Coming up to Christmas


So many things crowding my mind as we come up to Christmas this year.  This little baby has joined our ever growing family, older daughter's second child, long awaited and much loved.  And within weeks there will be more babies, with daughter in law and younger daughter both due very soon after Christmas.  It is a total delight to have more babies coming into the world but I want to be everywhere at once, sharing the time with everyone, making sure everyone is ok.  This is daft, I recognise, as my presence won't make anyone any more ok but I have found before when babies are due that there is a part of me which doesn't settle until everything is done and I know everyone is ok and that I feel a powerful urge to see, in the flesh, to be there myself to assure myself that everyone is fine.

How lovely it will be to have these cousins growing up so close in age and as part of the burgeoning family of cousins.  It is hard to express how very blessed I feel.  I have found myself thinking a lot about my parents and Ian's father as we approach Christmas and I know how much they would have loved to see their grandchildren raising their own children.  It seems very right to have the new babies coming into the world to counter balance those we have lost.

I have been coughing my way through the last two or three weeks and not doing very much else and I feel Christmas is coming upon me without much preparation having been done.  In lots of ways this is fine.  I like Christmas to be a time of company and food and I don't have much sympathy with grand present buying and fuss.  I was rather appalled and felt myself very much turning into a grumpy old woman when I read that the average family will spend £300 per child on Christmas presents.  I truly cannot understand how ordinary families can afford this and I cannot see how children can grow up with any sense of the things which matter which cannot be bought if their Christmas is measured in new things coming in through the door. 

What matters to me is spending time with family, eating well, playing with children and enjoying the company of those I love.  To this end the turkey is ordered from some friends who raise a small number every year.  These turkeys will have lived a good life, free ranging and eating well and they taste fantastic.  Today, very late but never mind, I have made the cake (gluten free yay!) and Ian has bottled the damson gin.



The cards are written, deliberately slowly.  I love getting cards with news of friends inside so that is what I try to do myself.  I know that if I write more than half a dozen at a time I stop enjoying writing to my friends and fall into a frenzy of simply scrawling my name so I have to drip feed the cards over a week or so.  No presents have been wrapped but then there aren't that many. 

There is not much going on in the way of decorations yet but if I can stop coughing for long enough to feel like being outside I have plans to make a wreath for the door with things from the garden.  Our Christmas tree can only fit in one place, right by the stove, so it goes up very late, on Christmas Eve or maybe the day before, so that it will last through Christmas.  This means it can be decorated with the help of a grandchild or so and all the old decorations will come out, many of them seriously battered these days but what would Christmas be without the slightly drunken looking knitted snowman and the decoration made out of the inside of a toilet roll?


And there is knitting to be done to try to finish this little jacket in time for Christmas.


Ian has been looking after me and bringing me cups of tea and making meals.  It has been quite a restful lead up to Christmas in many ways.  Time to get better  now though.  There is fun to be had!

Comments

  1. Looking forward to the damson gin!

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    1. I'd better admit to having had a glass tonight! Totally yum.

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  2. Hello Elizabeth, so nice to catch up with you and reading how prolific your family is and how well embedded you are in it all :-). I hope you soon will get rid of your bad cough and wish you a very happy Christmas. Totally agree with how the festive days should be celebrated and that gifts are not the important part of it. We are now going into the process of moving house. It seems that we have found the right replacement to our farm here in Belgium. All the best, Anke.

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    1. Lovely to hear from you anke! Very best of luck with the house move. And a very happy Christmas to you and yours!

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  3. I hope you are feeling better in time for Christmas. I am in the process of making my gluten free Christmas cake (or loaf in my case). The fruit is soaking right now. Have a wonderful Christmas.

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    1. And to you Susan! Hope you enjoy your cake. Mine is looking promising. Just needs a little more brandy!

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  4. Elizabeth... wishing you the very merriest, most peaceful, joyful Yuletide season your heart can hold!

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    1. And right back at you. Hope you have a relaxing and joyful time!

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  5. Damson gin yummmm. Wishing you a meaningful Christmas x

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    1. Thank you Paul. Wishing you a lovely, joyful and family filled time!

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  6. :-) I wish you and your family a joyful time!


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    1. And to you! For me it is a time to step back from the day to day. We don't often have the chance to be without relentless doing !

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  7. A joyous Christmas to you and yours.

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    1. And very much to you. Joy is a very rare and special thing. I used to think contentment , by contrast, was quite common, but I wonder if conyentment in itself is becoming harder to find. Anyway, I wish you the intensity of joy and the slow burn of contentment!

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  8. Three new babies in the family is the most wonderful thing there could be. You are very blessed. I do get presents for many people but the greatest present given to me is the presence of my loved ones. Merry Christmas, Elizabeth.

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    1. I completely agree. I would like to think you could do Christmas on your own but the older I get the less sure I am. Only connect, e m Forster said. And connection is so very visible at Christmas.

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  9. How wonderful to be surrounded by babies! But how quickly they grow.... I'm with you on the horror of excessive present-buying for children - I tend to go a bit overboard with stocking fillers/books, but this year's best present for our 2-year-old grandson was a £15 bin wagon from our local supermarket! Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.

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    1. Two year olds are great to buy for aren't they? So easily enchanted! Mind you our four year old grandaughter was as excited by a rainbow striped scarf as anything which was rather lovely!

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  10. Congratulations on your grandchildren already here and awaited. It must be so very special - I'm extremely envious and grandchild-broody! My children are only just starting out on work after university, so I imagine it'll be some time yet.

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    1. It is great fun and I am now firmly turning into my mother and repeatedly calling children by the wrong name!

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    2. Comments don't seem to be working but replies are so I'll say hello in here - and Happy New Year!
      It will be wonderful for cousins to have each other so close in age.
      I have the frame for a wreath but never got as far as decorating it. It was one of those home-sick moments when I realised that by moving to a town I can no longer pop outside the front door for a bit of holly or some ivy. (There is ivy around but it grows over other people's walls!)
      Hope you are much better now.

      https://looseandleafyinhalifax.blogspot.co.uk/

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  11. Congratulations on your growing family, what a joy to watch all those new wee characters developing. Wishing you very good New Year and a happy and healthy 2018.

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    1. Thank you! Yes it is great fun to watch the new family members becoming themselves. Love it!

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  12. I very much like your pattern it's beautiful,thank for sharing good i dea !
    สมัคร D2BET

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