Monday, 17 December 2007


Recently I ate a whole box of after dinner mints. Well, all except two, and as enticing as they were, I just could not fit them in. I ate them first thing next morning instead!
Now there are some questions to be answered here. Firstly, why did I buy them in the first place? Well, you see, I am having seventeen – that’s one seven, seventeen – people here for Christmas, and for some days preceding Christmas, and for some days after Christmas. So that answers the second question – why I ate them! I ate them because I was suddenly overwhelmed with the largeness of it all. All those people, all that food, such a small fridge, such a small oven, such small bench space, such small expertise in catering for numbers.
These days its just my husband and me, so its quite ok to say ‘will toasted ham sandwiches do?’ – ‘oooops, haven’t got any ham, would toast do?’
I don’t think the hordes who are descending on me – in the nicest way of course – will be satisfied with toasted ham sandwiches.
When I got this brilliant – as I thought at the time – idea, it all seemed to be such a breeze. Why, I’ll invite everybody I thought, and half won’t come, and it will all be lovely.
Everyone is coming.
As Christmas loomed closer and closer I frantically spring cleaned the top cupboards in the bedroom – yeah, right, as if anyone will stick their nose in there, and comment on its cleanliness and tidiness – and other such non essential chores.
Then I did the more obvious things – but for why? Five minutes after everyone arrives every living surface will be covered with clothes, food, glasses containing liquid which can be spilt, and miles and miles or wrapping paper. And with four little ones, all under the age of four and a half, probably there’ll be some other nasty surprises too.
I think we should all do our spring clean AFTER the visitors have gone home!
And I’ve been buying things ahead. Putting aside chips, and nuts, and bags of mixed lollies, and savoury biscuits (see my previous blog in relation to that little exercise!) and a box of after dinner mints.
My husband had a death threat hanging over him he if opened any of it. Its for Christmas, I’d plaintively cry whenever he suggested we might just have the nuts or whatever.
Now I can see his point. The other night I was making a list – what still to buy, what still to do and so on. The list got longer and longer, my depression got deeper and deeper. The only solution was chocolate, but there was none in the house.
I’ll just open the after dinner mints and have one, I thought. Or two. Well, you know the rest. And I’m here to tell you, not only do I now have to buy another box of after dinner mints, they are not the magic ‘get over it’ cure that I thought they might be.
Seventeen visitors will be knocking on my door very soon, and I think the next step to coping is to open some of that wine we bought ahead.
Happy holidays everyone.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I am here to help solve your Christmas Nelma.

1. Find yourself a nice comfy chair and place your favourite glass and a number of your favourite wine bottles beside it.

2. When your guests arrive, point them towards the kitchen and tell them to help themselves. If this involves cooking the turkey or any other roast meal so be it.

Indeed, make them serve the pre-lunch nibbles and savouries to you.

Just a suggestion.

Well, that is what I would do given that they all had the insensitivity to actually accept your Christmas invite when it was clear to you and me that you/we never expected them to insensitively accept.

Don't be polite. Be indignant!