So How Was Christmas For You?

This morning I came downstairs to a diarrhoea covered dog’s bed and can say with both guilt and remorse that I now regret feeding the one remaining canine our left over Christmas dinner. Cauliflower cheese, peas and carrots not to mention stuffing and turkey gravy are not recommended by any vet I know as sustenance for elderly Golden Retrievers, especially those prone to dicky tummies.

Mea culpa. At least I got to clean it/him up. His rear end now smells of lynx and his bed of washing machine water. No, the repair man still hasn’t been and we are dressed in rags.

It’s three days post Christmas and I’m evaluating from my, mrscarmichael’s POV, the success of the holiday season so far. Do read on. This starts slowly but builds, I swear, to a mortifying conclusion.

Present-wise, I did not receive the Eileen Cooper print (Dear Santa) I requested and am beginning to wonder if Father Christmas is as real as the Tooth Fairy or the Blackpool fortune teller’s promise that I am due a ‘windfall’ in 2012.

#runningoutoftime Mystic Martha.

But, for the defence, neither was I given anything I didn’t want. The Carmichaels know that it is always a good thing to check with mother/present wife the desirability quotient of potential gifts. I have a policy of instant rejection of the unrequested and undesired. I think immediate honesty, although harsh, is better in the long run than drawn out disappointment for both the giftor and giftee.

And thus, although the surprise factor was minimal I am pleased to display my bounty.

marrikemoto goblet (mrscarmichael)
iittala mariskooli goblet (mrscarmichael)

I have hankered after a red one of these for many a Christmas. I love it.

tom dixon metal bowls (mrscarmichael)
tom dixon metal bowls (mrscarmichael)

I happened upon these jewels in the home section of Selfridges on an ill thought out and somewhat desperate trip to London on Christmas Eve eve. As predicted Mr Carmichael was most happy with the suggestion that I purchase the five golden platters for myself from him because, as predicted (Dear Santa), he was awaiting Christmas Eve for inspiration to strike.

Unsurprisingly I love them.

shanghaitang phone case (mrscarmichael)
shanghaitang phone case (mrscarmichael)

The cherry blossom pattern and colour-way are as requested. As a rule I prefer cases to be the same tone as the phone itself but after a year of missing more, way more, than half my calls because I am unable to find my black phone in my black handbag I have accepted with grace not only my failings but a egg shell blue case with black highlights.

Oh and the London brick vase in the background was an almost surprise.

“Would you like a white vase?”

“Mmm, tell me a little more.”

Love both.

A plethora of inoffensive publications, some of which I even want to read and a tea for one complete my haul.

nifty invention (mrscarmichael)
nifty invention (mrscarmichael)

I love the simple ingenuity and the fact I am restricted to making tea only for myself.

There were, however, elements of the Carmichael Christmas that did not go quite as well. For me in particular.

what a cracker (mrscarmichael)
what a cracker (mrscarmichael)

I took this just before I tripped and fell over both F……. and D……., a vet nurse trainee who were in my way. I will be sticking to that story, M’lud for as long as necessary. And before my friend, T……., the vet nurse trainee’s mother asks why I haven’t included the pic of me lying on the floor post trip I swear it is on Daughter #2’s camera. Not mine. Mine was on the floor with me and my surprisingly still full wine glass.

Daughter #2 is yet to return from her boyfriend’s house which is the only reason I can think of why my crash and burn moment is not plastered all over Facebook……yet. Still, I do look thinner in that photo than in any other taken on the day so if it does go up I’ll accept it as a glass half full moment (both metaphorically and indeed literally).

Many years ago I was flatting in Surrey Hills, Sydney with a few miscreants and a French boyfriend, C………. Our Christmas dinner was frugal to non existent. The I Ching had told us December 25th was not to be an auspicious day. But to the rescue came one young flatmate’s parents who gathered us up and whisked us off to somewhere suburban on the North Shore for ‘a proper meal’ on the day after Boxing Day.

They provided beds the night before and made us feel most welcome. C………’s and my air mattress was blown up in the dining room which was divided by glass from the kitchen.

I was woken by noises off. Homely cooking clattering that I had become somewhat distanced from that particular summer. I turned over and can still remember with high definition clarity the sight that greeted me. J……., the flatmate’s parents were preparing our two day late Christmas dinner totally utterly stark bollock naked.

I woke C……… and shaking with mirth we pretended to sleep until they went to dress.

The dinner and the hospitality were magnificent. Replete we were returned to our hovel. We never told J…….what we had seen but I have never forgotten it.

Fast forward mumble, mumble years and Daughter #2’s relatively new boyfriend has been staying chez casa Carmichael quite a lot this uni break. He shares the same name as Daughter #1. This is very confusing for everyone and I always felt in my waters it was not a good thing. I was right.

Because we do not run a bordello and because of the brevity of their relationship, A……. is relegated to the TV room, sleeping-wise. This is a downstairs room. Last Saturday, the TV was still blaring up the stairwell and all young things (apart from daughter #4) were watching Made in Chelsea on Sky Plus below me. Thus, at gone midnight, I felt utterly comfortable coming out of my bedroom (upstairs) to shout at Daughter #1 for not turning her up, up, upstairs light off. I shouted her name multiple times. I didn’t give it a second thought.

And yes, I was naked.

birthday suit boo boo (mrscarmichael)
birthday suit boo boo (mrscarmichael)

Getting no response I stomped up the third floor stairs to do the job myself. Light off, I was about to come back down when I heard the floorboards creak below me. And there was the boyfriend, creeping out of #2’s bedroom with his overnight bag.

Thank God he didn’t see me, I thought as I rapidly, but silently, stepped into the shadows. Then my veins chilled, my blood turned to ice.

If your potential mother in law was repeatedly shouting your name wouldn’t you rush to respond? I know I would. He’d seen me not only naked but yelling like a banshee whilst naked. Nothing can dissuade me from this conclusion. I am to be to him what J…….’s parents are to me. A humorous story told regularly over mumble years when I want to make people laugh.

What could I do? Well, what I couldn’t do was sleep. I thrashed around all night listening to Mr Carmichael snoring the sleep of the clothed and wondering if I could bare to wear nighties.

“Get over yourself, Mum,” was the kindest thing anyone said to me the next day. But I was mortified, am mortified and will continue to be mortified for as long as there is breath in my birthday suited body.

So, how was Christmas for you?


15 thoughts on “So How Was Christmas For You?

  1. Your gifts are all lovely. So were mine! But I don’t have a story to compare with yours! I’m still laughing. Thank goodness our daughters don’t live at home any more, so what goes on with boyfriends is something we don’t know about. It’s better not to know. And the upside is that we don’t run the risk of getting caught out either!

  2. Why is it the worst things that happen make the best anecdotes? I suppose it’s a form of compensation! And the best thing about telling stories is that the people in them become characters, and not real people at all. I’m imagining that J’s parents have gone about their lives wholly unscathed by any anecdote you may have told at dinner parties about them. Plus, the boyfriend is not you, so his actual response is entirely unknown. You have the whole scale before you, from complete indifference through to mortification. You’ll know if it’s mortification easily enough – has he looked you in the eyes since? You should get your answer soon enough when you’re both together next and dressed. 😉

    Lovely Chrimbo pressies, btw, and I’m not ready to talk about my Christmas yet. Let’s give it to Easter. It may be easier by then.

      1. Somewhere in the middle – you may have made an impression, but not one that will burn in his brain forever…. At least, that would be my interpretation. As for Christmas, I wouldn’t mind desperately if we didn’t bother with it next year. I have this growing suspicion that it brings out the worst in relatives…..

      2. Oh that is so true at least about the relatives. We only do it with friends now.
        It’s so much better in the Southern Hemisphere where one can GET OUTSIDE after dinner.

  3. Now that I am old enough to be naked with nothing on rather than nude and your all too vivid prose pictures have given me a reason other than pity for the firemen to tog up at night I shall migrate to non diaphonous pj’s. Great writing BTW.

  4. Lovely! A bounty, indeed 🙂 Been there, done that, with the diarrhea covered dog beds, and yet, when you’re out of regular food, in the moment, it feels completely right. But yikes! On the naked encounter, makes me glad to be in a small apartment, I’ll never feel that secure, lol 😉 Merry Christmas!

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