Saturday, December 23, 2006


What is it about Christmas that makes everyone hypersensitive? Or is it just me? Earlier I bumped into a friend who asked what I am doing on New Year's Eve. When I said I didn't know, she said she was going to her sister-in-law's and would ask if I could come along, though it might be a bit squashed, space-wise. Now this person would not hurt me for the world, but I felt a bit like a burden that has to be shared among my group of acquaintances. I wouldn't have felt like that at any other time of year, but would have just asked her not to worry about me, which is, in fact, what I did say. I think I've got the single person's "Xmas pricklies" again: I'm not ungrateful to my wonderful friends here but when you are the single one you don't get to do the entertaining yourself on the main day of any feast. I think that's mostly true in the UK, too. And, although I love cooking and adore it when I have people to do it for, I couldn't possibly sit the large numbers the Italians invite, so what am I whining about?!

I'm also prickly because Amazon have lost my parcel of books [OK, they're sending a replacement but I won't have them for Xmas - it is Xmas!], a new ID disc I'd ordered for Simi isn't ready and because icing sugar here is sold in irritating 125 gr little packets instead of a nice, big box.
Now I've got that off my chest, here are the things I miss about Xmas in Britain:
1. The sound of the "Scouts post" Xmas cards dropping on the mat, usually on the last Sunday before Xmas. You feel loved because they all come together!
2. Baked, glazed ham. You can't get that type of ham or gammon joint here; it is just cured in a different way.
3. Sitting round the fire.
4. Outdoor Xmas lights - on houses and in gardens, I mean. There are plenty of Xmas lights in the streets here but you don't see many outside ordinary dwellings.
5. Good carol singers at the door [but in December and preferably on Christmas Eve!]
6. Being able to do all my shopping in one place in one go and collapsing into a taxi with it.
And here are the things I don't miss:
1. Roast turkey. It's OK but I think there are better meals in the world.
2. British women's magazines with their "countdown to Xmas" and "how to survive the visiting family" articles. They used to make me feel completely out of it and guilty because I did not have a family to cook for on the day. Mind you, even msn italia was featuring a "guide to surviving the mother-in-law" earlier today, so maybe things aren't that different here for some families!
3. People fighting over the last brussels sprout in the supermarket. If you are not British and don't believe me, take a look at this. Here the supermarkets are a little more crowded than usual and the queues for the meat counters are longer, but there are no endless check-out queues such as those you see in Britain. Probably this is because the Sicilians still use their small, trusted shops as well and do not rely on the supermarket for everything.
4. Being cold!
5. Carol singers who can't sing, don't know the words and who have no intention of giving the money collected to charity knocking on the door at all hours from November onwards.
6. Being "taxi-gazumped" outside supermarkets. You know: you order a taxi and when it comes the driver shouts your name and someone comes out of nowhere, yells "Yes!" and before you realise what is happening off they merrily go in your taxi.
Hmmm - that's pretty even.
Gina and her husband popped round this afternoon and were surprised to see all my cards on display. [Despite the above Scrooge-like ruminations, I have got lights and decorations everywhere.] They asked if some of the cards were from other Christmases! [I've mentioned before that Italians, in general, only send cards to those who live far away and even when they receive some, they don't put them out for all to see.]
I'll be less Scrooge-like on the blog tomorrow, folks!


Unknown said...


Thanks for sharing your feelings. I truly do understand what you're saying and how you feel.

Enjoy when you can, grin and bear it when you can't.

The new year is just a few days away :-)

Looking forward to tomorrow's post...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hello, Gary and thank you. That is very kind.

Anonymous said...

WL, I liked the post. Very informative. I wish you and Simi the best Christmas possible.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Steve. Buon Natale di nuovo.

Ballpoint Wren said...

I don't think people see you as a burden that has to be shared, but as a treasure they all want a little bit of!

We invite everybody we know over for New Year's brunch... if you were in town you would be invited as well, and (to be said in a wicked witch voice) "and your pretty little dog, too!"

(Just channeling my inner "Wizard of Oz.")

James Higham said...

Number 5 on the "No" list is a baddy. Turkey - quite like it but it's not really British, unlike goose. I miss the mulled wine and mead. Oh how I miss that. You keep ALL those cards out there. Do you hang them from thread on the walls? Or are you more the top of the tele type? I've already said it but once again, Buon Natale to Simi and you.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Bonnie. You've cheered me up. Hope you're having a great time over there! Hi, James. I'm a blue-tackin' 'em to the shelves sort of gal. I can't get along with mead but the smell of mulled wine is so welcoming. Hope you're having a good day too.

Maria said...

Thank you for sharing yet again and thank you for the beautiful card. I used the confetti as decorations on top of some candles on my coffee table. I hope you received my card. All the best! M

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, M. Yes, I got your lovely card. Thank you. You can see whre I have it displayed in my latest post. Glad you liked the confetti! Buon Natale again.


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