The View from the Kitchen Table – December 2020


2020 is the year I earned an Olympic medal for complaining, loudly and frequently. Had I been allowed to see people, they would’ve avoided me in the street. Did any of my griping change anything though? The answer is a big fat NO. So with this being the season of goodwill and peace to all men, I will shut the flip up and get happy. Afterall, the Christmas story began with Mary giving birth in a stable without the benefit of even a paracetamol, let alone an epidural, so having a quiet Christmas without a slew of parties to go to should be easy by comparison.

It’s probably an opportunity to shake up the Christmas dinner table and change some traditions though, anything you don’t enjoy, dump it and re-group for next year. Anyway, this year lots of traditions will be parked whether we like it or not, such as Christmas hugs and kisses, even handshakes! We’ll have to rethink having a lighting candle in the window on Christmas Eve to welcome anyone who may need a bed. This year they would need proof of a two-week stint of self- isolation or a negative COVID-19 19 test, which kind of goes against the spirit of it. We may get less pressies, or more practical ones, like the way Santa used to leave kids Oranges in post WW2 years.

Online shopping is great but doesn’t allow for impulse buying on the way to the till, but before we all go galloping off when the shops open to buy a load of last minute stuff for people, maybe we should check if they actually want a load of stuff, given that lots of us used lockdown part 1 to use up any of last year’s Christmas gift toiletries that were still hanging about. I have been trying to make an effort to use things as I get them, like burning the scented candles, using the china cups, drinking the nice wine (so difficult!).

That concept runs contrary to the background of an upbringing of saving things for the perfect moment so I dish out this unasked-for advice knowing that I own a set of wine glass markers for about 5 years now and they have only been out of the packet once. They are the cutest little cartoon rubber figures of ghosts. They sucker onto your glass so you don’t accidentally slurp out of someone else’s (more relevant than ever!). I did use them once when I had a get-together, but I was so scared that they would fall off the glasses and get squashed underfoot, or washed down the sink or melted in the dishwasher, that I couldn’t rest until all 12 were back in their box, so my inner hoarder doesn’t take my own advice.

But gifts and the commercial end of Christmas aside, restrictions can’t take away the spirit of Christmas. We might have to re-invent it for this year, and make it smaller and tighter but it’s still here, so have a good one and stay safe.

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