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  A wreath winner?
Coronavirus may have vetoed many annual traditions but our ‘Wreath-Gate’ competition is still on schedule. Armed with secateurs, crumbling oasis, garden greenery and a cluster of berries, Best
Beloved and I will once again go head to head to create the ultimate
door decoration. My offerings are always of the more ‘bohemian'
persuasion - often scoring best on ‘artistic impression’. BB’s more focussed approach sees him routinely triumph on ‘technical merit’. Judged by an impartial family friend - this year via Zoom call - the winner receives nothing more than an inner jig at their foliage supremacy and the chance to crow over the dinner table (for one night only). Hopefully the results will add a little cheer to the many online delivery drivers rocking up at our door.
Masked up mirth
I’m no polyglot but I can ask for wine in French and beer in Spanish. However, it appears that my proficiency at ordering coffee in ‘mask-dialect’ is still a work in progress. My attempts to order a Starbucks through a face covering, have twice resulted in a beverage totally unlike the one requested. Who knew that ‘flat white’ could be interpreted as ‘Caramel Frappuccino’? On a brighter note, recent and clearly muffled efforts to relay my date of birth to our GP’s receptionist, saw her take a decade off my age.
An odd photocall
If ever there was a timelier reminder of the uniqueness of this year, a look at our family photo calendar bears it out. March was to have been the highlight; crammed with memories of a trip to Disneyworld for my sister’s 50th. Sadly this was thwarted when Mickey Mouse shut his kingdom. Not to be defeated, we surpassed ourselves with compiling a year’s worth of shots of, well actually, very little. The result is a concoction of lockdown family snaps showcasing room repaints, weeding, boardgame warfare and BBQ cremations. (Teen grumbling over home- schooling thankfully not caught on camera). A highlight has to be our various poses with kitchen utensils when clapping for carers. Quite the envy of any steel band, if not perhaps the poor neighbours. Hopefully, this visual look down memory lane may raise a few smiles and bring a Merry ‘Little’ Christmas to us after all.
a dull moment
The joys, trials and bemusing encounters of a West Suffolk mum
Will Christmas be Ho-ho-ho, or Bah humbug?
As 2020 draws to a close, the festive run up at family HQ is seemingly more of a leisurely stroll. Indeed, writing this, deep
in another national lockdown, it's beginning to look NOT a lot like Christmas.
Largely mothballed high streets have seen our advanced gift buying tactics limited to the filling of internet baskets. Efficient as such mouse-clicking is, I am missing the extended magic of those festive shop displays. In these dark days, the familiarity of garish lights and
glitter overload would prove a very welcome sensory delight.
Current media whispers suggest Christmas Day’s table numbers will be strictly limited. Should I order a quail instead of our preferred beast of a bird? Could inviting Grandma, see a SWAT team swoop in and arrest her for crossing the border from Tier 2 territory?
Drinks parties look to be banned (RIP ‘3 for 2’ canape deals), along with midnight mass and its familiar out of tune warbling. Coupled with the suspicion that Santa may be dropping yet further restrictions down our
chimney, I’m envisaging less “Ho-Ho-Ho” and more “Bah Humbug”.
Despite this, we will optimistically raise a glass to the pared back spirit of Christmas - reduced washing up duties being one tinselled upside and make a toast to health and happiness for all in 2021. (Over to Rishi for the wealth part).
 How many will be round the table for Christmas lunch?

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