The Great Escape

I have a confession to make. I am bypassing Christmas this year. I just haven’t got the time and in our house, if I don’t do it, it doesn’t happen. That’s not to say that it couldn’t happen. The men are more than capable of making a Christmas dinner (but not as we know it: it would be a one pot meal which would strangely involve every utensil and container in the house). They could brave our sleeping swarm of cluster flies in the attic, find the decorations and even put them up. Wrap presents, listen to carols, panic buy cranberries. However, they won’t and that’s fine: I have spent the last thirty odd years conditioning them into believing that I’m the only one capable of the mystery of Christmas. I am at heart the suffering woman from the ads on telly…

Back in the day I’ve boned out and stuffed geese with freshly chopped fruit stuffing, given thoughtfully hand tailored gifts in home printed wrapping paper, arranged bespoke table decorations and generally done everything that Kirstie Allsopp claims she does, but I suspect is actually done by a crack team of craftspeople. Enough, been there, done that: this year I’ll be in the studio working on my prints.

I have discussed this with the family who tell me that a) they love all that Christmas stuff but b) only when I do it and c) not to worry because my mother-in-law is saving the day and is feeding us all in spite of already having visitors from America. She’s ace in a crisis, even if it is one generated by her daughter-in-law’s need to focus entirely on cutting woodblocks for the next month.

It’s all actually been very liberating even if it’s only me that I have liberated myself from in reality. That’s not to say that next Christmas I won’t be back to gilding fondant stuffed sprouts with edible nativity scenes. Depends on the work load…