“10 weeks to go until what?” I hear you ask. Although some of you may have already worked it out.
Yep, it’s 10 weeks until Christmas Day. Exactly. To the day. In 70 days time we will be stuffed with turkey / goose, chocolates, mince pies and much more besides. Wrapping paper will have been discarded in a pile in the corner, waiting for the cats / dog to attack it and spread it everywhere again before some poor soul takes it upon themselves to collect it all up and pull off all the sellotape ready for the recycling. Tiddly heads will be adorned with paper hats from crackers and from sitting rooms around the world groans will be heard that may not necessarily be related to the bad cracker jokes and trashy seasonal telly (“has anyone else eaten too much?”)
Even though you may not admit it out loud, I bet secretly most of you have already started thinking about it – what will you cook / bake, how will you decorate the tree (new decorations this year or not?) and the rest of the house, how many scented candles can you light before they become a fire hazard, what can you get for the person in your life who causes you turmoil every year because they are so difficult to buy for?
Now some of you may be wondering why I am babbling on about Christmas when I haven’t even posted anything to do with the vegetable du jour – the pumpkin. Well. The pumpkin post is on its way, but in the meantime, the lovely people at dotcom gift shop issued me with a challenge – to write a post about what Christmas means to me.
I love Christmas. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about it that I love so much – the decorations, the present giving, the present receiving, the food. Oh the food. My favourite spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, all spice) get used in abundance at this time of year.
However, Christmas is also synonymous with something – or rather someone – else. My Grandpa.
Sadly he left us 4 years ago, but his birthday was December 31st. But that isn’t the only reason that Grandpa and Christmas go together. He also provided us with two of the most recited Christmas anecdotes.
Number one – he once dressed up as a life-size Care Bear.
When I was around 6 years old, I was mad about Care Bears. Here is a picture of me with one of the Care Bears that I received that year (that’s my Grandpa on my left).
I’m not entirely clear how my family managed to get hold of a life-size Care Bear costume (it was Tenderheart Bear, in case you are wondering) but they did. Whilst I was asleep, Grandpa put it on and stood in the hallway holding my Care Bear related presents while either my Mum or Grandma took a picture of him. I have the photographic evidence, but I have scrap-booked it, hence it is a little difficult to scan into the computer. But that photo is priceless. What I am also unsure about it why he wore it whilst I was asleep. I vaguely remember a story about a Care Bear coming to the house with Santa to deliver the presents.
Number two – there we all were, sat around the table, turkey eaten, crackers cracked, silly hats on our heads, waiting for desert to appear when a chuckle came from the end of the table. We glanced in Grandpa’s direction to find him laughing to himself. “What’s so funny?” we asked. It took him a while to admit what he had done. Having spied a tiny morsel of stray turkey on the table, he had picked it up and placed it in his mouth. It was only then, as he squeezed it between his teeth, that he realised it wasn’t turkey at all. It was an elastic band from one of the crackers all curled up and twisted around on itself. Now, whenever we see an elastic band that looks like this:
PS – it would be rude of me, given that this post was prompted by dotcom gift shop, not to mention some of their marvellous Christmas items (this is for a competition after all). So here are my highlights to help you get in the festive spirit. Sadly there are no turkey-shaped elastic bands.