And for a couple who are 79 and 80 respectively, my parents still put on a remarkably good festive show. Everything is beautifully decorated, the larder and fridge are groaning with fabulous home-made food, meals are plenteous, and sherry decanters are always to hand, glinting with anticipation. The nearby woods make an excellent playground for the children, and Grandpa loves to join the expeditions.
The traditional carol singing round the piano was cancelled this year, owing to various croaking and/or lost voices (mine included), but we managed a bit of homemade music-making nevertheless. It was probably a ghastly racket and wouldn't have stood up to the scrutiny of any outsiders, but we enjoyed ourselves!