By Camilla Hullick
I rang a dear friend the other day to enquire about her 2020 Christmas festivities. Each year she accommodates her extended families and cooks up the most amazing Christmas storm for all to enjoy. Mind you, it’s not particularly by choice. Years ago Gayle’s exceptional hospitality set the bench mark exceedingly high and the tradition carved itself into stone by a majority family vote. “It’s my own doing,” Gayle admits with a sigh.
However, in light of last year’s corona virus restrictions, Gayle excitedly voiced only she, her husband and three children were home to relish in uncomplicated, meaningful Christmas moments. “I’m certainly no fan of the pandemic,” Gayle exclaimed, “But what a blessing the restrictions during Christmas were for us!”
Typically each year on Christmas Day, relatives consecutively arrive during the morning, always earlier than expected. Most rush through the front door and stomp into the kitchen to greet an exhausted, stressed Gayle, who is trying to finish two full days of slaving over a hot stove and consequently running late because her guests are early! They park themselves in the kitchen, eye off the food and chat while she’s trying to concentrate on completing her banquet, making it near impossible to think or freely move around.
Next the lounge room is invaded and as sleeping pets dart in all directions to escape the commotion, Christmas presents are almost thrown at one another with no orchestration or emotion. The appetising waft in the air teases the guests’ tastebuds and complaints begin to echo through the home because lunch isn’t ready.
Sizzling chat potatoes start to disappear from a hot pan by impatient fingers, while drinks are poured. Gayle’s nephew then decides he’s not waiting any longer, helps himself to the cuisine and sits down at the beautifully decorated dining table to eat – while Gayle is still cooking! Everyone follows suit and after the meal is devoured within minutes, the family ‘jokingly’ demands dessert as Gayle herself finally sits down to enjoy her meal. She promptly springs into action to dish up her many delicious, prepared sweets, attempting to keep the peace.
Once dessert is demolished, relatives complain of how tired and sick they suddenly feel. Some leave, others choose a comfortable piece of furniture to nap (and snore) on, while the remaining family members become increasingly intoxicated, loud and argumentative. A few typically don’t speak to each other for one reason or another and attempting the flow of even superficial festive conversations throughout the day is like pulling teeth – until alcohol is thrown into the mix. Then the party really escalates!
Gayle just shakes her head in dismay and retreats into her kitchen to face the enormous pile of dishes with her name on them, secretly relieved to escape her so called family Christmas celebrations.
What a nightmare!
Yes, the corona virus circumstances truly were a blessing for Gayle’s 2020 Christmas and I couldn’t be happier for her.
This article is by Camilla Hullick. See more by Camilla at The Stumbling Spiritualist.