Christmas Day for me started exactly like any other day: shower, dress and downstairs to let the dog into the garden while I set out her breakfast. (Dogs, and other animals, have absolutely no idea that one day is different from another despite the mawkish words of some carols.) Then take a cup of tea up the the Old Bat, get my breakfast, wash up and then off to the park with the dog. Only after that did the day become special - and, for a while, different.
Brighton Lions had been concerned that we seemed to "take time off", as it were, over the extended Christmas period - other than taking a party of children to the pantomime. So it was that, earlier this year, a small committee was convened to put matters right. That was how the old folks' pre-Christmas party came into being. But there was another activity planned. We obtained the names and addresses of a couple of dozen elderly folk who would be most unlikely to see or speak to anyone on Christmas Day and we put together suitably festive supermarket bags filled with a variety of goodies such as chocolate hobnob biscuits, wafer thin chocolate mints, tea bags etc etc and some of us spent an hour or so delivering these yesterday morning.
Then it was out to my elder son's partner's parents for lunch - only the third time in 48 years of marriage that we have not eaten our Christmas meal at home. But very pleasant it was with goose, gammon, turkey, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, sprouts, broccolli,peas, carrots, sweet corn, stuffing - and we did! We even managed Christmas pudding afterwards!
As we sat around the table yesterday we managed to spare a thought for all those - particuklarly in south-west England - having to spend Christmas in temporary accommodation after their homes were flooded, other homeless people, and those desperately sad parents in Sandy Hook.
Today my daughter will be arriving and we will eat a
late lunch at my elder son's house - possibly leftovers from yesterday -
and see our two grandsons.
The Royal Pavilion lawn has once again been turned into an ice rink.