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1. So distracted and uninterested in Christmas 2020, I realised on the morning of the 25th that we hadn't bought any vegetables or side dishes. The nut-roast had required such an immense variety and quantity of ingredients, that everything else had ceased to exist. Cruson in Camberwell and Oli's in Walworth supplied us with potatoes, carrots and green beans, but we had to live without parsnips - our comeuppance for being so slack...


3. I accompanied my sister to our childminder's house at 3-months of age, and over the years, she taught us - amongst other things - how to bake cakes, and how to look after the garden. We would play games and watch the Kylie Minogue VHS on repeat. She knitted us jumpers, one of which was a firm favourite: blue at the top, green at the bottom, with two cats - both with tiny bells on their collars that tinkled when you moved. Still in touch, our childminder continues to knit, making numerous baby-grows for our friends's newborns, as well as knitting us a pair of mittens each. A child-like accessory, these mittens are even more nostalgic thanks to our connection with their maker. 

5. Ripping, cutting, arranging, sticking - I tried to find the motivation to make - and, more crucially, send-  Christmas cards this year. To no avail... 

6. In my opinion, there is no better gift wrap than sheets from Financial Times, folded neatly, kept in place with silver glitter tape... 

2. December 2020: no plans, no parties, some walks.


8. Christmas 2015 was spent in Bahia, Brazil, with my parents and my sister - and occasionally, with a couple that we met on the first few days in the country. 

The coffee, the caipirinhas, the colours - everything was sunny and vibrant. We moved around Bahia over three weeks, starting in a shack on the beach where we waited for my sister to arrive from Sydney. The ocean was rough, and the house was ramshackle - but we would lounge in the sun and read in the shade. We moved to a hotel in the city, where we met our friends - spending Christmas day together drinking caipirinhas around the pool. Our final stay was in a converted convent; heavy with history, the building was arranged around a courtyard with an emerald green pool and verdant palms. 


7. Museum-like colours and William Morris-esque patterns, Bonne Maison socks are a true joy to wear and to catch a glimpse of. 


9. Recent Christmases have been spent in Scotland. Between Inverness and Aberdeen, Aviemore is green and mountainous, yet also by the water - both the ocean and the river, which is vital for those most Scottish of things: salmon and whiskey. The coast is wild and rough, and so a nip of whiskey is a necessity on a bracing walk along the shore.

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