Christmas presents…for me!
So, my mum rings me up –
Mum: I ordered you this thing online, it looked ceramic but now it’s here it seems powdery and cheap. Do you still want it?
Me: Err, what? Sure, OK.
Mum: It looks like it came from a pound shop, but it really didn’t. I got it for your kitchen, it’s kind of has a 1970’s sci-fi theme.
Me: Ooohh, sounds interesting. Is it a chalk Darlek?
Mum: No. It’s not that interesting. Or exciting. I just wanted to warn you that it’s not very good.
And so that’s why I have been pre-Christmas shopping FOR MYSELF. The older I get the more I love Christmas, and for different reasons. It’s the decorations, the lights, the cosy dark nights, candle light, music and food. Although I will be working over Christmas, the following four books and all the snowy atmosphere between their pages will make my Yuletide perfect.
I do love a highwayman/crinoline/stately home-filled Georgette Heyer, and so very much looking forward to this murder mystery set in the time of tweed suits, house parties with Bertie Wooster-like people.
I am halfway through this, and apart from the antique casual racism that is often found in British Library Crime Classics, it’s wonderful. Told in third and first person, there’s a moment in it that really touched me. The killer is looking out on a very early, dark Christmas morning, and he can see across to the servant’s quarters. He watches a girl at the her window opening a small gift, and looking out at the snow, having her own little Christmas morning far from her family, before the hard work of the day begins. I loved that moment, and his envying of her peaceful face. She has to work, she’s away from home, but she takes a quiet moment to feel festive.
I love the historical customs of Christmas, such as the little a pastry Jesus on top of a pie (which when I made myself looked like mummified jelly babies that had been in unfortunate accidents). I love making things from greenery, both the fake and the holly from the garden. I also love this Anne Boleyn tree decoration I have ordered, also as a present to myself to make up for the lack of chalk Darleks in my life. Who needs a fairy when you can have a beheaded queen?
I ordered one of the above books from Amazon and wanted free delivery so picked another book to bring up the total. I’m actually slightly obsessed with A Christmas Carol, I know large chunks of it off by heart, so this could either be just my thing or rage-inducing blasphemy. We shall see…