This may be an odd time to write a blog post, but it is the quiet time on Christmas Eve just waiting for everyone to be sound asleep before we can start the magic. Everything is ready and there really isn’t anything else to do but sit and relax, I love these moments. It’s been a really busy week with lots of sparkles in it, some won’t make the set categories so here are some extra sparkles that made the run up to Christmas special.
Sparkle 1: My lovely friend who offered to look after the children so I could go to ‘big town’ to do the big Christmas food shop. Not only did she look after them she made them gingerbread houses to decorate with her and took them for a long, fresh walk along the beach to burn off the sugar rush from the said activity. She is amazing and has inspired me to pass the kindness on.
Sparkle 2: On Christmas Eve, we emailed Santa at NORAD (which is itself a heart-warming story) and got a personal response, the children were made up by their email and went to bed very happy. We also loved and got very excited tracking Santa on the NORAD website.
I read one of the Christmas books I discovered through social media, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. It is an American book so possibly why it is not so well known over here, however it certainly deserved its excellent reviews. The book is a story with a very strong Christmas message and whilst it’s a children’s book there were deeper themes running through it too. It’s a book which I will definitely recommend to friends next year, a classic to be reread every year. I read it one sitting and shed a little tear.
After much worrying and research over whether it was appropriate to take the children to see Star Wars (certificate 12a) at the cinema we made the decision for them to see the film this afternoon, Christmas Eve. It was brilliant and they loved the film. It was such a perfect trip, it will be a truly wonderful memory for us all, a full cinema and cheering and clapping throughout the film. Everything just felt so right. The film itself is wonderful, so true to the original trilogy and it all neatly fits together. I got goose bumps as the music started, I thought it was a nice touch to start with silence and a black screen for a few seconds and then the iconic music and logo appeared, I cheered when I saw Han Solo and Chewwie, cried a little tear at the sad part (no spoilers here) and clapped at the end. It was also so refreshing to see a strong female lead and a heroine to aspire to. It was so good in so many ways, an epic film.
I also treated myself to watching Love Actually this week. It had been a few years since I saw the film and I had forgotten just how good it was, some of the performances are heartbreaking, Emma Thompson is often cited for her role but I thought Laura Linney was superb in her sad role too.
As I’m still waiting for the children to be sound asleep (its now 10.45pm) I’m tuned in to radio 4 for their festive short stories by Rachel Joyce, in the book at bedtime slot. I’ve managed to hear a few this week and its been nice to listen to some original stories with a Christmassy feel.
Its simple makes this week as I’m gearing up to cook my festive menu over the next few days. I love cooking so this is not a chore and I’m looking forward to some new recipes. One of our family traditions is to make gingerbread tree decorations so this was done on Wednesday, the recipe from BBC Good Food is excellent and the decorating is always fun if not a bit messy. The decorations are hanging on the kitchen tree for present but I have seen Little Man trying to sneak a little nibble!
This week it’s any excuse and I’ll don a festive hat, I have a new Rudolph one for outdoor activities and a Santa hat for inside. I’ve only got a few more days wear until they’ll be packed away for next Christmas.
That’s all for Christmas Eve, as I sit here still waiting for little people to be fast asleep, I feel the contentment and excitement that cannot be matched at any other time of the year. I’ve just opened the back door to look at the full moon and heard the church bells ringing ( its now 11pm ) life is pretty perfect.