Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Grinch is dead

Christmas turkey

The Grinch is dead. He died nearly two years ago now. My daughter finished him off, you see.

When he was around, Christmas was a desultory old business. Like a room without a TV ­– I mean fireplace – there was just no focus, nothing to really draw the eye. In truth, my family and I essentially spent the day staring at a turkey*. We would shamble around, draped in tinsel and fairy lights, with not a child in sight. Where’s the dignity in that?

Then my daughter was born. And the Grinch was toast.

Since his demise, Christmas has become properly exciting again. Like it was during my childhood, when my parents would fill stockings knitted by Granny, and cheerfully prepare a feast for lunch.**

Now we no longer stare at a large stuffed bird for kicks; we look at my daughter instead. I won’t list the many reasons that this is an improvement, but she does say, “Ho Ho Ho” in her small squeaky voice, and seriously, show me a turkey that can do that. No, a dead one.

What I’m trying to tell you is that I’m excited about Christmas again, and it’s because of my daughter. She will have the same stocking at the end of her bed that I did. The one knitted by her Great Granny, who she never met. She will find a tangerine at the bottom of it, just as I did. Which will secretly disappoint her a tiny bit, just as it did me. It’s tradition.

So perhaps my rediscovered festive cheer is not only down to a dead Grinch. Perhaps motherhood has made me the kind of sentimental fart that bores the pants off everyone around the Christmas table. And every family needs one of those. That’s tradition too.

Happy Christmas!

* Yes, yes, we could have stared at the Christmas tree but we REALLY like to eat. We’re very greedy.
** My teenage door-slamming sessions and hours spent smoking from my bedroom window don’t fit the narrative and will therefore not be recorded here.

Something more important

While I was writing this post I learned – via Shelter’s Christmas Campaign – that 75,000 children in Britain will be homeless this Christmas. That’s more than two children in every primary school.
My daughter and I are lucky. Reading through the above, with the Shelter campaign in mind, I see just how lucky.
Please visit the Shelter website to find out more


  1. What a lovely post. There comes a point where you have to either have children or else think 'bugger this' and go skiing.

    1. Thank you! Yes, I was very lucky because I don't like skiing at all!

  2. One of the absolute highlights of reproduction- Christmas having some meaning again! ;-)

  3. What a lovely post Zoë. Made me all broody and what not! Eeeek!

    1. Thank you! Oh God, sorry to fire up the broody male hormones!

  4. Tangerine a disappointment?? No way! How can you say that! :-) my only disappointment was that there was only ever one Ferrero Rocher.

    1. Ferrero Rocher?! You were lucky. When I was a girl... etc etc