Sue Moorcroft’s Ultimate Christmas

Given a blank sheet of paper – or blank blogpost – to create my ultimate Christmas, I find myself almost unable to choose. Quiet? Or noisy? Busy? Or peaceful? Home or away?

Do I hanker after Christmas in a posh hotel in a hot country, with lots of books and lovely things to eat and drink served to me …? To be honest, I have experienced this several times – when I lived in Malta as a child. My lovely parents were the ones who provided the books (there were always books), food and drink. My end of things consisted of bouncing around on a pink space hopper (which is no longer high on my list of Christmas activities) and gleefully adding up the postal orders sent from the UK by grandparents, aunts and uncles.

 Now, I think my ultimate Christmas is a magical one

Now, I think my ultimate Christmas is a magical one. All the members of my large, noisy, extended family will gather at my house. It’ll also include – and this is very important – two Christmas Fairies, who will have done all the Christmas food shopping and preparation. Fairies do not observe Christmas (I’ve decided) so I feel not at all guilty at them twinkling around the kitchen all day so that I don’t have to. Incidentally, I’ve chosen two fairies, one of each gender, as I’m an equal-opportunities ultimate Christmas creator. (Yes, fairies do have gender. How else would we have baby fairies?)

The Christmas Fairies have already found time to decorate a beautiful, natural tree that does not shed needles. It glitters with baubles and tinsel and is lit by tiny white lights. If a child runs past it, it does not crash to the floor. The family won’t arrive until after I’ve enjoyed a leisurely start to the day, briefing the fairies, realising I’ve lost at least a stone and my hair has gone beautifully. No family member will be feeling the stresses and strains of trying to spread themselves too thinly amongst relatives. All the children will have slept well and won’t become cranky or overtired. Most importantly, those we’ve loved and lost will be restored to us for the day.

Those we’ve loved and lost will be restored to us for the day.

The delicious-smelling Christmas food prepared by Christmas Fairies doesn’t contain calories. It doesn’t matter how small the cooker is, the Fairies can get all the food to the table hot, and the table also has magic properties and expands to exactly the right size to seat everyone (about thirty people by now!) without the dining room even seeming cramped. The Christmas Fairies have produced the favourite food of each guest. Mine features chocolate. Alcohol isn’t bad for us, and it, too, is calorie-free.

When it’s time to gather around the tree Fairy-work is evident again. The Christmas presents are beautifully wrapped and the family opens their gifts amongst exclamations of joy. Many hugs are exchanged and everybody enjoys each other’s company as the Fairies flit from dining room to kitchen to do all the clearing up. This really would be the ultimate Christmas, wouldn’t it?

What is truly magical is that, minus the Christmas Fairies, I do get a version of this every year. It happens on a nominated day between Christmas and New Year rather than Christmas Day itself when my lovely extended family arrives from other parts of the country. Either myself or my sister-in-law takes on the Christmas Fairy duties regarding shopping and cooking, but its worth it to have one of our houses filled with chatter and laughter, the kids getting over excited, the adults trying to finish at least one conversation now and then. Many hugs are exchanged and everybody does enjoy each other’s company. The floor vanishes beneath a layer of discarded wrapping paper, the table’s a little crowded, every corner of the cooker utilised. We don’t get our loved ones back but they are there in our hearts.

We have our own magic. It’s called family.

Merry Christmas, everybody. I hope your Christmas is magical too.

By Sue Moorcroft

Other Articles

Books that provide an escape by Sue Moorcroft

I love books that carry me away. Some provide armchair travel, which is something I’ve valued more than usual in the past couple of years, but others take me to a different time or headspace. Here are five that have stayed with me. Tempted by the Runes by Christina Courtney… Read More

Phillipa Ashley’s Christmas Playlist

When is it too soon to start playing festive tunes? After Bonfire Night? December 1st? Christmas Eve? What about June? For me, writing a Christmas novel begins on New Year’s Day and I’ll already have been thinking about the plot while the previous festive title is on the shelves. My… Read More

Charlie Gallagher and Police Procedural TV Shows

I can see why I was asked for my opinion on police themed TV shows. Firstly, I write police thrillers so it’s my business to know what is good and appealing to audiences. Secondly, I worked as a police officer for thirteen years, living the life… Read More