|No more tree - my sewing and knitting corner restored to normal|
I am always happy to see the Christmas tree come down. It is never up for very long - this year was an all-time record from the 19th to the 27th. The lights and excitement that come with the tree are very welcome, but the displacement of regular furniture and the cluttering up of empty surfaces with tinsel and ornaments makes me feel hemmed in and chaotic. The moment when we pack everything away always reminds me of this book I used to read to the children when they were very little.
The removal of the tree heralds one of my favourite parts of the year: the no-man's land between Christmas and the resumption of school/university/work in early January. Long lazy days where we might catch up with family or friends, or we might idle around the house, just the four of us, playing with new presents, watching TV or reading. The house is full of good food so I do very little cooking after Christmas lunch - everybody helps themselves to leftovers, creating eccentric, tailor-made meals involving smoked salmon, brioche, fancy chutneys and cheeses and bits of stuffing (not necessarily all at once). When I do feel like cooking, the amount of stock, made on Christmas day from the joint, means that it is almost always soup. I love soup.
Today I went running (with new Christmas-present headphones), had a nap in the sunshine, watched some Friends with Olivia (who received the entire 10 season box-set for Christmas - very exciting!), ate some of the mulligatawny soup I made yesterday for lunch, did a few more rows of stitching on my kantha quilt, and read a little bit from two books I received as Christmas presents: Eat, the latest Nigel Slater book, and A Handbook for Nurses (published 1920). This afternoon Graham and I are both going out and meeting up later at the pub.
|A Handbook for Nurses - such a wonderful present|
Really, what could be nicer than all this? These days of Christmas no man's land are very special days indeed; that tipping point between the end of one busy year and the start of the next.