Here is Waugh’s diary entry for his Christmas 75 years ago–Wednesday 26 December 1945:
Maria Teresa and Bron have arrived, he ingratiating, she covered with little meddals and badges, neurotically voluble with the vocabulary of the lower-middle class–‘serviette’, ‘spare room’. Only on points of theology does she become rational. On Christmas Eve we went to midnight Mass at Nympsfield. I was moved to remit the sums owing by the nuns for the losses and breakage for their six years’ tenancy of the house. We managed to collect a number of trashy and costly toys for the stockings. We had a goose for luncheon and a tasteless plum pudding made for us by Mrs Harper, a bottle of champagne. By keeping the children in bed for long periods we managed to have a tolerable day. My only present, a very welcome one, a box of cigars from Auberon. I have seats for both Bath and Bristol pantomimes. The children leave for Pixton on the 10th. Meanwhile I have my meals in the library.
Though I make believe to be detached from the world I find a day without post or newspapers strangely flat, and look forward to tomorrow’s awakening with Ellwood laying the papers by my pillow.
A Happy Christmas to our readers from the Evelyn Waugh Society.