Friday, 18 December 2015

Christmas is around the corner...

How did that happen? Is it just me, or have things suddenly crept up on us? Maybe it's the distinctly un-festive weather. Maybe it's the fact that life has been so ridiculously busy lately that I haven't had the chance to stop and take notice.

But yes, it's almost here. The past week has included a funeral, five birthdays, a nativity play and two parties. I'm very nearly at the 'stopping for Christmas' stage - just two more prints to deliver and I'm done.

I was up at 3am on Wednesday, working on a painting someone had ordered. It wasn't weighing that heavily on my mind but I had drank an awful lot of coffee the day before and decided that rather than lying wide awake in bed I may as well get something done. So I did.

Despite the general chaos we have a Christmas tree up (two sets of lights have so far given up the ghost). There are candles and holly and strings of bells hanging from the beams. We've somehow managed to re-paint the bathroom as the previous shade of blue was just all wrong. So now it's white and bright and lovely.

I've managed to indulge some seasonal treats: chocolates (a freebie from one of Jay's customers at work) and Polish cherry liqueur. And I'm reading Christmas poetry in bed.

Somehow, most of our presents have been bought too. Not wrapped but bought. Cards written and (for the most part) sent. We've yet to figure out the food shopping but I know panettone, smoked almonds and trifle components will be going on the list.

Joe's nativity went... Well, let's just say it went. It was held in the little chapel next to his preschool and the place was packed. I think he was overwhelmed by it all and initially just sat with his hands over his eyes. But then he scanned the crowd for us and we waved and he got a bit excited. He was so keen to come over and show us his little lamb stuffed toy (he was a shepherd) that he stood up but was told to stay put. So he ended up crying through the entire performance and being cuddled by one of the nursery staff.

Yesterday I made the usual Christmas pilgrimage to Hebden Bridge for presents and an amble around. I went alone. The traffic was painful, parking was almost impossible (I eventually parked out of town up a very steep hill and walked in) and I just wasn't feeling it somehow.

Yes, there were lots of beautiful things. I made a few purchases: cards, bobble trim for my muslin curtains, stocking fillers for Joe, soaps and potions, ahem - a Cornish pasty and a cake. But I was left with the feeling I don't want to stray far from home again this side of Christmas. I want to hibernate. To stay warm, rest, eat and drink, be with friends and family.

This evening we have visitors so we're having a buffet-type dinner with lots of cheeses and bread and cured meats, olives and artichokes and hummus. Tomorrow's going to be an early start to conquer the outdoor market. Sunday we're at another birthday party then we have visitors again in the afternoon. And on Tuesday Joe's meeting Father Christmas (who bears a striking resemblance to the owner's husband) at his preschool party.

I'm going to go to my mum's grave too, to put some flowers there. 

So once the flurry of visitors and parties and final bits of work are done we'll close the door, draw the curtains and have a well-deserved rest.

I hope your Christmas preparations are coming together. And I really hope we get some snow...


  1. Hey Sarah,
    All calm,here, although it was touch and go for a while. I am currently awaiting the arrival of the eldest boy. I wish he'd hurry up; I want my choppy tea!
    Leanne xx

  2. Such beautiful images. Have a wonderful restful time with your little family.

  3. Nativity Play performances expect a lot of very small children. My son was the angel Gabriel at his nursery and fell and split his lip on a costume rail at the dress rehearsal. The teacher drove him off to Casualty without even telling me. I was not happy.
    I saw a programme called the Secret Life of Five Year Olds at Christmas and their nativity reduced a very mature and capable little boy to tears. I'm sort of glad that's behind us now, until grand daughter starts school of course!

  4. I don't envy you battling the traffic on your shopping trip. I've managed to avoid the chaos this year. The stained glass there is absolutely gorgeous. Poor Joe, nativity plays and the like can be a bit much when you're small. I hope he doesn't mind FC. Mine weren't always very keen though. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, your plans sound lovely. CJ xx

  5. Like CJ, I have also managed to avoid the chaos so far. Despite my full time job I feel less stressed than last year, when I had plenty of time. I have put much less pressure on myself to 'do it right' and I don't care. We are happy. Company of friends and family and quiet reflection and reading time are so much more important that perfect bows on the Christmas baubles! Poor wee Joe, plays at nursery can be so stressful. Little boys and girls like to do things on a whim rather than being choreographed and arranged neatly in a play. I hope Joe won't remember his distress when it comes to the next performance. Have a wonderful time hibernating with your family. xx

  6. have a lovely Christmas Sarah and thanks for your gorgeous blog xo

  7. I wish you a beautiful Christmas my dear, there's been so many changes this year for you but I hope it's a day filled with peace and love xxx

  8. Mercy! Your busyness leaves me breathless :) Joe's performance was precious and I hope visiting FC is a success. Tonight my oldest daughter's family is helping to lead worship at church. Jingle bells are somehow involved and I am looking forward to discovering how. xx

  9. I'm missing all the usual Christmas prep in the mad flurry of baking that has taken over my life but good to read what others are up to. Wishing you a very happy Christmas Sarah


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