Monday, December 08, 2008

Take it easy on yourself.

Except for one year when we both had ‘flu this will be our first Christmas with just the two of us and we have the luxury of doing exactly as we please – which will be as little as possible. Most people have children and others to consider but the title above is my message to you. Do you remember Scott Walker’s great record of the sixties? I actually downloaded it and all hell was let loose – side bar disappeared and the page and text stretched and diminished, so I deleted pronto. Shall I sing it to you?

This is a very good year – with the credit crunch and all, to do a bit of cutting down and making life less stressful and more restful for everybody. Every religion has its special festivals and Christmas is when Christians celebrate the birth of Christ by remembering friends and family and others less fortunate; it doesn’t have to be an ordeal.

Shirley Conran –Superwoman - now in her seventies, wrote decades ago ’ Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom.’ and gave heart to all of us trying to ‘do it all.’ and look immaculate at the same time. Now she tells Becky Pugh in the Daily Telegraph:

‘Christmas is the perfect time to save a tree; hovering up all those needles is a step too far’ Her tips are:

‘Plan a budget and stick to it.
Feel free to do away with the labour intensive traditional Christmas meal with all the trimmings and opt for a simple family favourite instead.
Only give gifts to children under 12 and those dearest to you.
Save energy – yours. Don’t travel for miles just at the time when travelling is most nightmarish.
Throw away expensive mail order catalogues as soon as they arrive.
If you insist on sending cards make them yourself.’

Well we have already booked a delicious Festive menu at The Crocombe Arms – one of our favourite inns, for the week of Christmas and plan to have a simple, but delicious steak with thyme and butter on the day. The cards I feel duty bound to send as they are a way of keeping in touch, but even that can be a minefield and now only a tenth of what I send depict the Nativity- the rest are the ever popular robin. Life was much simpler before Political Correctness reared its ugly head.

I had a twinge of conscience and wondered if I was depriving MTL of lots of Christmas cheer but he said;
‘Let’s make life as simple as possible.’ I’ll drink to that!


Kim Ayres said...

Go on, sing to us Pat - I'm sure someone must be able to lend you a web cam and show you how to upload to YouTube :)

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I like all her ideas except the one about making your own cards, I did that one year and it took ages. I don't send cards any more except to immediate family and a few elderly friends/relatives who don't use the Internet, everyone else gets a brief circular email and I make a donation to charity to represent the time and money saved. That way the charity gets all the money and I get out of the chore of writing Christmas cards, which is a real win-win!

savannah said...

sounds like a perfect gift to give each other, sugar! happy christmas ;)

scarlet-blue said...

Ah, I stick to looking immaculate... somebody else can do the cooking.

Jack said...

I want to see lots of pictures of your Crocombe Arms dinner and the pub itself, so take your camera, please.

Mei Del said...

me too me too - toasting you this side of london xx

Z said...

I keep the traditions we enjoy and have eased out the rest. If I'm bad-tempered and stressed, no one else in the family is happy, so it's better that way.

Not that I have time to make Christmas cards nowadays. I'd rather stuff mushrooms any day.

john.g. said...

Bah! Sod Christmas, it's for kids!


Lynx said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one having steak for Crimbo dinner. I'll probably be adding some scrambled eggs as well, and a nice bottle of red (or two).

Nea said...

That sounds perfectly simple to me.
I'll drink to it too.
Cheers Pat!

I wouldn't know where to start stuffing a mushroom, but I will try and take it easy as I stuff rooms with mush.

Nea said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jade of the Jungle said...

Ah Pat, as always the voice of reason and good sense!

Christmas comes with so much unnecessary faff these days, though it's a very good reason to whip out the port and trivial pursuit.....

J x

Eryl Shields said...

After years of finding it terribly stressful I seem to have cracked Christmas for the last couple of years. I have no idea what I'm doing differently. This year we have a friend of my husband's coming over, I've never met him so it's possible that my stress levels will rise again. But maybe not. Sounds like you've got the right idea.

PI said...

Kim: just remembered we were given a cam thingy. I must look at it over the hols.

Zinnia: I haven't yet plucked up courage to do that. Yet.

Savannah: and to you and yours:)

Scarlet: that's my girl!

Jack: so you shall. There are summer ones of C.A, in the archives.

Mei del: it's the only way to go.

Z: it's the guilt thing that is the the killer. Once one gives that up life gets bearable.

John.g:soon be over:)

Lynx: excellent idea.

Nea:very good:)

Jade; thank you. Cheers!

Eryl: possible a strange man is easier than a strange woman. Just make sure they do their bit. I have had the odd time when everybody has zonked out after lunch and I washed up out of sheer boredom. Bygone days I'm happy to say.

PI said...

Nea : your comment re the quote has disappeared. A wild guess: Emma?

kenju said...

I love your ideas, but since I agreed to host our family dinner here this year (my granddaughter asked) - I can't keep it too simple. Next year - I promise!!

lom said...

Ours is going to be a very different christmas this year, as it's the first year number 1 as had a love in his life, I am still not sure what is happening.

R. Sherman said...

Good advice, here. We've kept it simple for many years now and nobody's any worse for it.


PI said...

Judy: I'm going to remind you of that next year;)

lom: be brave. It takes getting used to to not be the most important woman in his life. I hope she deserves him:)

Randall: that's my boy!

The Hangar Queen said...

Thanks Pat.This dose of sanity was exactly what I needed.A timely reminder of what's really important.

You're right.This is a good year to get back to basics.Something I'd like to do for the rest of the year as well.

PI said...

Devin: it really does make sense doesn't it? We waste so much time and energy trying to live up to the image we imagine others have of us. It's so unimportant.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It certainly is difficult to juggle it all, isn't it? I think "simpler" is better, ALWAYS! LOL.....Your Christmas Booking sounds perfect, Pat. I hope you will take some pictures for us....It's just I always love to see all the charming places you go....! And I love to read about the meals, too, especially now that I am feeling ever so much better!

PI said...

Naomi: I have to take photos or Jack would never forgive me. I have the menu and have to make a decision:)

Nea said...

Good guess Pat, but it wasn't Emma. It was Persuasion.

Dandelion said...

Tip number three is a bit problematical.

And really, if you make life as simple as possible, well that's akin to being dead, isn't it? The thing about life is that it means you get to do things, so why not do as many as poss. while you still can? That's my philosophy, anyway. You're a long time dead.

PI said...

Nea: at least I didn't cheat;)

Dandelion: she's at least 70 and I think it's probably mainly directed at older people - maybe unconsciously.
I'm sad our Sussex family are now in Australia but thankful we don't have to drive to Susssex
this Christmas.