The Red Album

She wore light grey cashmere leggings, Stella McCartney, no less.

For my birthday,
She gave me a beautiful bracelet,

Woven with my first initial, S.

She smiled at some and scowled at most,
She’d fall and falter at the thought of toast.

Christmas coated with childhood ghosts,
Made being here far too haunting -
So she went to a place, perhaps less daunting?

The red album’s still empty,
Your last gift -
I don’t know what to put in it?
The tides turned a drift.

I wrote this poem about a friend, who I’ve written about before. I often think of her and other loved ones who are not here, my Parents especially. Christmas has a way of reshuffling the decks, and with each passing year of someones absence, this season, more than any other, offers us time to reflect upon happy memories, change, and blessings that we’ve been given. Christmas is also a great time to renew.

I’ve been asked to write a post on simplifying Christmas, I’m not sharing a recipe as I usually do, though I will of course be sharing some soon… For now, here goes.

This is your Christmas, be faithful to your heart, do that and it will be plain sailing.

Remember, that this season too shall pass, and with a little TLC, some time to relax and lots of delegation – no task is too awesome, no turkey too enormous and no person too difficult to understand or sit next to!

Christmas is all about tradition and family, not creating restaurant food – take the pressure off. The day involves cooking lunch with a more generous serving of love, the way your Mum prepared it. My Mum died last year, and of course I remember her Turkey stuffing with a sense of warmth, it was, for me, the tastiest stuffing, the best I’ve ever eaten. I know full well that I am biased, though I have always said that Love is the most important of all ingredients, it really does make things taste better!

I think some people put too much pressure on themselves, especially at Christmas. Remember, you’re cooking for the most loving of audiences, and if they’re not anything but helpful and supportive, a compulsory viewing of “Scrooge,” is highly recommended. Seriously though, if you’re relaxed, everyone else will pick up on that and the whole day will be lighter and happier.

One thing I learned from working at the Recovery Centre, is that this time of year is not merry for many, so rather than spending hours sweating away in the kitchen, make life easier for yourself;

  • spend the day with those you really want to.
  • buy some ingredients that help you save time.
  • prepare a salad to serve between the starter and main, everyone will feel better for it.
  • give time to those you love, nothing matters quite so much at Christmas.

And if you’re serving turkey, remember…

Turkeys should be able to grow naturally, free of chemical growth-promoters. Feeling Food recommends you buy a free range bird, by parting with a few extra pounds, and ideally buying direct from a farm, farmers’ market or from your local butchery, everyone is better off.

Let go of anything, thought or person – that doesn’t fill you with LOVE.

Love, is surely the most precious of gifts anyone may give, to themselves and others, this time of year and throughout the year be generous, a generous heart lives a simple life.

Merry Christmas.

FFX

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