Whether you are religious or not, the Christmas meal is something pretty sacred. It is a time when we are looking to feed our better selves. The food we choose to eat needs to spread love, warmth, goodwill, forgiveness and optimism around a large table of people who, though bonded together by varying levels of shared genes and shared history, might not otherwise choose to sit down and eat together. It needs to weave a spell of magic that suspends any disbelief in the meaning of family, and indeed in the meaning of Christmas. And although normal, sceptical service is likely to resume with the Boxing Day hangover, something of the spirit of that meal should linger deep in the consciousness, helping to keep us sane and sanguine for the next twelve months.
A River Cottage Year
Hodder and Stoughton 2003