Irish Independent - Weekend Magazine - - Feature -

There are times when a chat group mes­sage or sta­tus up­date just doesn’t cut it — and Christ­mas is one of them. Make your list (check it twice), then put pen to pa­per and send off some heart­felt, hand­writ­ten sea­son’s greet­ings, writes Caomhan Keane

Long be­fore it was pop­u­lar, my mother started her Christ­mas prep in the last week of Novem­ber. True, the tree and dec­o­ra­tions wouldn’t be mounted un­til muck­ers’ Christ­mas (De­cem­ber 8) had passed and The Late Late Toy Show fired the start­ing pis­tol on my own de­scent into a con­sumerist fever dream. But with black Novem­ber in its death throes, my house would be en­veloped in a per­fumed pong of whiskey-stewed fruit, all­spice and Guin­ness as the Christ­mas cake took up squat­ters’ rights in our oven. Re­sist­ing the temp­ta­tion to peek, poke or peck at the del­i­cacy, she’d pour her­self a snifter of the left­over booze and park her­self at the kitchen ta­ble, get­ting stuck into the an­nual trip down mem­ory lane that was her Christ­mas card list.

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