I will get arrested if I ask a stranger to stuff my pudding in her secret little container

Why...

By a remarkable set of coincidences have I managed to get to 63 and never spent Christmas Day in the snow? On the only two times up to age 24 it snowed in the UK on Christmas Day I was out of the country. Every other year was spent there. No snow. My wonderful parents never got the ski-bug, so I actually never skied till I was 42! Once I started making a few bucks, my love of diving had me spend nearly every Christmas somewhere hot. So that was nearly 25 Christmases doused in Ambre Solaire with the odd one spent again with family and friends in snowless England. Now married to my American wife, we live in Malta where Christmas is usually around 20c/75f. Occasionally we spend it with her family in Old Town Alexandria, just outside Washington D.C. I missed a snowbound Washington Christmas, coz the planes from the UK were grounded due to bad weather or a strike or both and again when it snowed in the UK a few years ago we were in Washington enjoying a heat wave. So, I have given up.

...and another thing

This year we shall be in some remote mountain retreat in Asia, pretending I don’t miss crackers, turkey, paper hats, stockings, heartburn, family arguments and watching Miracle on 34th Street.

However, I shall miss Christmas pudding. My wife loathes it but somehow, I need to sneak one out to my holiday retreat along with some brandy butter as I have done every year. Snow or sunshine.

Sadly, buying it at the airport and asking a sympathetic looking lady fellow traveler to carry it on board for me is like asking her to be a party to some weird terrorist threat. So that ain’t happening. In fact, I’m pretty sure the cops would arrest me trying to smuggle a lethal weapon on board via another passenger. Throw one at someone and you’d knock them out cold.

My wife is a forensic packer so sneaking one in undetected at home is as likely as a beardless Santa. I have no choice but to FedEx it to myself. However, how do you explain the content on the custom form to someone who has also never seen snow, let alone Santa Claus?

“Looks like a blob of opium paste to me, sir. Does it contain alcohol? Are you telling me these shards of metal or shall we say shrapnel buried in your ‘bombe surprise’ are in fact silver? Who puts silver in food?”

See what I mean? I am either going to spend all Christmas at customs if I’m lucky, or jail if I’m not.

...and another thing

They say Christmas is all about kids… but whip me with barbed wire for daring to say this but I disagree. I adore my kids and grandkids and seeing them tear open presents is one of life’s simple pleasures but maybe an adult only Christmas with no kids might be fun?

No, I don’t mean something you get to watch on Internet Porn site but Christmas – in the snow – just with grownups. However, it has to be a real Christmas. Stockings, carols, too much food, too little exercise and a game of Charades Monopoly and Twister thrown in.

I bet after initial resistance everyone reverts to childhood. And if we go somewhere with snow, I might even try tobogganing and making a Snowman. But whatever happens I get a monster Christmas Pudding

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