My Christmas – no cooking, no washing up

Guest post by Claire Mellor
Traditionally in our house we have between 12 and 20 people around the table for Christmas dinner. It’s a time when the whole family and a few waifs and strays descend.

The kitchen is a constant hive of activity, with barely a few minutes spare between clearing up from one meal and starting the next.

Last year, my husband escaped hospital just in time to spend Christmas with the family, but he was very ill. Sadly, he was admitted back into hospital after the New Year and died shortly after.

A very difficult occasion

It will make this Christmas a very difficult occasion, with harrowing memories, a missing person and the first anniversary of his death looming in January, which is already a miserable month.

So, this year I felt the need to break with our tradition and get away from home. I asked our usual guest list if they fancied a Christmas getaway, and everyone agreed a change would be good. I coordinated everyone’s choices and budgets and we settled on a holiday that met everybody’s desires and purses.

I booked everyone together with Crystal Holidays, via Give as you Live, and raised nearly £200 in one purchase for the charity of my choice, the 1st Ealing North Scout Group, with whom my three children have made many friends and learned so many life skills. The Scout Group needs new outdoor cooking equipment, much of which is wrecked by burnt baked beans encrusted on the bottom of billy cans… so I hope my donation will pay for some replacements… and maybe even some non-stick billy cans?