Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and managed to eat lots, drink lots and laugh lots as well as get a wide variety of sparkly new presents!

In order to keep it a truly traditional holiday season, I started the whole thing with a festive row with my mum. This is really nothing unusual, we are uncannily like each other therefore consequently when we get along no one in the world could separate us, but when we row, anyone in a 10 mile radius should employ the duck and cover method widely advertised in the 1950s as protection from a Nuclear fallout. Managing to get myself in a complete state I ended the first half of the whole debacle slamming down the phone and incensed at everyone’s audacity to not quite appreciate enough how hard this all is for me (please don’t ask what I was expecting the world to do; elongate Christmas day to accommodate my naps or something I suspect) and deciding that I would not be participating in any of today’s activities. Luckily two things then happened; firstly I read this which sort of put everything into perspective. Secondly I spoke to a friend who knows me better than that and who swiftly informed me she would be round in an hour to help me get ready and then drop me round at my parents, where – I was reliably informed by my sister – my mother was speed-making mince pies in a rage fueled frenzy.

Having got any feelings of stress and vexation out the way in one fell swoop the rest of the festivities were great. Christmas eve is very traditional for my family, by which I mean we have our own very set traditions which may appear somewhat strange to others. For lunch my mum makes two homemade soups, carrot soup and chestnut soup, the choice of which is served with crusty bread and butter. The pretence of these two being offered as a choice has long been abandoned and we are now asked which soup we would like to start with. After lunch, we all snuggle up in the lounge and watch It’s A Wonderful Life. Every year it’s the same film, (its only outing from the video cupboard) and every year the tears flow with monotonous regularity, led by my mother who starts weeping approximately 10 minutes before everyone else. Now the tradition of soups for lunch was started I believe to make everyone feel better consuming copious amounts of food on Christmas day but is sadly duped by our traditional Christmas eve meal, where we head to our favourite Indian restaurant for a calorie-laden treat. This year my lungs were just not having any of it, and I was a tad sad at the prospect of missing it, but we decided to get a take-away instead which meant full participation (yay) but also the new addition of carols round the piano (yes we are in fact the cornflake family).

My granddad is down with us for the whole of Christmas and on Christmas day my other grandparents joined us too, for a feast and a half (my eyes are always bigger than my stomach and I usually end up having to eat my plateful in two sittings.) Boxing day is the other big tradition, where 14 of us all pile over to my grandparents for a huge boxing day lunch featuring the special only-made-by-grandma mushroom rolls, which trust me are far more delicate and scrummy than that simple name makes them sound! The great thing about traditions like our boxing day is it then acts as a kind of benchmark for change; it’s strange watching everyone grow up and each year is just slightly different but with certain key elements (such as "who will sing the line 5 gold rings?" - dad, and "who will give up on the quiz first?" - mum) remaining the same no matter how much time passes. As always I did extremely well present wise and was thoroughly spoilt. I am getting a bit technical this year (no sniggering in the back row please) and my two main presents were a new digital camera (our old one decided to commit suicide) and a camcorder, which means I will never ever do anything constructive ever again as all my time will now be spent making mini-films for no reason. The camcorder is really rather swish and terribly dinky, a small neat compact little thing which reminds me in both size and weight of my old guineapig (I have learned not to question the workings of my brain merely accept the results, life is easier that way) and I have fallen in love with it straight away. A fabulous Christmas all round, I am a very lucky girly.

Incidentally, I was asked the other day by an American reader of my blog what a poppet is. Hard to describe so I did what all good students do and faithfully copied out the dictionary definition:

• noun Brit. informal an endearingly sweet or pretty child.
— origin Latin puppa ‘girl, doll’; related to puppet.

Tinypoppet is actually my mum’s nickname for me, although my Aunt who lives in Switzerland calls my sister “petite poupée” which means little dolly, (I am “petite princesse” – little princess - and my other sister is “petite fée” – little fairy) but I had never linked the two until I looked that up!


Anonymous said...

Your family traditions sound lovely...even the stock quarrel!
We spent a large chunk of ours travelling back from Gran Canaria, so it's good to be reminded of the little things that create special memories.

Glad you had a good day. xx

Anonymous said...

also, poppets are a type of sweetie. With mint centres. I have always been called poppet by my parents and so it rubbed off and i tend to call my boyfriend 'poppet'. In response he sometimes calls me by the sister sweetie, 'toffet'.

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a great xmas Emily, we used to have a tradition in our family but all that has faded in the last few years... Sounds like you are going to be having great fun with the camcorder..

xx Sandy xx

Anonymous said...

Hi there Tinypoppet,

Great to hear you had such a super Christmas (row with Mum notwithstanding). Your family celebration sounds like real fun and I am glad you could enjoy all that food and gaiety without adverse effects. I suspect that your lungs actually enjoy a bit of animation now and again. I also enjoyed Jac's blog, which I just finished reading. Here's hoping for all your young men and women waiting for transplants that 2007 brings you joy and above all excellent health. As always, Janet

suzie said...

Ooow sounds a bit like what goes on here every year, including the momentary fall out which the lad's refer to as 'my christmas head' they thought it wasn't going to put in an appearance this year but I managed to have a minor spitting out of the dummy on Boxing day.

As always I enjoyed reading your blog and also Jac's, they certainly put things in perspective for me.
Glad you had a good Christmas chuck.

Sue x

Jac said...

Ooh ooh I'm famous!! I got a special link on Em's blog *insert smug little smiley face*

I'm glad you sorted everything out and had a lovely family Christmas full of traditions..where would we be without them eh?

I kept up my tradition of waking mum and dad at 7am, so they could check if Santa had been. Luckily he had, and I was a very lucky girl ;-)

Chat soon!
Jac xxx

Anonymous said...

Emily, I wish you, A and your whole family a very very happy New Year celebration. May this new year bring everything your heart desires - top of the list being of course perfect health because without that it makes it more difficult to enjoy the other good things that life brings us. So thumbs up...........keep up that fight and you'll come out a winner.
warm regards, Janet

Anonymous said...

Hey Emily

Glad you has a great Christmas! It always makes me smile and laugh reading your blogs but this is the first time I've posted back. Hearing your nicknames reminded me of the ones my grandma gave to me and my sisters when we were young. My oldest sister was called Sugarplum, my second oldest sister was sugarpuss and I was sugarlump! I was always quite miffed at being the one with the less glamourous name, which sounded like I should be added to a cup of tea!

Anyway, hope you have a great new year and keeping my fingers crossed for a successful 2007 with some good news for you. Speak to you on the orum some time. Callie x

Anonymous said...

sounds like a fantastic family Christmas! -and hurrah for the takeaway!!

Wishing you & yours much love - and all the luck in the world - for the New Year,

Pip xxx

Anonymous said...

How tiny of a poppet are you, by the way? Anyhow, hope your xmas was groovier than groovy ever was.

Anonymous said...

Hi Angel,
I love reading your blog..
We had christmas early as my family live 300 miles away which is a difficult when one is a wheezebag and doesn't want to be on crowded trains with snotty people....anyway I had 'the row' too! So glad its not just me! Shame I have the family piano at my house so we can't do the carol thing, it sounds lurveley....
sorry to burble
enjoy the camcorder
love R xxx