The other red hat
You will remember that Julenissen are the gnomes who deliver Christmas presents to children in Norway (see 8 August). They are very fetching in their grey clothes with their white beards and pointy red hats and they are infiltrating the world of craft: if you’re handy with a needle, you can find patterns to make Julenisse from felt, from cloth, from wool and even from pinecones.
So, if you’re sick of decorating with reindeer, consider Norwegian gnomes. (Plague proportions of anything tie in well with the Christmas spirit of abundance.)
Matthew rang me today.
“Why don’t we invite Auntie Gwen and Susan to Christmas dinner?” he said.
This is such a good idea that I’m ashamed I didn’t think of it myself earlier in the year. So I rang them and they accepted and Auntie Gwen also said that Susan will have finished her chemo well before Christmas and she should be able to enjoy food again. (I must find out what her favourite dishes are.)
So, although I would have been distraught to find myself down to four for Christmas just a week ago, today I am positively delighted that we’ve doubled the guest list overnight! (How many desserts can you justify for four people? Surely at least three.)
 This is a waste of pinecones (but so is everything else that involves pinecones and paint).
 I’ve been parsimonious with sugar for the whole year: I think I’ve earned three desserts on Christmas Day!