‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the day, the authoresses were plotting their evening soiree. The knee breeches were hung by the chimney with care, in hope that some rogues soon would be there.
Mostly, we were bustling about, arguing Lady B into some newfangled Christmas ideas. Lady B resisted the Christmas tree, staunchly declaring that in her youth, a few holly boughs and a Yule log were more than good enough. A whole tree? Decadence! She caved on the question of the tree once she heard that Queen Charlotte had one. (True fact: George III’s consort introduced the Christmas tree into England in 1800, although they didn’t really become generally popular until the reign of her granddaughter, Queen Victoria). Although the deciding fact was probably that the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale, her arch rival, didn’t have one.
“Ha! I’ll trump that old bat!” we heard Lady B mutter delightedly to herself, as she slung some extra baubles on the tree.
But, right now, we’re in the midst of debating our next big move: introducing Lady B to the concept of caroling. We know we’re going to have to plot our program carefully. She’s definitely going to want something Albert can squawk along to, and nothing too musically complicated. (Lady B has delusions of being able to carry a tune.)
How about the Little Drummer Boy? suggests Katie. Albert can squawk the rum pa pum pums.
Gaelen, who has come back to join us for the holidays, makes a face. You know how Lady B feels about children….
Ah, yes. Something about liking them better lightly sautéed. Whether this has something to do with Monty’s childhood—the words “limb of Satan” may have been used— we’re not quite sure.
Tessa sighs. I guess that means Some Children See Him is out, too.
Let’s go old school, says Gaelen. The Holly and Ivy, Good King Wenceslas, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen… you can’t go wrong with those.
Sarah grins. Or we could go new school. How about Tim Minchin’s White Wine in the Sun?
I’m going for the traditional vote, Miranda hastily says. Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
Or Silent Night! Kate chimes in. She thinks for a moment and then makes a face. Although Lady B isn’t very good with silence.
We’re all stymied, until we hear a knocking on the door. A voice with a thick Scottish accent calls, How about the Twelve Days of Christmas?
Cautiously, Tessa opens the door to the Ballroom, and in comes—- a sock wearing tartan? No, it’s two socks wearing tartan.
We are the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theater, one explains.
And so am I, says the other.
And so is he, agrees the first. If a sock can be said to beam, he beams at the assembled authoresses. We’ve come to sing you The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Well…. I’m not quite sure what Lady B will make of their rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas, but knowing Lady B, I’m guessing that she’ll agree that a pear tree is rubbish packaging for a present.
What’s your favorite Christmas carol?