Saturday, 15 November 2008


I adore Christmas. I love all the preparation, the excitement of getting presents. The stores full of Christmas stuff, and today was no exception. I've had my very old friends from Abingdon staying with me, as in I've known them a long time, not that they are just old!!

We have been to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. It's the place that Mr Darcy lived in the latest Pride and Prejudice film starring Keira Knightly. It is a glorious place about an hour from where I live.

It is the place where Debo Mitford married the Duke of Devonshire and became a Duchess. Her son is now the Duke of Devonshire and she lives in the Dower House.
So not only has it history that is immortalised in film from hundreds of years ago it also encapsulates modern day history with the scandalous Mitford sisters.

I digress, today I went there with Wendy and Mike. I first met Wendy 24 years ago when I'd been to a jewellery party at her house and she came round to mine on the 22nd of December to deliver the jewellery I'd brought.

It was a red letter day. In that earlier that evening I'd had a phone call from my then husband to say he'd be home on leave before Christmas. Then Father Christmas had come down the road where I lived on the back of a truck, with carols playing, collecting money for charity. Then Wendy had turned up.

We sat in my living room with me being so excited, firstly cause I'd seen Father Christmas, second Howard was coming home and third I was making a new friend.

Now 24 years later I still have Wendy, she is someone I love to bits and because of our busy lives we don't see each other as much as we used to. But that doesn't matter cause we know we are there for each other through thick and thin. And over the last 24 years there has been lots of both of those for both of us. I really don't think I would have survived this long if it wasn't for her. Even though at times we haven't been so close. I know without a doubt that if I was in need that she would drop everything to help me, as I hope she knows I would do the same for her.

Back to today! We were at Chatsworth mooching around the Christmas store in the garden centre. It was just lovely, loads of shiny decorations; baubles, tinsel, stars, fairy lights, everything that anyone needed to make Christmas sparkly.I was in heaven, I just love the whole decoration thing. So I brought myself an Advent Calender.

Now I have brought the boys one of those their entire lives up until last year. And the ones I have got have never had chocolate behind the date as I think that is sacrilege. Advent calenders have little pictures behind them. And the one I have got today, which is for me is just wonderfully old fashioned in it's picture of Father Christmas riding across the sky with his reindeer and it's covered in glitter just like the ones I had as a child.

For me Christmas is about two things nostalgia and family and I work at getting both those things to happen. As in this year I will be cooking Christmas lunch for my boys and my sister, her husband and my utterly gorgeous niece and nephew.

This is possibly the last Christmas I will have like this, cause it is my intention when I move to give my time at Christmas to those that don't have the support network I have at Christmas, it will be time to give something back big time.

In the meantime I'll just continue to be as daft as a brush over Christmas, and hide my head in a bucket when it's New Year to get it over with as soon as possible. Which means there will be lots more coming about Christmas as I get more and more excited..... Not surprising I was once known as the Christmas Pixie, the way I carry on!!!!


Lori ann said...

I love your passion Fire Byrd! and I love the labels for this's making me excited for christmas too! tho, here today was 81 degrees with a terrible fire in the neighboring town, please send a little wish for rain...

Mei Del said...

it sounds beautiful...i've not made much of christmas over the years and it's been almost a tradition now that david should have and take the children away on holiday over this period.

Val said...

lovely to hear some christmas joy in these cynical times!! i love christmas too but somehow here in the heat the tinsel disappears in the glittery sunlight. still its a great day to spend with those you love and any waifs and strays...
keep the festive spirit alive!

Fire Byrd said...

lori, certainly wishing rain for you.... please have some of ours, we have more than enough!
Thanks for becoming a follower to, I appreciate it.

mei, hope this means that you and the darling spend time doing lovely things together instead.

val, I can't imagine a hot Christmas at all. And certainly I'll be doing my Christmas bit with a piece of tinsel in my hair for some time to come now!!

Julie said...

Your enthusiasm is catching - think I'll go and dig the baubles out of the loft! Bet Chatsworth is worth seeing when its all decorated. Haven't been there for some time.

justme said...

Arrrrghhh! And here was me hoping they might cancel christmas this year! Obviously not though, so I hope you enjoy everymiute of it and have a wonderful time, with lots of tinsel and fairylights!

Rae!xx said...

Not having children I don't really appreciate Christmas anymore since my Dad died, because although he was a quiet man he did always push the boat out at Christmas and my memory of his last Christmas is very sad because he was so ill.

We had managed to get him home for Christmas but we had to take him back boxing day.

I also remember having a fight with my sister and him saying not this Christmas because it will be my last.

I do though love to see places like Chatsworth all done up in their Christmas finery.


Indigo said...

I adore your blogg. Ar yes... the festive season. I'm not into Christmas yet, but I've got a few gifts for friends so far... what with the so called credit crunch... I guess we should be thankful for life, food and a roof over our heads... some country's aren't so lucky..

Fire Byrd said...

Christmas, you either love it or hate it with nothing inbetween.
So all I wish is that however you like that time to be that your wishes come true.

So Julie, get digging and get those baubles strung up!

just me, I'll do my very best, I find it helps to get into child like wonder at all things glittery!

raexx, I'm sorry this is such a sad time for you, it is so horrible not having family around to share with you any time but especially at Christmas.

Indigo, glad you like it.Your right we mustn't loose sight of how very priveledged we hare to have all that we have. I think Oxfam's buying a goat thing is just superb, and the last three years have seen some strange presents coming my son's way as a result.


Trixie said...

Oh you are even gettign ME excited about xmas now! lol.

I'm really going to enjoy this one with so much family around, my mum arrives in a couple of weeks, plus nephew and his girlf, we are having two christmas days, since my boys are spending it with their dad this year.

nitebyrd said...

Your excitement is catching! I found myself smiling at your joy and memories. I can't wait for more!

~:*:*:Pixie:*:*:~ said...

Mmmmm. Okay, now I am in the mood!!!

Thank you for that!

Mel said...

Oh the history of the places you go...and the places you create in turn.

I'm excited for you!
And I'm glad to hear you picked up an Advent calendar for yourself--WAY cool.
Way cool, those impending plans.
Cuz there are those that don't have those luxuries, as you and I well know....

Himself is pumped and readying the extension cords! LOL
LORD help us....LOL

Walker said...

I decorate every year and i have lots of decorations in the four tubs downstairs.
I enjoy doing it and I do it for me.
I do it because it reminds me of a time when I was young and my brother was still a small pain in the ass.
Some of the decrorations are from people i don;t see any more for one reason or another.

I don;t celebrate Christmas because or Christ but for the memories of times gone by that will never come again.

I like rum eggnog too