I know, I know, the title of this blog was slightly misleading. Anyone who bothered to look at it would probably have thought they were going to get some snappy story of life in the States. Not so, its just another mundane bit about Christmas day in a small town in the UK, Newark in Nottinghamshire.
Our day was much the same as any other family Christmas Day. Grandson Orson woke the family early and all the adults stuck to the story that Santa had consumed the beer and mince pie left out for him on Christmas Eve. I reckon he knows his Dad drank the beer five minutes after he went to sleep. The lad is only three but he has seen the presents under the tree for about a week. So why would Santa be making unprofitable, expensive and potentially dangerous journeys across our allegedly crime infested land to visit everyone's home if no delivery was required? To check on customer satisfaction and quality of service? I don't think so. In Mr Blair's modern Britain Santa isn't allowed to do anything that doesn't improve the profit he makes for his company or his sales performance indicators.
In our house we all know that Santa does exist but, like a lot of hardworking public servants he is not allowed give the quality of service that he used to. I personally am deeply ashamed to be colluding in the myth that Santa is still going about his business as he did when I was a boy.
Anyway I digressed away from the important issue I wanted to deal with. The picture accompanying this blog is of the family pre-Christmas dinner walk at Kelham Hall near Newark. These fine and decent people all bought me presents this Christmas. Very nice presents which I will enjoy. But not one of them got me a jumper. I get one every year for Gods sake. I know they are usually unsatisfactory in some way, they don't fit, need washing, have style, or are decorated with patterns I don't like. I'm usually informed when presented with them that they came from Marks and I can take them back if I don't like them. I am always too idle to do this. I expected a pullover this year as usual but no such luck.
What rubbed salt into the wound was that my wife, Susan, told me she had in fact bought me a jumper, didn't like it and took it back to Marks. She got me some very nice cord trousers instead. I mean, the cheek. Its not for her to make decisions on what pullover she gets me on the basis of what she does or doesn't like. She should just buy one and let me not like it as usual.
I sincerely hope we are back to normal arrangements again next year. Surely somebody will get me one of those pink and white Pingle golfing jumpers with diamonds on that I can't stand.