Obviously we love Christmas. You know us, if there is an opportunity to celebrate something we are there ready and waiting.
There is much about a Rum Christmas which is perfect. There is no black Friday, Christmas shopping, late night trips to the supermarket stressing about sprouts or Eat Me dates. Once the last ferry comes, this year two whole days before Christmas, that is *it*. If you don’t have it here then it won’t be coming. There has been no fresh milk in the shop for days, that’s fine, no one had a worse Christmas as as result. Some of the Christmas cards will arrive after the big day, that’s fine, they will be bonus greetings. The nativity cast was incomplete as various cast members had already left the island to ensure they made it elsewhere for the big day, that was fine, there were more people here who were happy to put tea towels secured with dressing gown cords on their head and read from the script or play more than one part. Someone’s veg order was not here as they expected, that was fine, we had enough carrots and parsnips to share. Solutions to Christmas not being perfect here are either fixed by kindness, generosity or sharing. Or they are put into perspective and gotten over.
There is much about a Rum Christmas which is imperfect. There were no carols this year. There is no one else who wants to sing them or was in the right place at the same time as me. I could not look up church carol services on the internet and wander along to one. There was no Christmas Eve delivering of local cards and calling in for cups of tea and promises to definitely get together in the new year and exclaiming on how much children have grown. There was no Christmas camp – a week long pre Christmas Christmas with a group of friends so close they are more like family. There was no wrapped up against the cold walking around the neighbourhood to find the best and most ostentatious display of Christmas lights, no trip to the Burning of the Clocks event in Brighton.
There was no Christmas Day with family.
But it is what it is what it is what it is. And it was good. The weather remained the kindest we have ever had. Instead of characteristic Rum warm, wet and windy it has been cold, dry and still. Frost, snowy peaks, still stillness and sunny days. A friend to share the meal with us. Drinks with Rum friends on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, a shared leftovers meal on Boxing Day. Lovely presents with a clear home made thoughtful feel. The ferry appearing through the mist, often with more than a hint of Santa’s sleigh about it. Our own turkey for Christmas dinner, the first taste of the Christmas cake, mixed and wished over weeks ago, lovingly fed with a slosh of alcohol every few days now coated with icing and glittery decorations. The fabulous home made Christmas crackers complete with newspaper hats, home made gifts (cellophane fortune telling fish, festive box of glory made from a dental floss box covered in glittery stickers) handwritten jokes, all bundled up in toilet roll middles and wrapped with amazon brown packing paper.
It was magical, special, memorable, poignant. It was Christmas.