The Cottage Smallholder

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The flash of red at the window


Photo: Father Christmas hat

Photo: Father Christmas hat

Even though I knew that Father Christmas didn’t exist I was always fooled by my mum’s comment during the month of December. If we were being naughty she would glance outside and say.
“I’ve just seen a flash of red at the window. You better behave if you want Christmas stockings this year.”
This stopped all bad behaviour in its tracks instantly.
So I grew up thinking that Father Christmas was rather a stern man. Being naughty was fun after all.

There was also a Father Christmas decoration a hard rounded egg shaped body with little black boots and a head on a spring. The egg opened – it must have contained sweets originally – to reveal nothing inside. My mum used to say this little Father Christmas was watching us too. When she wasn’t looking I’d reach up to the mantelpiece and turn its face to the wall. Then I’d stick my tongue out at it. I can still remember the scratchiness of the hollow frosted body and the way the head wobbled when I touched him.

The Father Christmas that visits the cottage is immune to bad behaviour. In fact he often slips naughty jokey surprises into our stockings. I look forward to his visit every year as a stocking is the best part of Christmas for me.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Joanna

    I think that coal was mentioned in our house too. Nowadays a sack of coal would be very welcome!

    Hello Wendy

    I do hope that you had a good Christmas and a great New Year. Lots of love to you, Tom and Dougal from us all.

    Hi Celia

    Happy holidays to you and Cliff and all furred and feathered friends too. Let’s hope that we all have a great 2010.

    Hi Danast

    Thank you for all your good wishes which are returned by all at the cottage. So pleased that you are enjoying the blog and the forum. All best wishes for a great New Year.

    Hello Amalee

    Happy holidays to you too! Santa left this hat behind one Christmas – very handy at this time of year.

    Hello Frances

    Happy Christmas and a happy New Year to you. I love the cranberry sauce too – this year I hot water bathed it to give it a longer shelf life. This is making me hungry so I’m going downstairs to put on the breakfast sausages.

    Hi Lesley

    Delighted that you are enjoying the site. I do hope that you are enjoying the Christmas break and will have a good New Year.

  2. That would be a *site* NOT as *sit* 😛

  3. I too stumbled upon this sit and I just love it to bits
    Merry Christmas all and a lovely new year too.

  4. Happy Christmas Fiona – thought I would let you know that I made your recipe (Quick Cranberry & Clementine Sauce) and it was really delicious – it had such a fresh and citrus flavour. It only made 2 jars but I gave one to a friend on Xmas Eve and I had a text on Xmas Day to say how lovely it was. A great success.

  5. amalee issa

    Excellent picture, FnD!
    Have a lovely Christmas

  6. Merry Christmas to you , Fiona, Danny, Minpins and all your feathered friends.
    I would like you to know how much I look forward every day to your blog Fiona. Since stumbling on this site – I can’t remember how – I have enjoyed daily fixes. Your memories, comments, advice and wisdom on so many subjects brighten up my day. The forum is brilliant too Danny. Good luck with all your ventures and I hope the New Year brings lots of happiness and better health for you Fiona. Have fun!!

  7. magic cochin

    I remember being scared of Father Christmas!

    Merry Christmas from me and Cliff and our various furred and feathered creatures.

    I’ll raise a glass of 2007 Damson Vodka
    Cheers! Danny and Fiona – here’s to a peaceful Christmas and good wishes for 2010


  8. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Fiona, Danny and the Minpins – from Wendy, Tom and Dougal-dog x

  9. I remember there was one year our youngest was surprisingly well behaved, absolutely impeccable, thoughtful, helpful and caring – what happened! What miracle had occurred? At school they had learnt about Christmas traditions and that in Holland they believe that naughty children get a shoe full of coal and he didn’t want that so thought he had better be on his best behaviour. I nearly died laughing when I found out why he was behaving so well. Shame it didn’t last.

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