I wanted to give you my annual short Christmas story before the 25th, but I’m afraid I ran out of time, so please accept my apologies. As ever, this one is in TWO PARTS, the second part will be out on Sunday! And for those who have read the others, you might be happy to know we go back to Sophie Cole and her family, and the adventures they have a little further inland than where we are now. The last story we had with them was set in 2006, so be aware everyone has grown!
I hope that those of you who celebrate the holiday had a wonderful Christmas Day, and spent much of it surrounded by loved ones and lovely things.
CHRISTMAS EVE, 2015
I looked at the Christmas tree and wondered who all the presents were for. There seemed to be so many – were there really that many of us? And then I remembered that Simon’s present was still not amongst the pile; it was still undelivered, even though the website had shown it had been out for delivery now for four days. It was most bizarre. I knew I hadn’t missed a man in a van, and yet we still waited for the box to come. I made a note to see what company was bringing it to the door, and turned away from the glittering tree and headed back to the kitchen where Sylvie was shaking icing sugar onto the last batch of mince pies, a delicacy only feasible since her arrival from the UK with a large suitcase containing a few jars of M&S’s finest mincemeat. I knew we’d need all of the pies, for apart from the five of us and Sylvie, we also had her nephew Paul and his wife Lisa in the house for Christmas, plus their five year-old twins, Tim and Tom. To differentiate their Tim from our Tim, now 22 and home from university for two weeks, we had already nicknamed the smaller 5 year-old version, ‘Tiny Tim’ – it made so much sense.