Tuesday, 23 December 2008
HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A PEACEFUL NEW YEAR
I've been thinking about why I wasn't getting excited about Christmas, and all the usual answers came up, as in age, amount of effort and all sorts of boring answers.
Then this morning I woke up at 6.30 knowing I had to get up and go to Sainsbury's and whadda yer know I was excited, really excited about going shopping. And shopping for food at that!!! I think it was to do with it still being very dark and so early it felt a challenge to be leaving the house at 7am to do the half hour drive to the supermarket of choice. It had been open from 6am. By 8am I'd finished my shopping and decided I deserved breakfast so went to the cafe for a full English breakfast, which is a very rare thing for me to indulge in.
By 9am I was home and still excited, so I set to and made a ton of pastry before hitting the shops again, this time for such diverse things as birdseed for the garden birds, a whole pile of dollars and a new lipstick for me!
Back home to make 2 dozen mince pies, and then the real excitement of the day as I went to Stoke station to pick up my eldest son....... Now I know why I woke up so happy!!
So putting him in front of said mince pies I popped out to meet a mate for a present exchange.
Now I get to cook prawn curry for both my boys before they hit the hotspots of town.... as if we had any. And I get to wrap their presents in their absence.
And what has really made me cheerful to day is that a lot of the shops I've been in recently haven't had any fruit gums, the sweets that both my sons adore, and the local newsagent had 14 packets and now I have them! Ready to help Father Christmas put in their stockings. The same stockings I have told them they are both too old for and really they can't expect F.C. to keep visiting at their age.... YES!
What occurred to me today is how I find the Christmas magic and it's in getting food and making it from scratch, it gives me so much pleasure. So tomorrow when I'm listening to carols on the radio I'll prepare the vegetables and start making the apple trifle, and no doubt I'll be as happy as I have been today sifting the flour and fats when I made the pastry.
Which made me think about what made the magic for me as a child, and even then it was the simple things, like the sparkly plastic high heels that just had two strips of elastic over them to keep them on. And if I got a pair of those I was so happy.
Getting an Advent Calender, that one hasn't changed I still have to have one as you can see by the photograph.
Putting my empty stocking on my bed and once Father Christmas had been, even when I knew who it was really, the excitement of feeling that strange weight on the end of my bed.
My sister coming into my room and climbing into bed with me and us opening our stockings together only to be yelled at by our parents to go back to sleep.
The eating of the same breakfast that had to be consumed before anyone was allowed a present. My children and I hold the same tradition of eating a piece of home cooked ham on toast before anyone is allowed in the sitting room
And so on through the day. It is these little things that made up family life that made my Christmas and still do. I have very few recollections of the presents I got. I just remember the lovely Christmas atmosphere that went on till the evening. When we could collapse in front of the television. Which I suppose explains why Christmas evening is the low point of the day.
I wish anyone who reads this a really HAPPY CHRISTMAS and a Wonderful New Year.
And even if that time is spent alone, I can only recommend what I do times I'm alone like New Year, and that is to plan little treats for yourself through the day. Whether those are simple pleasures like a bubble bath or a walk, to a half a bottle of champagne, possibly drunk whilst in the bath.... well it works for me!
We are all part of the same world whatever are creed or religion and I wish for peace between us all and tolerance of difference and not fear for the following year.