Today I'm trying to do my annual guilt trip. it's almost time to start finding hiding places for lots of "stuff", that has accumulated over recent months, so the house will look good for Midwinter Christmas. I can't believe we're nearly there again!
I keep looking over my shoulder, trying to build up the energy required to do the job properly, and not just hide everything in cupboards and behind furniture. And I keep on surfing the 'Net.
Over on the Aussie Bloggers' BBS they are chatting about the concept of the modern day Christmas hamper, which one pays off in advance so as to have an overabundance of Christmas fare in December - several companies bungled their deliveries last year - and it was asked if companies like Chrisco gave value for money. It got me thinking...
When we were kids in the late 60s and early 70s, a highlight of the pre-Christmas period was the arrival (and ritual unpacking) of my mother's "Walton's Christmas Hamper". She used to pay it off in small advance instalments over the whole year, and the stuff that was in it was readily consumed by us over Christmas and January. It contained lots of stuff we bought regularly, anyway, but there was stuff we only ever had as annual treats because they were in the Christmas hamper, such as glacé fruit, Kool Pops, chocolate syrup for ice cream, tinned plum pudding, bonbons, etc. In the 60s and 70s, the Walton's hamper was very good value, but with the advent of supermarkets - and "specials" - it has become possible, and more economical, to grab the stuff you really needed throughout the year at lower prices.
We have a funny family anecdote concerning the matching plastic bottles of BBQ sauce and chocolate syrup! One year we went on a picnic and my Mum had made the most delicious stack of home-cooked roast beef sandwiches for us to take with us. Of course, when we arrived at the picnic grounds we realised that she'd used the chocolate syrup (brown bottle) instead of the BBQ sauce (dark red bottle). We still laugh about that error at family gatherings.