Basically Mum was fantastic at making simple things into 'events'.. a picnic of squash and a biscuit in the park on the way home from school; cheap favourite foods that rarely appeared on the table so acquired cult status; and Rivitas and jam in Debenhams in Oxford! This was Mum's skill - we rarely went shopping in the city so eating in Debenham's first floor cafeteria was way more exciting than buying clothes or the trip to the dentist. I know now that the double pack of Rivitas and the single portion of jam was probably the only thing she could really afford, but we loved them!
The funny thing is that me and my sister still love Rivitas. To everyone else in the world they are a boring, dry old cereal biscuit associated with diets. To us, they are the delicious base to a world of toppings beyond jam! You probably can't imagine our delight when they broadened the range beyond 'original' and 'wholemeal' in the 1990s!!!!
As I'm writing this I'm pondering the point that I'm really trying to make here. I always seem to end up feeling more nostalgic than festive at this time of year. That's not necessarily a bad thing.. I guess I'm lucky enough to have fabulous memories to get nostalgic about!