In October Christmas started to loom and I was dreading it. Fellow twitterer's were tossing sixpences into their mixing bowls on stir-up Sunday and air drying orange slices for their beautiful front door wreaths. I plotted to close the curtains, hide inside my house til the whole tinsel covered, marzipan coated annual song and dance was over. Sounds very dramatic, it wasn't meant to be. My idea was simply to get through this year. 2011 has a nice ring to it, things are very much looking up and as last Christmas had totally swept past me I wanted this one brushed under the carpet as quickly as possible.
I found this difficult to explain to my friends who looked at me with real concern. I can understand the confusion, as in previous years I would have made my own mincemeat, Christmas Pudding and Christmas cake before the 1st of November. By the 1st of December there wasn't even the idea of a raisin in my house let alone a mound of festive goodies drowning in their own weight in brandy.
The first spanner in the works was a phone call. Just as I was starting to think of all the empty London flats or Bristol mansions I could be escaping to alone over the festivities (whilst their owners pulled crackers at family functions elsewhere) the WI called, asking me to judge a cake competition. "Brilliant, I'd love to" I said "when is it?" "23rd of December" well bang goes the run away plans then.
I didn't shout out my plans for ignoring Christmas but I didn't make them secret either. Helen and Zara sounded worried. I tried to dispel their concern, that I hadn't become a depressive recluse but I needed to prove it.
Zara visited the week before Christmas and we had a wonderful time. We ran around the kitchen churning out snappy recipe ideas for my new book!
The cake judging followed and I couldn't help but be drawn into the festive spirit. The next day I headed off to my parents and actually enjoyed a relaxing few days eating and watching TV.
Just after Boxing Day I came home and was welcomed by Helen coming to visit me. We ran around the kitchen churning out mince pies. We then attacked each others calendars and new years resolutions with bossy gusto so that both of us now have a busy (and hopefully a very successful) 2011 ahead.