Are you ready for Christmas? Is your winter wonderland beckoning while you dream of a white Christmas, roasting chestnuts ’round an open fire and jingling all the way? No? Well don’t worry – me neither.
Last week I made endless lists – to do; to buy; to bake; to clean; to organise; to run around like a headless chicken – and by no small miracle, these have now merged into one, final list.
With two days to go before my family arrives I am pushed to the wire, but at least the Christmas tree is up and decorated.
Ahh…Christmas trees. Such things of beauty when doing what they are supposed to do, such as stay in place. Unlike the year when I walked into the living room only to find the tree lying on the floor surrounded by broken ornaments and two, wild-eyed kittens.
In an effort to make everything so darn perfect for that one special Christmas Day, it seems that we may as well write an open invitation for misadventure to walk in through the front door.
For one thing, no matter what, every Christmas one of the kids got ill, usually the night before they were due to take part in a nativity play.
I’ve lost count of all the times candle wax has gone where it shouldn’t have.
Then there was the year when the Christmas cake I had spent hours lovingly baking and icing in my determination to bring my English roots into the American ‘Holidays’, got covered in ants.
And let’s not even touch the subject of Christmas road-rage (good job I was on the ball when that idiot on the roundabout cut me up). So much for goodwill to mankind. I’m not perfect, I know, but I try, I really do.
Yet, we hold onto the hope that Christmas will indeed be perfect and put ourselves through so much to meet this ideal. Stress piled upon more stress.
Earlier in the week, I was traipsing through a shop pulling one of those plastic shopping baskets on wheels behind me. It was crammed to overflowing with all those things we don’t want to run out of over Christmas like food bags, laundry detergent, kitchen foil and yes, toilet paper, the biggest pack I could find (I’ve got a house full this Christmas, say no more…).
Yet to do my grocery shopping across town, I desperately made my way to the check out to the strains of ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ booming out from the speakers accompanied by the constant thud, thud, thud of items falling out of my basket onto the floor.
‘Tis the season.
But, putting all this aside, I know that when I’m sitting on the sofa with a glass of chilled Prosecco on Christmas Eve with my family gathered around, it is all worth it.
It really is the season…isn’t it?
I don’t think there are many of us left who believe in this ‘myth’ of the perfect Christmas, but I do believe that it isn’t all doom and gloom. Yes, there are those who are alone: My dad is one of them. Ever since he was released from prison at the end of November I haven’t heard a word from him, which is what I expected. I can but hope and pray that he is being looked after wherever he is.
Taking time out to visit the Christmas Tree Festival last weekend and then sharing the photos here with you all brought me great joy amidst all the craziness.
The ‘knitted’ tree proved to be the most popular, but there is one more ‘knitted’ photograph I saved until today…
No matter where you are or who you are with, I wish you a Christmas filled with joy and hope and a New Year filled with every blessing; I wish for you a smile from a stranger, a kind word or deed from a friend and peace and calm to live in your hearts.
I’m signing off from blogging now until the New Year. I’ll say my goodbyes, but I look forward very much to catching up with you in 2015. Thank you all, dearest friends and family for taking the time to read anything at all that I happen to scribble, and then for leaving me such loving and beautiful messages. It’s been a tough year in many ways but one that has also brought so much that is good.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all…and in the incomparable words of Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol…
‘God Bless us Every One!’
Love, Sherri xxx