I rather suspect that saying “Happy Holidays” with a murdered frog says more about me than our weird and whacky Victorian forbears, who actually sent this card to their friends through the post. Because I look at this and I really can’t help wondering why the murderer/thief/mugger is wearing stripy blue pyjama trousers, or noting the topical ‘wokeness’ of his slaying the victim with a knife since stabbings are oh-so-popular at the moment. But most of all, I can’t shake my questions over why the victim is ***naked***.
Does that make me weirder than the Victorians?
Anyhow, let’s put all that aside. Let’s put aside the whole of 2019, which has been sad in terms of a family loss and depressing as fuck on the political front, while a great year for me as a writer (throws kisses at the Rainbow Award judges), and I’ll head offline to do trad Christmas Eve things in Casa Butler – that is:
- take the dogs out for a walk around the village in the dark, to admire everyone else’s fancy schmancy outdoor Christmas lights. We have one and a half outdoor light arrangements because the scaffolders killed half of one yesterday when they came to take down the scaffold after mending the roof. It will twinkle away, sadly depleted, until the New Year, when we’ll see if we can save it.
- make gingerbread cookies. I wasn’t going to, this year. You’re too fond of sweet things already, I told myself. They’re a solid mass of sugar, corn syrup and ginger syrup – not to mention chopped ginger and crystallised ginger, but at least those last two aren’t too sugary. They’re a faff to make. They’re… you know what? They’re ruddy traditional in this house at Christmas, and as soon as I press ‘send’ on this, I’ll go and make the dough so it can cool while we’re on that walk with the dogs. I send you each a virtual, full-of-sugar, so-gingery-they-turn-your-hair-red star-shaped cookie with my best love.
- make our equally traditional Christmas Eve supper. That is cheesy mashed potatoes – oh, that carb goodness! – with thick slices carved from the maple-cured ham from our local butcher. I am salivating at the thought and who cares if I can’t look my WeightWatcher coach in the eye?
To celebrate the season, here’s a picture of two tortured animals being abused with Christmas hats.
Mavis (L) and Molly (R) send you Christmas greetings, and assurances that they won’t be wearing the hats when we go out for a walk shortly.
I’ll end by wishing you the happiest of holidays, whichever one you celebrate at this time of year, and my hopes that 2020 will bring you health and happiness in abundance. Which, of course, this strange snowman-y golem will be lying in wait to steal from you…
As the card has it, have a jolly Christmas!