A Solitary Christmas, kind of -- Misha Herwin


Once upon a time, everyone came to us for Christmas, the kids and their partners, their half-brother, my ex-husband, his wife, my sister and brother-in-law. It might have meant eating on our laps but we opened the doors between the sitting and dining rooms and squeezed everyone on in.

It was great, everyone brought a contribution to the meal so there was no panic about getting it all ready and we ate and drank and once or twice even made it to the mid-night service.

Then the kids grew up and had their kids and their own houses and our roles changed. Instead of being hosts, we were guests. For the first few years this felt strange and a little sad, then gradually I became aware of the advantages. I was no longer the one who organised everything, nor did I have to worry about cleaning the house, or making sure there was enough cutlery, crockery, crackers and paper napkins.

This year will be different again. It will be just the two of us. Mike is having a hip operation in January and because the joint has deteriorated so much driving over a hundred miles to stay with our daughter, as it’s her turn to host the family, is not really an option. So we are staying at home, just the two of us.

We’ve done it before. We had Christmas alone during lockdown, but then so did everyone else. This year however is different. The family will be together and the best we can do is join them on FaceTime.  Although I’ll miss being there, I’m going to look at the positive aspects of Christmas a deux.

First, we can choose what we want to cook and eat and there will definitely be less than usual and some of it, dare I confess, will be pre-prepared by my favourite supermarket.

Then there will be no travelling and we can get up and go to bed at whatever time we please. I fully intend to spend most of Christmas Day reading the books I know I’m going to find in my stocking.

And if I want to go upstairs and work on my last Adventure of Letty Parker, I can. 


Nice piece, we shall be just us, I'm pretty sure, as well. Our 2 sons who both live in London will be together at the home of the one who has a partner and a small child. Our daughter who lives nearby us will be going, with son and partner, on a road trip to visit friends in Europe. If the weather is okay! Everything is different apres pandemic. It will be weird but hopefully it will be okay! I thinkI am happy not be making an iced fruit cake, stolen, trifle, spiced biscuits and a roast dinner.with several veg including parsnips and red cabbage...!
Umberto Tosi said…
Lovely reminiscences: Count us as an elderly pair for the holidays, with only Zoom chats to echo faintly the old family gathersings.

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