Christmas is only just a week away and I still have not figured out what presents to buy my nearest and dearest and my nearest and dearest dearest’s as they continue gloat unforgivingly that they finished their shopping in July. I can’t work out whether this is to make me feel bad that my thoughts were on ice cream and barbeques in July and not on what meaningful gifts to buy them, or just that they’re rubbing in the fact that they won’t have to fight the winter crowds in New York. Every year I mean to be get prepared early, but with moving country, then apartment, finding and starting a new job, a blog and getting engaged all in one year, there has been very little time for anyone other than, well, me. And no, that’s not a very festive place to let you thoughts reside but I’m the one who’s now paying for such neglect by being forced to face the dreaded city crowds.
It is on this note that I am now a firm believer that Thanksgiving is a better holiday than Christmas. Thanksgiving being of course all about the food and family and Christmas involving months (or at least days) of thought, endless card writing (or intended card writing), shopping, increased line of credit and then of course afterwards you have to write more cards to say thank you for outfit you were bought that was fashionable last summer! So much pressure for one day! My favouritism towards Thanksgiving will of course be in disagreement with the younger generation of my relatives who A/ being British have never celebrated Thanksgiving and B/ still get a visit from Father Christmas. As for myself, after 24 years of reliable service Father Christmas himself has forewarned me that from henceforth he will not be filling stocking for my siblings and I- again a reason why Thanksgiving rates higher than Christmas.
Until Thanksgiving this year, Christmas was always the big family day- in fact the only day that my family spent together as a whole unit every year and thus my favourite holiday. It goes without saying that this is also the only guaranteed holiday I get off work other than New Years Day, which is spent in the recovery position and so does not count. This year, will be the first year that one member of the family, my brother, will not be joining us- what is it with Americans companies and their aversion to reasonable amounts of time off? And so last weekend we had my immediate family Christmas at home. It was on “Christmas day” last weekend that the day before we all sat down to open presents that the reason why I hate buying presents so much came to a head. My brother said he didn’t want what I had wrapped up and was due to give him the following day, my sister had just bought what I was about to give her and Don had declared that he didn’t think he could trust himself with the prezzie I had so generously purchased for him. Okay, so I lied, I have done some Christmas shopping but you can see how unsuccessful they were! I mean you don’t after all hear many people rejecting turkey at Thanksgiving!
As ever I have found salvation/escape in my cookery books and it is for this reason that I will be making vast quantities of fudge over the following week to give to my doormen, supervisor, handyman, colleagues and postman for Christmas. If only my family would be happy with fudge!