Suffice it to say "Do not be a Grinch. It will only rebound on you"
In our wisdom - yes 'we', not just me, decided not to do Christmas at all this year. The decision was knee deep in reasons.
No decorations: we took part of our Christmas decorations to the UK a couple of years ago as we would always be in the UK for Christmas (!) and the rest we had given away. It seemed utterly doolally buying more.
We are thousands of miles from any friend or relative, so would be entirely on our own and neither of us 'were bothered'. So off we toddled into a normal Wednesday with a lunch of lemon chicken and rice.
All I can say is it is decidedly weird. It is like quitting smoking or something. You have this 68 year old habit of one day a year doing strange stuff because everyone else does it and then there you are doing nothing.
I already know that I don't especially like Christmas away from the UK because I can't fulfill the essential requirements of a Marilyn Christmas but, believe me, even a partial 'foreign' Christmas is better than none.
So take note anyone intending to visit us here next year. The travel plans right now are:
October and November in Naples, December in Bury, January February March in Naples. You will have to fit in that time frame I'm afraid because during Christmas 2014 I shall be doing the following:
Decorations up mid-month including a tree (used to always do that on Xmas Eve). The decorations have to include stuff that goes back years; a weary Santa in a car that was my daughter's when she was three and she insisted was wheeled out each year and a wooden Xmas tree candle holder that I bought with my kids from Ikea for example.
Christmas cards from everyone in all in one place and enjoyed at Christmas instead of March!
A tin of Roses or Quality Street
Christmas day begins with a boiled egg and soldier breakfast - why? - because it always does; followed by chocolates while I unwrap gifts with a background of Carols from Kings.
Lunch at 1 pm comprising delicious M & S comestibles - some terrific starter conjured up by M & S and/or Tesco Finest; a luxury bird of some sort so it is different to the rest of the year, King Edward spuds and goose fat to roast them in, chipolatas, oxo for my gravy - can't get any of these things here. (mind you I do like their corn bread stuffing!)
Several puddings which need to include a trifle, Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, mince pies with brandy butter, lovely cheeses and chocolates, Christmas crackers. Again these are all things I can't get over here.
The Queens speech after lunch with a port and lemon and nuts in shells so they make a mess with cold weather outside the window, so that being snugly is even nicer.
An evening of rubbish TV like a Downtosh special (aka Downton Abby) with masses of nice nibbles to go at all day and night so you're too full for tea.
A boxing day buffet - (no boxing day in America) with M & S to thank for buffet type eats plus pork pie, sausage rolls (for Ken) pickled onions and a zillion other condiments, an iced fruit cake, none of which exist on this side of the pond.
Anyone who knows me wasn't surprised this was all about food!
I hope your Christmas was loaded with good stuff that fits your psyche and makes you feel comfortable in your skin. Thanks for joining me for my virtual Christmas 2013.