Even with the best will in the world Christmas can be a bit… trying, can it not?
But at least you can be grateful you are not celebrating Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm with the Starkadders. They have a withered thorn-branch as a tree, decorated with tufts of sheep’s-wool and topped with a raven’s skeleton in place of a star.
Grandma Ada Doom sets the tone:
“Amos, carve the bird. Ay, would it were a vulture, ’twere more fitting! Reuben, fling these dogs the fare my bounty provides. Sausages… pah! Mince-pies… what a black-bitter mockery it all is! Every almond, every raisin, is wrung from the dry, dying soil and paid for with sparse greasy notes grudged alike by bank and buyer. Come, Ezra, pass the ginger wine! Be gay, spawn! Laugh, stuff yourselves, gorge and forget, you rat-heaps! Rot you all!”*
(Stella Gibbons, Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm, 1940)
Merry Christmas everyone!
*Clearly we are pre-the arrival of Flora Poste.