, so I think they’d be much more interested in it if it were live! Someday…

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