You need to be very, very happy that you are not going to be the not very glad recipient of a gift from me this year. No really. even I feel a bit sorry for anyone getting a little something in their stocking from yours truly because some things have no decent explanation and they just… happen and this year five boxes of fresh stuffing *happened* to the gifts I had safely stashed away in the tiny wardrobe in my bedroom and honestly, let’s just accept the fact that my name is Alison, and I am disgusting.
It happened like this. In our house stuffing is a BIG DEAL. The boys love it and it has become something of a Christmas tradition for them to eat as much as they can before, during and after Christmas. They want it with EVERYTHING and the stuffing they like best is shop-bought and fresh. So usually a few weeks before Christmas I buy a silly amount of it, freeze it and then according to their whim serve it with EVERYTHING come the holiday.
But this year the shops have been… weird? Things that would ordinarily have been on the shelves weeks ago just weren’t there, and there was simply no gluten free stuffing to be had, though I stalked the supermarkets and harassed the shop-workers and for far too long, in the midst of the most dramatic of first world troubles I wrung my hands and pulled out my hair in child-disappointing despair. And then at the end of a long ‘orrible day Christmas shopping (never as romantic as I hope it will be!) I came across a few shelves of this festive sagey treasure and quickly bought five packets and in an effort to be eco-friendly refused a carrier bag and shoved all my stuffing into my enormous bag of miscellaneous gifts and made my way home.
I was so tired. So I headed straight to the bath and then downstairs for a restorative cup of tea and in the meantime, Ste, as he has been trained to do, hid my gifts away and I smiled at the Christmas tree and told tales of torrid hunts for the right boots for Finn (who will only wear one style) and Stee returned the conversational favour by insisting that he cannot possibly buy Stevie the aftershave he wants until he has smelled it and I argued that was nonsensical as how it smelled to him has nothing to do with anything, and then we had some cheese and crackers and all was well with the world.
And life went on. And more and more gifts were shoved in the teeny wardrobe and we marched towards Christmas on a wave of now really, has Chrisitmas always been this hard and isn’t it lovely anyway and would you like a pre-emptive glass of my new mulled wine recipe? And then we started to wrap as we watched various box sets and the pile of presents in the wardrobe got smaller and that under the tree bigger and I’m not too proud to say I was feeling a little smug.
And then it happened. Ste brought down the last bag of gifts and as he walked in I baulked as if I’d been forced to eat elephants eyes on I’m a Celebrity, and Ste laughed and then he stopped laughing and peered into the bag and baulked himself and pulled out various items for our beautiful children, scrumptiously dressed like so much salad in very, very mouldy sage and onion juice.
Oh yes. I am Alison and I am disgusting.
Now a whole bag of teeny little somethings destined for those we love is utterly ruined. RUINED I tell you. And much as those boys love stuffing, I’m pretty certain they don’t want to wear it. Or read it. Or play it.
The worst part of all of this? Now that this veritable Pandora’s Box of festive trimmings has been opened. my bedroom STINKS of Christmas. Not, oh bliss, the scent of oranges slowly dried in the oven or mince pies gently warmed and served to others with brandy cream (because let it be known that though I will force feed them to anyone who darkens my door in December I consider them an insult to the very notion of FOOD). but the stench of Christmas Dinner leftovers when we can barely fathom ever eating again, combined with mouldy things to ugly to think about and then used to polish my bedside tables and spritz my velvet pillowcases.
Oh yes. I sleep in the innards of a turkey. And I’m gifting things I can’t afford to replace, wiped down and liberally sprinkled with its giblets.
My name is Alison and I am disgusting. And boys? I am truly sorry. But this is what happens when you insist on eating stuffing with your cornflakes.