After a busy evening delivering presents to the good little boys and girls of the world, sustained only by mince pies and sherry, I would love to bake a cake for Father Christmas today.
By extent, I guess you could say that I would like to bake for all of the hard working folks behind the scenes making Christmas magical. I have gazed in wonder at the Facebook feeds of those friends of mine who have been doing the whole ‘elf on the shelf’ thing for their kids.
Honestly, my hat comes off to you. When I was growing up, all that was really expected was an advent calendar (and a chocolate one preferably) and presents on Christmas Day! You lot have to devise a whole new whimsical experience for your kids every morning – and I know that some create a second scenario at home time too. You are overachieving like a boss and I’m sure that these magical memories will be treasured.
Creating Christmas is hard work. I only have to cater for 6 adults today but have had my usual sleepless nights in abject horror at the thought of anyone going away hungry or not having had everything that they wanted. The menu has been planned and, as you read this, my prep will have been done and all ready to go with the day of annual extreme gluttony. Thankfully, I love to cook and it’s kind of what I do… I am sending supportive thoughts to any who are not so confident in the kitchen yet expected to transform into Nigella Lawson or Nigel Slater (however you identify) in another Christmas miracle, turning out a picture perfect feast without breaking a sweat.
I would like to bake a cake for all of you today. We could sit down for a few minutes with a slice, and a cheeky Baileys, in front of the Queen’s speech and breathe.
For everyone struggling today, I’d like to bake for you too. There can be no magic without darkness. I’ve done that first Christmas with the conspicuous empty chair, the hospital bed visit, the broken heart, it’s just not my turn this year. It may be yours but it won’t always be. Social media may lead you to believe that everyone is having a perfect day but, you know, that’s life through a filter.
I’m raising a glass to you all today; to the magic folk who have pulled Christmas out of a hat (whether you are making this look easy or whether you’re already pulling a full-on Keith Floyd with a glass of wine in one hand as you cook!), and to you all.
Merry Christmas, God Save the Queen, and stay gorgeous!