We intended to end the prize draw for subscribers to our You Tube channel at the end of December, but true to the obnoxious form of 2020 we hit a snag.
If you have your YouTube settings as private we can’t identify you. 😳 To be included, if you have subscribed please send an email NOW to firstname.lastname@example.org Headed ‘Val’s Tales – I subscribed.’ It won’t go any further, and the winner will be announced after our next broadcast.
Christmas is behind us, but after reading this short story from my Facebook page you might want to start preparing now for the next one.
Vicky: ‘Any thought about Christmas yet?
Jackie: ‘I expect we’ll be with the out-laws for Christmas lunch. What are you all doing?’
Yvonne: ‘We’re going up to see Johnny and Dina, staying the night with them and home sometime on Boxing day.’
Vicky: ‘What time do you think you’ll be back?’
Yvonne: ‘Not sure yet. Waiting for them to confirm.’
Vicky: ‘We’ve been invited over to Chris’s boss on Christmas eve. I don’t really want to go but Chris might get news of his promotion. My work friends are popping in on Boxing day for drinks and nibbles, so how about you come over to me on Sunday, around one? I’ll do turkey with all the trimmings, and can clear the spare rooms if you want to make a night of it.’
Jackie: ‘Alex is working on the Monday but sounds like a plan. We can get a cab home but will have to leave about 10 ish. Is that OK?’
Vicky: ‘Fine by me.’
Yvonne: ‘Perfect. Then we won’t have to rush if we’re late back on Boxing day. After all that driving, we might take you up on a bed for the night. I’ll check with Terry and let you know.’
As well as her usual deliveries, Vicky reserved the last online delivery spot before Christmas which she could update nearer the time. She invited old Mr Jones from up the road who had lost his wife that year, and only had family in Australia. Another neighbour, Betty spent her time caring for her wheelchair bound daughter. Despite her hardships Joy was like her name, always full of fun- another two to add to the list. Vicky’s friend Angela would come as usual, especially if Don was working at the hospital, which he usually was over Christmas. Even if he turned up there would be plenty to go round, but he was vegetarian so it would be as well to get a non-meat option, just in case.
Usually Vicky enjoyed browsing the shops for tree presents, but since her leg was still in plaster, she resorted to ordering online, and the couriers became a welcome sight as they delivered parcels. Each present was wrapped, tagged and put under the tree.
Unable to climb ladders, the decorations were more subdued this year, but the old favourites still made her smile. The little red boots in the hallway, and the red and green stockings climbing the stairs might be childish, but hey, it was Christmas, and even the tree lights worked first time. The only thing left to organise was the turkey which was down to Chris, or rather his employers, who gave all the staff an enormous bird from a local farm on their last day at work.
‘Shall I order some other meat online?’ Vicky asked, ‘just in case anything happens.’
‘Don’t be daft,’ Chris replied. ‘He’s also getting me some other goodies so you’d better make sure the freezer is empty. I know it’s a long weekend, but we’ll have loads. What about the veg?’
‘All sorted,’ Vicky replied. ‘They’re coming with the delivery, along with all the party nibbles. I think we’ll need a bigger freezer. And no, that’s not a hint for my Christmas present. I want something personal.’
The run-up to Christmas.
‘Did you hear the latest news?’
‘Tell me about it. You never hear of anything else. The world’s gone crazy. All those people who’ve had their flights cancelled, and yet the airlines are still taking bookings.’
‘I know. The rules are changing every five minutes so I expect they’re hoping they will change again.’
‘I feel sorry for the grandparents who only want to see their family on Christmas day. Looks like that’s not going to happen now.’
‘Are you all still coming over? I’ve lost track with what’s allowed and what isn’t.’
‘Not sure yet. We’ll let you know as soon as we can.’
‘OK. Got to go, that’s my delivery at the door. Hope you can make it. I’ve ordered enough to feed the five thousand, and it was too late to cancel. Bye for now.’
New rules, no mixing of different households. The table would only be set for two.
‘Sorry it’s so late,’ the supermarket delivery man said. ‘We’ve been rushed off our feet, and the extra staff they’ve taken on haven’t got a clue. I’m not allowed to bring it in. Can you manage with those crutches?’
‘I’ll sort it somehow. Merry Christmas.’
Normally they used too many plastic carrier bags and she worried about the environmental issues, but not this time. Christmas pudding, mince pies, brandy butter, all the Christmas vegetables and the posh chocolates for tree gifts were covered with a green sludge from a faulty bottle of washing-up liquid chucked into the same bag. Ruined.
The phone rang.
‘Hi Love.’ It was Chris. ‘Not sure how to tell you this but the boss was let down with his delivery. No-one got their Christmas turkey. I’m on my way home, but I’ll stop off and try to find one somewhere. Fingers crossed.’
Frozen prawns intended as a starter might not have been the usual fare, but it did mean less washing up. Chris had arrived home late with the only thing he could find in the shops- a turkey big enough to feed twenty, but which would take at least 24 hours to defrost even if it was now for only the two of them. At least the rest of the long weekend would be sorted once it was cooked. Turkey sandwiches, turkey curry, turkey pie, turkey kebabs, turkey stir-fry, the possibilities were endless but might become a little repetitive.
‘Special delivery for you.’
The huge box from Chris’s employers contained another turkey, an enormous joint of beef and a gigantic capon.
‘Morning Darling. Merry Christmas. Were you having a bad dream? Sorry to wake you, but everyone will be here soon, so we’d better get started cooking.’
‘What day is it today?’
‘Christmas day, you daft ‘appeth. You know, the 25th December 2020.’
‘But what about the lockdown?’
‘What lockdown? I knew we shouldn’t have watched that horror film before we went to bed. Now move yourself. We’ve got people to feed and presents to open. Yours is under the tree. I hope you like it.’
It had all been a nightmare. Christmas 2020 hadn’t been cancelled after all.