We had already given up on the gratuitous giving of Christmas ‘stuff’ years before Bronnie died, preferring instead to use what money we had for shared experiences. Experiences the children would remember and maybe even replicate when they perhaps had a family of their own.
Every Christmas Eve, for instance, Bronson would take the children and their close friends bowling. It was their thing, while I usually cried off with the legitimate excuse of having to cajole Christmas dinner onto the table.
The one year I did go, I forgot to give back the red, white and blue bowling shoes, and which will now forever form part of my shoe collection being a poignant reminder of Bronnie and Christmases past. Anyway, I don’t think it can be stealing if you didn’t know you were stealing bowling shoes you wouldn’t normally be caught dead in public wearing. Can it?
For a time I did entertain the idea of keeping the Christmas bowling tradition going, but it would not have been the same for any of us. Spending money to be depressed would have been shared experience indeed, but also defeat the aim somewhat.
What to do instead?
Then apropos of nothing, me and the Cava suddenly came up with the idea of taking the children to that very English of theatrical experiences – The Christmas Panto.
Oh no you didn’t.
Oh yes I did.
You also have to understand that I do not have small children any longer but teenagers, so this gambit was a real gamble – but one that paid off. It was especially thrilling when The Dame called out the name of our group during the performance. The crowd went wild – meaning our group went wild and the audience sat wild with wonder watching us go wild as the recognition junkies we are.
All great fun.
The only thing that marred the fun of booking the panto this year was the theatre’s dazzling policy of not allowing a group to book seats together if a single seat is left unoccupied – as ‘it is hard for [them] to sell single seats.’ Being forced to buy that extra seat, or shunted elsewhere at the theatre’s choosing is a disgraceful policy, especially given the price of theatre tickets.
However, this year’s Christmas post is to be devoid of rant so I will leave that irritation for another day, but be warned Mr Theatre Policy…I’m behind you!
HMS HerMelness Speaks