As the spectacular village bonfire was cooling beneath a light but festive layer of snow, I was just bracing myself to start planning our Christmas when I had a lightbulb moment. (Blame the after-effect of the fireworks).
If you can picture a startled Sir Isaac Newton beneath the apple tree or a dripping Archimedes leaping out of his bath crying “Eureka!”, you’ll have some idea of how revolutionary my new idea seemed to me: I do not have to cook a turkey this Christmas!
Last Christmas I spent far too much time preparing turkey with all the trimmings and washing up every pot and pan in the house. With only one other meat-eater in our household, the effort to present a traditional Christmas dinner was out of all proportion to the pleasure, not least because we had to rush the meal in order visit family in the afternoon.
But suddenly I realised: turkey is not the only meat. The Village Shop’s Christmas food tasting event one recent Saturday compounded my resolve. Before I could change my mind, I ordered for collection on Christmas Eve some delicious sausages and bacon, Hobbs House bread, and the best eggs that money can buy. Yes, this year, we’ll be settling for a sumptuous Christmas Day brunch instead of a turkey dinner. In the evening, we’ll fill up on the Shop’s excellent mince pies and Christmas pudding. The one I bought there last year was the best I’ve ever tasted.
So stuff turkey (so to speak) – we’re sorted. I’m not sure how that troublesome tradition ever caught on in the first place. It’s an added bonus to think that I’ve just assured one large bird a happier Christmas than it anticipated. And no, before you say it, I don’t mean me. Happy Christmas, everyone!
This post was originally written for the Hawkesbury Parish News, December 2012.
PS Which part of the traditional Christmas festivities would you most like to dispense with? Do tell!