Merry Christmas, my friends

BY TRACEY STEEL
Last updated 08:50 12/12/2012

With Christmas approaching faster than another Labour Party leadership challenge, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my devoted readers, some of whom I know, many I don't, for reading my little blog, and thank you for your comments.   

I am always very appreciative of any comments, good or bad. 

berrybubblesI want to thank Kapi-Mana News, and in particular my editor (I love saying that, it makes me feel like a real writer), Matt, for taking a punt and allowing me to put into words, my thoughts and ideas into their publication.

This is also a good opportunity for me to thank all my lovely friends out there for being just that, lovely, lovely friends. One friend told me once, "only surround yourself with those people who love, admire, and respect you. The rest just simply drain you and drag you down, life's too short to be in a bad mood every day". And I thank her for that advice. 

I have followed it and my life is pretty good, most of the time.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each and every one of you, you know who you are, and thanks for being in my life.

I want to thank my family for being the gorgeous family they are, warts 'n all. I want them to know I love and appreciate them and I am looking forward to spending time with them over the holidays.

Christmas means different things for different people.  or me it's about taking some time to renew my energy for the upcoming year. It's about having time to hang with my family. It's about the turkey, the tree, the carols, the tinsel, the bubbly and, of course, Santa. And somewhere, deep down inside there is a bit of guilt about not going to midnight mass any more, but that doesn't last long. I am there in spirit (if it's good enough for the big man upstairs...just sayin').

Christmas breakfast and lunch are major events in our home. Because the various family members have other family obligations, we have to try and work out how they can see everyone on the day. 

Colin's youngest brother and wife live nearby so we will try and catch up with them also and have a drink or two. They always have heaps of family people at theirs as well so it will be fun. Colin's daughter and family will be spending the day with us which is fantastic. 

Number two son and girlfriend will spend Christmas Eve with her family but will be with us early Christmas morning so that's good  Number one son of course is in Australia with his lovely partner but I am sure we will Skype at some stage during the day and catch up.

pineapple ham2Food. I love ham. Love, love, love it. I love it baked in the oven for a couple of hours slowly whilst basting it with a marinade made with mustard, pineapple juice, marmalade etc. Hot ham with new potatoes slathered in butter, real butter, not imitation or margerine. 

Christmas is not the time to worry about waistlines. For one day, just give in to it and eat butter and cream, and meat and puddings and whatever else you fancy. Oooh, and juicy turkey with gravy...mmmm.  It's one day a year...run it off the next day if you must, but just give yourself one day to enjoy food without feeling guilty.

And bubbly, Christmas morning with a glass of Veuve Clicquot  (thank you Jen and John), and strawberries, oh yeah...and Mariah Carey singing "All I want for Christmas is yooooou, oooh baby". The tree all sparkly and the lights twinkling and then we get to open pressies. We don't do big expensive gifts, I try to be thoughtful about what I buy but mostly it's just about the excitement of something under the tree with your name on it.

If Colin and I are on our own for breakfast, which is looking likely (wow, first time in 28 years) we will be having crayfish, scallops and whitebait with Veuve Clicquot, fresh strawberries and maybe a warm croissant with ham and cheese, and then later in the day, a more traditional lunch/dinner with ham, turkey, some roasted spuds and new baby ones and all the usual trimmings.

My family and I (God, I sound like the Queen giving her Christmas message) hope that you spend your Christmas surrounded by your family and friends and love and friendship. We hope that whatever it means to you and yours, it's a day of fun and laughter. 

We hope that you give and receive graciously, no matter how ugly the gift (come on, we all know that happens). We hope that if your children or grandchildren wake you early, be patient with them - you've spend the last month telling them that Santa is coming, let them have an early start. I think 4.58am was the earliest number two son ever woke us; I have to admit to giving him his Christmas stocking and asking him to give mummy and daddy another half an hour, which he did. Thank-you son.

So, however you spend it and with whomever, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and here's to a bright and prosperous New Year. I hope all your dreams and wishes come true and if they don't?  There's always next year - spoken like a true Hurricanes/Lions supporter!

Merry Christmas everyone.

- Kapi-Mana News

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