Did you all have a wonderful Christmas? I certainly hope you did.
I'm finally getting round to recording the last week or so of our festive countdown.
This could turn into a long post so you may need a cuppa (or something stronger to get you through it!).
On Tuesday 17th G was doing something special too. He went to London with his brother where they met up with his mum and sister. G's present to his mum was a trip to the Buckingham Palace art gallery and then afternoon tea in a Hilton hotel. They all had a terrific day and it was especially lovely for them to be together as it was the day before the first anniversary of their dad passing away.
With G away in London my mum came over and collected S from school and then in the early evening the three of us went carol singing.
Unfortunately the drizzle turned to proper rain and we were getting too cold and wet to stay for it all but the one memory which will stay with me was casting surreptitious glances at S as she was singing and signing Away In a Manger.
Our next day needed something which needed little planning and the ideal choice was a round or two of The Snowman board game. We all love this one.
Thursday was an edible treat of snowmen kebabs. S was extremely puzzled by this concept but was more than happy when I presented her with a tub of mini doughnuts and some chocolate chips. I made one, she did the other 3 and then we all ate them!
Everyone had been looking forward to our activity on Friday 20th. We had booked to go and see Frozen at the cinema. And it wasn't just the four of us who were going. My sister, Auntie C, had asked to come along too which made it all the more exciting for T and S. The only showing we could go to was a 3D version of the movie, the first 3D everyone, apart from T, had experienced. We all agreed afterwards it really was a lovely movie and a fab evening out.
The next few days didn't go quite as we had planned, mainly due to the weather, but we kept busy. Saturday afternoon S, G and I sat down for a bit of crafting and painted a set of baubles and here is S's snowman.
Sunday S and G had been invited out with friends to a farm. I was looking forward to them going so I could crack on with all manner of Christmas preparation but when G looked at the farm website he found that the farm itself wouldn't be open, just a barn with a Santa's grotto in the middle and few animals at each end. He spoke with S and she wasn't keen on seeing the man in the red suit and so he rang the friend who had invited them. It turned out he wasn't aware the farm wasn't properly open either and so they decided not to go. I still needed them out so a second trip to the cinema in 3 days was arranged.
No photo of Monday's activity as I forgot. I had bought a couple of those net bags of chocolate snowmen from a supermarket which we stuck them to pieces of card with a note to say they were a random act of Christmas kindness and S placed them on shelves at the library. Apart from the last one which she handed to a chap who was in there using the computer. He looked genuinely shocked and pleased when she handed it over as she wished him a Merry Christmas. I had already asked for permission from the library to do this when I went to book club earlier in the month.
Now we've reached Christmas eve and some baking was in order so we could leave Father Christmas a home made treat. G's mum is a lover of all edible ginger delights and we thought ginger biscuits would be ideal. They were delicious and Father Christmas must have liked his too as it was gone the next morning.
I'm not sure if Father Christmas does this in every household but on Christmas eve he sends some new PJ's down our chimney and when they arrive the children know it's nearly time for bed. This year S unwrapped her parcel and when she found a reindeer patterned onesie she suddenly became Tigger and bounced around the room thanking Father Christmas before launching herself first on my lap for a big hug and then on G's. A reaction which meant she was very happy I think! T wasn't left out and he received a new dressing gown although there was a slightly less energetic response from him!
As I mentioned earlier in this post it was a year ago that G lost his dad and back in the summer his mum had said she didn't want to do anything or see anyone this Christmas. This concerned him and his sister and so it was decided we would invite them both to us for Christmas.
Our house is only tiny and it would have been a squeeze but a very good friend of mine who lives nearby was going away for Christmas and she offered D and D to stay at her home. Such a kind and generous offer for which everyone was very thankful.
Our Christmas morning started as normal with the children coming into us, not too early at 7.15, to open their stocking presents from Father Christmas. Then it was downstairs to open the gifts from me and G.
Because we were expecting Grandma and D at 9.30 we called a halt to the present opening so we could eat breakfast and those of us who were getting dressed could do so.
T requested I not take photos of them opening their gifts this year so I didn't and instead just sat back and watched.
The camera did make an appearance when we had a short and very sharp hailstorm and T ventured out in it.
G's mum and sister stayed with us until 6pm on Christmas day and then came back again Boxing day morning before leaving to drive back to Salisbury mid afternoon. They left us with a card saying thank you for making what could have been a difficult time a very enjoyable one. I think being with the children must have helped enormously.
For those who have been following me for a while you'll know that one of our traditions is to buy silly table presents which must be worn whilst eating Christmas lunch. So to end this festive round up here is this year's selection.
Me wearing a pair of glittery red glasses I reckon Dame Edna would be proud of
G with his pipe (the glasses were in his stocking) and his mum wearing her halo.
D wearing her headband with mistletoe attached and a huge moustache from a set I bought which clip onto a drinking straw so are perfectly placed for photo opportunities.
T's table present was the weirdest. The eyes in these glasses are so starey they make everyone who puts them on look really freaky!
Not everyone got dressed Christmas day, S spent the day in her new cow themed onesie and then morphed into a tiger/cow combo at lunch with her table gift which also included a tail as well as the bow tie and ears. Cute or what?!