James Marston: Christmas festivities bring out the best in Felixstowe

Felixstowe Mayor Jan Garfield pulls the switch and lights Felixstowes Christmas lights last year.

Felixstowe Mayor Jan Garfield pulls the switch and lights Felixstowes Christmas lights last year. - Credit: Archant

It’s the Christmas lights switch-on today in Felixstowe.

I can’t wait – well I have waited all year – what I mean is I always like this event.

Though, I note, they have never asked me to turn them on, despite being quite well known on the peninsular and also for my small flat with sea views (distant) in the town.

It’s one of those times of the year, like the carnival, when the community comes together and everyone moans about things in a good-natured way.

My sister Claire, with whom I also work for our 104-year-old family flour milling business in west Suffolk, of which we are rightly proud, has ordered a corporate Christmas tree, complete with lights and star, and which has been put up, somewhat incongruously, next to an oil tank.

But Christmas is definitely on its way.

And that means shopping. This year I am sticking to my maxim:

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“If I can’t find it in Felixstowe or online they can’t have it” when it comes to gift buying.

I don’t know if you are the same but I’m not keen on the dog eat dog world of the festive department store or fighting for a car parking space, so I don’t do it.

It also means house guests.

As one friend said to me recently: “We had my parents’ friends over on Sunday for morning coffee and they stayed for eight hours. My poor husband just wanted to lounge around in his pants. As soon as they left he took off his trousers. They hadn’t even started the car.”

Difficult, isn’t it, having people to stay – and don’t deny it. Although when I stay at other people’s they love having me. I’ve so far managed to avoid house guests as it would mean not only turning the heating on in the spare room but clearing it out – well, moving junk to another room.

In the meantime I have been to see a lady about a Yule log. This week I popped along to WI stalwart Jane Sago and set about messing up her kitchen as we made a festive cake.

We made one earlier – well Jane did – just in case I created disaster and we needed a decent picture, but, in the end, I was, it turned out, a dab hand with the buttercream icing and was pretty pleased with the result.

Let me know what you think and what you get up to at Christmas.

For more from James, see his previous columns here