The halls are, more or less, decked.
The cakes I am gifting are made.
The Christmas day menu doesn’t change much – only minor alterations – although the guests, this year, will be a little different.
The presents are ready to be wrapped.
Ottie and Portia have sniffed the tree, deemed it innocuous and have gone back to shaking their heads at all the fuss I seem to be making.
This year, I really left everything to the last minute under a false sense of security that I had time and not that much to do. Then the number of guests at my table swelled a few days before Sunday, a job cropped up and, let’s chuck it down to menopause or the time of the year, my brain has gone on strike and refuses to remember anything. And my Christmas, compared to those who go all out, is not even that complicated!
In a break from tradition, this year, besides prosecco and wine, I will also be serving a cocktail. God only knows I need it. We all do, actually.
I try to look at the future with some optimism but, whenever I read the news over coffee, first thing in the morning, I am taken over by dread. This is not going to end well. So, before the ship sinks, let’s be merry.
On Christmas day, I will be embracing my American family. I will be thinking of my Italian one, at the rowdy table where I sat just a few weeks ago. I will be thinking of my Italian friends who opened their homes and their hearts to me when I needed them, not so long ago. I will be thinking of my dad, hoping they serve tortellini in heaven, or he will be disappointed; and of his wife who, for the first time in thirty years, will not be sitting next to him.
I will be thinking of Sue, making merry somewhere in the South African countryside, and directing her Christmas operations the way she directed promo trips for decades.
I miss each and one of them. But I will be drinking a toast to friendship and the lucky star that brought us together.
Happy, Happy Holidays to all of you, sweet readers, who keep me company day in and day out. A toast to you too.
I will be back on Monday.
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
3/4 C vodka or lemon vodka (175 ml)
1/3 C Limoncello (75 ml)
1/3 C lemon juice (75 ml)
- Pick off the thyme leaves and add with the vodka to a cocktail shaker.
- Add a few cubes and shake for a minute or two (this muddles the thyme).
- Strain into a pitcher add the Limoncello and lemon juice. Top up with sparkling water to taste.
Recipe from Sasha Wilkins’ Friends Food and Family
Images found on Pinterest