Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Happy Christmas!

I obviously haven't been able to make blogging any sort of priority this month! Sewing, wrapping, decorating, baking, cleaning and a little bit of shopping (and partying) seem to have taken all my time and energy.  

One of Mom's ornaments from her and Daddy's first Christmas together, in 1945.

Added to that (and perhaps a blessing in disguise) our internet connection hasn't been brilliant of late.

I believe she painted the stars on this one.

Anyhow, the tree is up, the gifts are wrapped and ready, the house is as clean as it's going to get for now (which is to say it's liveable). 

Mom made a bunch of ornaments one year with styrofoam
balls, pins, beads, ribbons and sequins. They are some of Bill's favourites.

Another of Mom's creations.

We are leaving this afternoon to go stay with Simon in Chester and to see Simone before she goes off to Germany for Christmas with her family. 

This one has a paper top, owing to a metal shortage during WWII.
I may try cleaning these when I take them down...very carefully!

Helen has decided that Christmas Day will be spent at her house this year instead of the three kids and partners coming to us on Boxing Day after Christmas Day at their mother's. 

My friend Joanne made several ornaments and sent them to me,
one each year for several years, after I left Oklahoma.

Another of Joanne's.

And several more of Mom's.


Bill and I are sad they won't be coming to ours but as they get older and form their own families it was inevitable that arrangements would change. 

We bought this fella in Stillwater, MN (where my Grandma grew up) on our travels up there.

His reaction when I pull his string always makes me smile.

On Christmas Day I gather I will be watching the Queen's speech, which I'm excited about. However, it seems unlikely that Simon will be wanting to watch the Downton Abbey Christmas special, so I'll have to hope I can watch on catch up TV! 

This monster was bought at Harrod's when Bill took me shopping in
London one of our first Christmas's together.

We briefly debated about whether to put up our 8' Christmas tree but I decided if I didn't I'd feel like the Grinch stole my Christmas!  Putting of the tree takes hours, but I enjoy seeing my ornaments, like visiting old friends.

Another from Harrod's.

We also discussed whether to take our presents to one another to be opened at Helen's. I could list any number of reasons not to do that and since we always used to open our gifts, or at least most of them, before our Christmas with the kids, we decided to keep that tradition. 

From the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum (Cowboy Hall of Fame, when I was a kid) in Oklahoma City. There's a cowboy hat somewhere around here...

I'm not sure how it will go, joining in with Helen's arrangements. I expect I can cope with just about anything for one day - and I promise to make a real effort to be positive, but if it's not much fun I would like to have something nice to look forward to when we get home. So we have planned to have a special meal and to open our presents on Boxing Day. 

From our first trip to Prague, many years ago.

We are invited for a meal with Bill's cousins the following Monday. My tummy almost hurts in anticipation, Chris is such a fabulous cook and she pulls out ALL the stops for these occasions. 

Then we'll gather at one of the neighbours' house for New Years Eve. We'll all go out to sing Auld Lang Syne holding hands in the street. Then we'll wander around for nibbles and music at a couple of other neighbour's. Sooner than most, we'll come home and crash.

We got this Father Christmas on one of the ferry rides to Amsterdam. I always think he's so lovely.

Working my way through these holidays always feels like running a marathon; it's very enjoyable but one wonders at times where to find the strength. I find the first week of January very satisfying, looking back on what we accomplished and even more, making plans for what the new year might hold. I like looking back and also living in the present, but mostly I enjoy looking forward in anticipation!

Happy Christmas (as they say here in Britain) and Best Wishes for 2015!

1 comment:

D A Wolf said...

Ornaments with such special memories are indeed like old friends. That you have one from 1945. Amazing.

They're all quite beautiful.

Have a wonderful holiday!