Christmas past and present

I just love this time of year, I totally embrace it and leave myself at the end totally exhausted but so very happy.

It starts with my Mums birthday, a flurry of cakes and gifts, this year my oldest child  found her own gift for her and was insistent I got it for her Granny, so I did. She was so proud and excited and I must say the gift was tasteful and very appropriate, I was pleased.

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Then the Christmas madness sets in, we go to school fetes ( ours and friends schools too)  and craft fairs in private stately homes , we ride on carousels, we bake for the school, for friends and anyone else we can palm our wears onto. We attend church services and sing carols. We do lots but love every moment of it.

We are still two weeks away and there is so much more planned, the closer we get to Christmas the more exciting the things become, I will blog about them if I get time.

Cornwall weather is so mild at the moment, our walk down the harbour front at the weekend was Autumnal not Wintry at all. We went to our beautiful local woods with our friends and the kids waded through streams and climbed trees ( the wonders of spending the day with 7 year old boys) and no one even got cold. The Bluebell girl was in her element and the gorgeous boys we were with brought out her adventurous side we don’t always see, it was such a pleasure to watch. She loved every moment and was beaming with joy, even when she fell into the water! 

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The little one has embraced the arts and crafts of play group life ( with a little persuasion) and this year I have devised a kids table for their Christmas crafts. They are proud of their work and I have framed past Christmas cards photos of them to add to the history. I have dug out paper Angels from Reception and year one days and have sadly realised that at six years old the Christmas Crafts at school have dried up! I am so sad, but realise we will just do even more making at home. I cant let go of childhood making that quickly.

We attended church last night for the Christingle, and it was the first year I didn’t walk with her to collect her lit candle. She still freaked out after about ten minutes of holding it, so shes not all grown up yet, but however I felt the shift of change this year. I sat while the younger children ran riot and didn’t have to run down the aisles to drag mine back. 

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Today was the older ones school Nativity. The head teacher pointed out that each parent only gets to watch about six in their child’s school life and we are now half way through them. She was the brightest star this year, the last two years being angels, this was the role she has always wanted. I am sure its all about the “twirling” She has been thrilled ever since the parts were announced. Her shy little face on that stage, she had to stand in the centre for so long, it took a lot for her to do this, I know. But she did, and I knew deep down she was buzzing. The little one was so well behaved, I was proud of her too. Half way through she whispered in my ear ” what’s the planet nearest to the sun? ” I got it wrong, she asked me again, then I got it right. ” well done” she whispered. Her passion for Space has not dwindled and she studies her book on the solar system often. I confess, aged just four she knows more than me! 

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Due to a new boiler system our loft has been emptied. My Grandmothers old tea set has been brought down. As a small child I was fascinated by this elaborate set encased in its glass show case and my Grandmother always said it would be mine one day. When she passed away it was dutifully handed over. It was packed away due to my small rented flat ,at the time in London and not unpacked until this afternoon, 15 years later! 

The emotion ran high as I unravelled the newspaper, we were shocked at the house prices, and felt sad when we found a gift tag that said ‘to mum’ written by my Aunt, who is nearly 80 herself now. As I gently washed up the set the memories came back. As a treat she would get out her special teaset and make a proper high tea. I felt honoured as a child to be allowed to dine off such splendour! On the bottom of one of the tea plates was a smear of cake, left from all those years ago, from a old English high tea. The result of bad washing up ( maybe by me?) A cake my Grandmother would have baked, there were no shop brought goodies in her kitchen! I decided at that point to surprise my own Mum, we shall have a high tea on that long forgotten tea set, and my girls will be allowed to hold and use the fine bone china from long ago. My dear Nan will be smiling down on us I am sure and my scones will never match hers. She was a true English lady and did things just right, her baking perfect. If you are reading this, shhhhhhh, dont tell my Mum she doesn’t know yet!

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