I admit that I am looking forward to Christmas with almost childlike enthusiasm (unlike New Year which never fails to be a damp squib). This is partly because of the new traditions my sister, also a great lover of Christmas, has invented: buck’s fizz in the morning, and stockings for everyone, and home made almond croissants in front of Marg’s open fire. Since coming to Hong Kong, and being at any given time at least 14 hours away from my family, my appreciation of the time spent with them is magnified one hundred fold.
Because it’s Scotland it’s always cold, but we wrap up warmly and go down to the sea before lunch. The beach at Gullane is about 15 miles away and we listen to carols from King’s College in the car. The wind is often so harsh you’re bent double trying to walk along the beach and the flying sand hits your face like a resurfacing peel gone wrong, but the air is sharp and you can see for miles.
I love the thought that the Peas will have happy memories of the traditions we are perpetuating, and perhaps apply them themselves one day.
Unfortunately Christmas was a disaster for us last year, but we are going to try to overlay some nice memories this time. I know that for many people it is the worst possible time of year and to some extent it’s always a triumph of hope over experience for me too. Better to have hope in the first place, though.