Christmas and I are in a bit of a love-hate relationship. I used to get excited, of course, as a child, and I was lucky enough to live in Vienna, where the Advent period is an art form. But my parents were never big on flamboyant consumerism and hearty Ho-ho-hos, so I soon learnt to manage my expectations. Then, when I grew up and moved abroad, it became that time of year when all of my friends returned to their families and I was left alone with the dreary jingle-jangle of Christmas music on a loop blaring out of all shops. So I made the most of it when I started a family of my own, and learnt to love the season, as seen through my children’s joyous eyes. The past few years, however, it has been the season of cabin fever, constraints and complaints and this year will be the worst of the lot. [I tell myself that, if I expect the worst, it’s bound to surpass expectations and be … okay-ish.]
However, we can all love Christmas decorations, the smell of cinnamon and real fir, the crackle of log fires, the taste of mulled wine. It’s also the season when all kitsch is allowed and even honoured. Here are a few favourites, some more tasteful than others.
Wherever you are, whatever you do, whomever you are with, and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you a very joyful and restful holiday season! Here’s to a far, far better 2017 for all of us!