This year we are not having the Family Christmas Lunch. The children and grandchildren are variously in Wales, Thailand and another part of North London and, although a little sad not to see them all, part of me was secretly looking forward to a meal where we could eat what we fancied instead of having to remember who wouldn’t or couldn’t eat sprouts/chestnuts/Christmas pudding etc.
The OH, however, clearly felt differently. (He likes company, an audience for his jokes and his stories – I’ve heard them all before.)
So when one of his mates suggested we join him and his family, plus a famous actress friend and her family, plus some other friends the OH had known through his work a while ago, he jumped at the chance.
‘Don’t bring anything,’ said the friend’s wife, another former colleague. ‘Just something for the Secret Santa. We just do a craft thing, something home made.’
As far as I know, the OH has never taken part in Secret Santa but, channelling his inner Heston, he came up with a plan. An elaborate foodie pun.
He would make some chocolate truffles, then present them on a half a wooden log with ‘earth’ made from crumbled chocolate biscuits.
So far he has spent some time sourcing the right sort of biscuit. (I have refrained from pointing out that a true chef would have made his own.)
He has bought all the ingredients for the truffles but has abandoned his idea of presenting them on half a log as the log pile outside is too wet.
This morning he asked me if I had a small box he could use instead. When I found one he said he didn’t need the lid. Foolishly, I asked what would happen if we had to put our gifts into a Secret Santa sack.
He is now not talking to me. I am not sure if he will still go ahead with any part of his plan but luckily I have a secret supply of amaretti, marshmallows and glace cherries in the cupboard in case of emergencies.
Just right for a Christmas rocky road.