It's the lead up to Christmas that is the best bit, I love the lighting of an advent candle each week, stir up Sunday, the baking and freezing of mince pies and the preserving cranberry sauce all ready for the 25th. Then there are carol concerts, nativity plays and Christmas parties all building the anticipation.
It's been a week of Christmas trees, we have done potato printing, made Christmas tree shaped cakes and been to purchase a tree. Child 3 was given the important duty of choosing the tree, the only prerogative was that it was taller than me. So she chose that saddest looking tree in the room, we tried to encourage her to choose one of the more bushy styles but no she wanted the one she wanted. On the way home in the car she explained her choice saying that the tree she had chosen looked so very sad and no one else would buy it, so it would be left all alone. Despite smiling at her gorgeous comments I was hoping that once the tree was decorated if would not look so very sad.
The decorating of the house has always been an important family event and I have many happy memories when I was young of decorating the Christmas tree and hanging plastic blow up trees and Father Christmas' in our living room and I hope that I am passing this on to my children. Each year I buy a new decoration for each child so that when they leave home they can take their decorations with them, taking a little piece of family with them. So today they unwrapped their collection of decorations and hung them on our sorrowful tree, as I entwined the hundreds of lights through the branches child 4 watched and the surprise and amazement on his face when I flicked the switch and the tiny lights flickered into life was truly magical, he then began to try and blow them out
Our home is full of homemade bunting trimmed in the shapes of Rudolph the reindeer, Christmas trees and Christmas stockings, fabric wreathes and a beautiful knitted nativity, all care of my amazing mum. Tiny droplets of lights edge the eaves of the front of our home, welcoming us even on the darkest and wettest of nights and a comical Rudolph head nods hello from his wreath on the front door. More twinkling lights fill the house and a roaring fire is often flaring away in the living room, the house smells of Christmas, the Christmas baking is in full flow, puddings, mince pies, cake and cookies. The children will stud oranges with cloves and mulled wine and cider will soon be simmering permeating the house with is warm scent inviting everyone who knocks across the threshold.
Christmas is about family, friends, laughter and giving. We share so much over the coming weeks and I think that it's the only holiday of the year where we spend time as a family, slowing our lives down to just being together, curling up in front of the fire watching a family movie with a tin of chocolates, playing a raucous board game or walking the dog over the fields returning home for hot chocolate, whippy cream and marshmallows. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
"Elf or Pictionary anyone?"