December 28, 2004


It strikes me that, if you’re going to do the christmas thing [for want of a better name], then you should aim to do it with a minimum of washing up. Here’s how:
1. Check into a nice hotel.
mounds of pillowsThis one was a newish luxurish hotel in the town where Pete’s sister lives; our main christmas present from Pete’s mum was two nights plus christmas dinner. In hotel school, I was taught that the hotelier should sleep in every room, and the restaurateur should dine at every table. I don’t believe that the owners of this hotel had slept in our room, because there were one or two little things that marred the overall comfort. But it wasn’t so bad that we had to get blotto to sleep; that was just a coincidence.

2. Don’t skimp on the tree.
the eight-foot treeThis tree filled Pete’s sister’s living room so that you had to duck beneath its branches to get to the dining table. The pile of presents underneath it was fully able to stand its ground in terms of size. We had to start unwrapping things to make room to sit down.

3. Don’t forget that it is also about the receiving.
mounds of presentsPete’s family go for multiple giving, in a big way. And then some more. Pete’s mum claimed that we couldn’t possibly wait until the afternoon to start opening presents, because we wouldn’t be able to hold his grandmother back. Pete’s mum was projecting.

4. Eat out.
beef wellingtonI don’t think I can fault the food in any way, and you know by now that that’s pretty unusual for me. I loved the square soup bowls, the crunchy vegetables, the excellent wine and the surprise visit by santa. I lost interest somewhat when the christmas pudding was set on fire, but that’s because I’m not much of a pudding person. I had got my second wind by the time the cheese plate made its appearance.
Next year, we’ll be somewhere hot and far away. Any suggestions?


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