Daily Archives:December 6th, 2015

We’ve just passed the outer marker

One of the good things about being in December is that we’ve now broken through the Mince Pie Horizon. I’m sure you know about this: supermarkets start stocking mince pies… well… sometime in the spring, I think… but you know you aren’t really allowed them yet. They’re just there to tempt you, until that special time – and every man must go on a spirit quest to discover this time for himself – when you’re close enough to Christmas to enjoy them with a clear conscience but not so close that you don’t have time to try out several different varieties and work out who’s making the best ones this year.

Then there’s a time when you pass the inner mince pie marker, which orbits at a distance of about two weeks from Christmas. Once within its sphere, you are allowed to warm them in the microwave and add brandy butter. That’s somewhere I will boldly go very soon.

When you think about this, though, I’m sure you’ll agree that mince pies hold an important symbolic meaning. I think there’s a kind of John the Baptist thing going on here. A voice calling in the early December wilderness….

There was a pudding, sent from Waitrose, whose name was Mince Pie. It was not the Christmas Pudding, but it came to bear witness to the Christmas Pudding. This is the true Pudding, which gives sustenance to every man who cometh into the world….

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser