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Going Cold Turkey for Christmas

English: Isaac Newton Dansk: Sir Isaac Newton ...
Sir Isaac Newton wondering what to have for his Christmas Dinner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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!

Archimedes Thoughtful
Archimedes trying on his Santa beard ready for the festive season (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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!


English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

5 thoughts on “Going Cold Turkey for Christmas

  1. I love this idea. I’m doing Christmas dinner for the first time this year, it’s taken me ten years of parenting but I’ve finally been brave enough to break the mould of going to my own parents for Christmas day. I am roasting a goose (something I’ve always wanted to have for Christmas dinner), and making roast veg, but I have bought ready made gravy, pigs in blankets and stuffing. I have also bought mince pies, and I am forgoing cake and pudding as no one ever eats them anyway.

    After years of watching my mother spend literally weeks preparing Christmas dinner, I’ve gone for the much easier option. It’s cost me a small fortune (all organic and posho) but I think it’s worth it for the time saved. I’ll let you know if it tastes as good.

    1. I always justify buying ready-made food like this with a speech along the lines of “Well, if I’d been living 150 years ago, I would have had servants to prepare all my food” (although actually my forbears were more likely to have been the servants than the masters!) I’m sure it will all taste better in any case if you’re not exhausted by the time you serve it up – enjoy!

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