My “done” list is not as long as I would like. It includes “turkeys collected and in fridge”, “Mac’s stocking”, “mulled wine ingredients” and “presents wrapped”. My “to do” list includes such gems as “hand deliver all hand deliverable cards” and “make gravy using giblets”. My “to remember” list reminds me to “get fresh straw for Becks” and “keep all peanuts away from Auntie Daisy” – not because of an allergy but because she throws them into her mouth rather like a performing seal and it irritates me immensely.
My shopping list is a work of art and is longer than the provisions I already have in. I’m taking solace in the fact that most of the stuff on the list can only really be bought nearer Christmas but it does involve arm to arm combat in Sainsburys with about 600 other rabid shoppers. I might see if David wants to take his mother tomorrow. Although, actually, no. Last time I sent him shopping for Christmas food (I had a temperature of 104 and raging flu) he came back with an anorexic turkey, one lump of broccoli, two carrots and a pint of milk – “it was like the end of the world!” he said hoarsely when he returned. It was a very lean Christmas, food wise, that year.
My “not a hope in hell” list tells me to “be extremely tolerant of Amelia”, “do not leave Uncle Jim with the brandy bottle” and “return David’s amorous overtures on Christmas morning without fretting about sprouts and basting birds”. Sometimes I think my life would be easier if I could throw all caution to the wind and just let things happen – but the control freak in me (she’s currently racing to the fore because I can see Amelia meddling with the order of my fridge shelves) won’t let me.
But I have a cunning plan.
I have convinced Amelia that she and Jack Next Door should go to Marjorie’s Mulled Wine and Mince Pies shindig together and that David should go with them as chaperone. I dropped a few hints that Jack and his mother are past the holding hands stage and now is his chance to foil her romantic shenanigans as she surely foiled his in the past. He's upstairs now getting ready.
While they will be suffering at the hands of the Stewarts, I shall be opening a rather nice bottle of fizz and will watch Eastenders and UKTV Gold with a smoked salmon canapé or five.