Talking Turkey

 Santa with leaveIt’s Turkey Time…when we begin clipping the greenery from the garden and put holly sprigs over all the pictures.  The heady smell of pine needles and mulled wine wafts through the house. The entrance hall is decked with red and green ribbons. Gingham angels and giant pine cones find their way onto front door wreaths. 

Most of us will spend hours at the top of a ladder placing an angel onto the top of the tree.  There’s mistletoe to be hung in strategic places and antique decorations to be found before once again home looks a welcoming place where Santa would want to pause with his reindeer to eat a mince pie.

And, oh, what bliss and relief, when finally “time’s up!” There are no days left to add anything else to the Christmas transformation of the house or cook another festive dish.  One has to give up and start enjoying the holiday.  Finally your home looks like the cover of Good Housekeeping, an idealized version of Christmas magic and bonhomie.

Most nights your brain has been working overtime scheduling daily chores like a general planning his troop movements in a campaign.  Will there be enough mince pies for the drinks on Christmas Eve?  Have I ordered sufficient chipolatas not to mention bacon?  Who will make the brandy butter?  Are there stocking fillers for everyone, including the dogs?  It all becomes overwhelming, but in a pleasant way.

Thank God, we still love the Christmas traditions.  It’s comforting to think that with all this global chaos home grown and home made values still matter.  There’s a freshness and naiveté to decorating for Yuletide which contrasts with our ruthless world.  Thank God, we create the Christmas mystique.

Nigella enjoys a pomegranate martini; Rick Stein roasts a giant sea bass; the two hairy bikers barbeque a goose on the Isle of Mull; and Market Kitchen is furiously debating the pros and cons of serving turkey or goose for Christmas lunch.  Why bother to change something we only do once a year? Why fix it if it isn’t broken? 

These zealous efforts celebrate one of the most humbling and least materialist events of all time: the birth of Christ in a manager surrounded by donkeys and Wise Men from the East.

The simplicity of the Nativity is a welcome change from the greed of the world we live in.  Even though Christmas is exploited by commercialism the world over, it is still symbolized by the moving image of a baby in the hay beneath a shining star attended by lowly shepherds.  This divine and humble tableau has inspired hope in mankind for two thousand years.

 Most of us are dismayed by what we hear on the news everyday, which destroys our peace of mind. But once again Silent Nights and Little Towns of Bethlehem fill our hearts with hope. Joy to the World turns our hopes and thoughts to the peace of that faraway manger, the glory of self sacrifice, and the faith that there is something more powerful and wondrous than the material world.  And that truly is a miracle.

All of us at Mrs. M’s London wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

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