I always know it’s Christmas when all the appalling perfume and cologne commercials flood the airways. They’re the same cookie cutter nonsense - obtuse, vague, pretentious and incoherent pretending to be edgy. The Christmas decorations that pop up in Sept are the shots across the bow warning us we are about to be inundated with the worst of Christmas excesses.
That being said ... I will now pivot on my melodramatic sense of indignation, plunge headlong into irony, and tell you how I torture myself every Christmas by dreaming of the epitome of luxurious excess – the Christmas Hamper from Fortnum and Masons ... but Harrods’s will do in a pinch. The best ones are not exportable, but that doesn’t stop me from ogling them.
I spend hours wandering through the condiments offered, special Christmas cakes and snacks and debating the merits of various coffees and teas. Hey, some people shop for shoes, I shop for food. But the cheese offerings! Oh be still my cholesterol levels! The cheeses. When I was in the UK, oh so many years ago, I’d pop into cheese shops and have them recommend a cheese. Then I’d spend the day merrily munching away on cheese and fresh bread. That’s one of the greatest pleasures in the world. The Christmas hampers offer a dizzying array of choices. But my favourite is the one in the above picture – the Imperial Hamper for £6,000.00 – dream big or go home is my motto.
After I examine the contents of each hamper, I invariably conclude it's more fun to pick and choose specific items & create my own dream hamper. For some reason, any phantom hamper tends to be loaded down with the 3 Cs - cookies, cakes, and condiments. I always start with F&M Christmas chutneys and Piccadilly Piccalilli – 2 bottles of each please and work my way through the list. And yes, I like Christmas fruit cake. Not that awful dreck you find around here ... real, whiskey soaked fruit cake. A couple of those makes it to the list along with at least one Christmas pudding. Then there are the biscuits, teas and coffees, chocolates, marmalades ... Last year’s imaginary hamper must have weighed at least 200 lbs. before I satisfied my lust. Sigh ....
Maybe one year I’ll treat myself to a small box of goodies ... just the most wanted in my list. Maybe next year.