Friday, 19 December 2014

Wake up and smell the pine needles!

And relax. Everything that has need to be done is almost completed. The rest must wait. Let the holidays begin!

How are you all? I have been away from my wee blog for so long it seems a little rusty and dusty. The last few weeks have been a bit of a blur, I was ill, E started off with a virus that evolved into a nasty skin infection. Even Rosie the Lab had to go off to the vets with a poorly ear. So we have all been cozily tucked up drinking hot milk spiked with honey, vanilla and cinnamon, crocheting and watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. It is a little hard to see and crochet though with a needy dog in a buster collar determined to sit on ones knee!

After a little resistance, I have finally persuaded Mr S to splash out on a real tree. Himself and O manfully set off to brave the wild danger of the ahem shops to bring back a good 'un and the boys did very well. Mr S has conveniently forgotten that he asserted that the old artificial leaning-tree-of- Argos would do fine and has been striding into the dining room regularly to fill his lungs with the Christmassy smell of pine. Nice. I was surprised thought at how resistant the children were to getting a new tree and was reminded of the importance of the Christmas Rules for the kids, like we always have the same tree and we always go to Grandma's and E is always the present distributer at the great opening ceremony.

When I was little we would always visit all my cousins on Christmas Eve, my Dad was one of those visitors who would work the kids up to a high level of over-excited exhaustion and then feck off home! We would then finish off at my Granny's, walking home through the (always!) frosty night shouting Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas until we were no longer in earshot. A quick peek out of the bedroom window just in case and then into bed for the hanging of the stocking. There would be lovely smells coming from the kitchen, a faint odour of paraffin from our Christmas Eve oil lamp and perhaps Elvis on the stereo turned way down low.

For me, the wonderful thing about Christmastime is that every family makes it their own with particular traditions particular to them. Religious or secular, it doesn't really matter. So what if you are a lapsed Catholic atheist, I will take the tree, the tinsel, the dodgy decorations, visiting the family, rowing with the family over the yearly trivia quiz, eating Mrs Ps' Florentines, drinking champagne...

How are you all getting on with your Christmas prep? Love it or Loath it? I love this time of year but it can become a little overwhelming especially if illness or some other unforeseen emergency occurs. I had a little twinge of anxiety as I walked into our local bookstore for a book that E had placed on her letter to Santa, thank-fully they had it in stock. Tis silly really, all the rampant commercialism -don't even get me started on the Black Friday vulgarity- but I love watching their little faces when they open their gifts and can't quite believe that Santa has got it right again.

I also like taking some little quite moments for myself, having a few moments in an empty church, a long walk at dusk and some quick easy crafts. Every year we always make these very easy kid friendly crafts.

The orange pomanders are great for teacher presents and we always team them up with the shortbread stars, plain, iced or flavoured perhaps with orange, cardamom and black-pepper for the big kids? The ivy wreaths are just twisted ivy with gold-painted paper stars, I think they would be so nice with some holly popped through at intervals but I haven't been able to get any this year.
So I am now off to tackle the great pile of ironing that needs to be done before we set off tomorrow to visit all the relatives. I do wish you and yours a most abundant, relaxing and joyous holiday! xxxxxxx