The three highlights of my Christmas are Midnight Mass at Downside Abbey, children tearing open their presents and the Queen’s Speech. For a successful Christmas, avoid tiresome, Cromwellian stuffiness.
A friend always has a pork pie for breakfast on Christmas Day, but I have nothing so original to offer. We do, however, always have smoked salmon for lunch and eat a turkey – with all the trimmings, naturally – in the evening.
At Christmas, never ever ever tell the truth. To the cook: ‘Well, I don’t think it was cooked right through.’ To the child: ‘You’re a bit too old to believe in him still.’ To the aged aunt: ‘We are all sick to death of hearing about Christmas 1939…’ Just lie your way through until Boxing Day.
Alexander McCall Smith
Lining up, in order of height, to go into the drawing room to see what presents are waiting, is one of my favourite Christmas rituals. One thing one should definitely avoid at Christmas is any political discussion, also any uncharitable thoughts.