There are still far too many shopping days to Christmas and certainly more than can justify Sir Morrison's putting on their Xmas livery and pushing their Christmas special offers. Even Paxton House, that bastion of Borders gentility and decency had a Father Christmas lurking in a grotto over the weekend. PH combined a craft show with a two day open house -free tour and free mulled wine. But Father Christmas was getting no takers at 50p a knee -or actually no change from £1 a visit to the grotto tucked away in a corner of the Picture Gallery. At the time of our visit Ms Z was the only person under about 45 around and she felt that her pennies were better spent elsewhere so she passed the rather sinister looking Santa bolthole without a second glance en route to demanding a top up for her mulled wine.
This brings Huttonian to a point of Christmas etiquette. We plan to be in the lower Highlands for Christmas itself. But back in the Merse for Old Year's Night, Hogmanay, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day depending on ethnicity. Question: does that excuse us from erecting a Tree? After all a Tree is for Christmas unlike a Rottwieller puppy. Please, I hope it does. And anyhow I hear that there is likely to be a shortage of trees this year-global warming?-and we don't want to add to deforestation. Any advice on this philosophical point welcome.The warm glow on Santa's Kneewas from spilled wine and not tot's wee
(Hutton Book of Seasonal Haikus)