Its the week before Christmas and I thought I would add a quick post about the little things happening in life, as often its the little things which become the big memories. I love the anticipation of Christmas but this year the feeling is definitely filled with Covid related anxiety. I didn’t get to see my parents last Christmas, so our pre Christmas trip to spend 3 days with them this year was a huge thing to me. I have been desperately following the news, trying to make predications on what rules would come into place and if our trip would be allowed. I’m really grateful it was planned pre Christmas as I think its inevitable that there will be restrictions very soon. However, Monday morning arrived and with 3 negative tests (Mr S was working) our trip was on 🙂
Normally we try to plan and book special events in advance but with the uncertainty we decided to keep our visit simple and home based. It was about being together, playing games, enjoying good food and Christmas lights, you can never have enough of the twinkling lights! On Monday, we arrived in time for lunch and then all snuggled to watch a Christmas film together. Later we drove over to Clevedon so we could see the parks and town lit up for Christmas. The lights are simple but delightful, I got excited by disco balls hanging from the trees and sparkles everywhere, whilst the snowflakes on the floor just make you feel you’re walking through a wonderland. We stopped for a takeaway hot drink in the old town and stumbled along the most fantastically kitsch coffee bar. The Wham poster in the above montage was full size, like the big posters you used to hang on your walls from Athena or record shops. Whilst we couldn’t get onto the pier as it was closed the large wreath on the gates perfectly framed the pier as you looked down. We returned home to an amazing veggie chilli my dad (the chef in the house) had prepared earlier, perfect warming food after a fresh walk.
On Tuesday, we went for a family walk to Weston Super Mare where I found the Keep Going wall art on the walk. I do like these bold phrases decorating large spaces. We then returned home for an afternoon of games. What is more Christmassy than everyone around a table, playing Monopoly with the Christmas chocs open and Jamie Callum’s Christmas album playing? Its these memories which are so simple but so special.
After the chocolates and to get my appetite back for the special dinner, I went for a run and got to see the amazing house decorations round by my parents. Christmas lights are definitely a thing where they live! By a very lucky coincidence, I came across a house that we had seen on the local news the night before. It is stunning, the house has been decorated as a toy shop and the attention to detail is superb. There is a dedication plaque in the garden to say the lights have been done in memory of the house owner’s mum who loved Christmas and who had died last year, it was a beautifully written and uplifting dedication. The owners are also raising money for the local hospice and in reading the article below the reason is very moving.
As I was running, I didn’t have any money on me but as it was close to my parents, my dad and I walked the children there after dinner so they could see it too and I could add a little something to the donation box. With all the other lights on the walk and the dark and crisp evening, it just gave us all the Christmas feels.
Our Christmas meal was lovely, my parents had gone for a Mexican feast as we’re all having a traditional meal on Saturday and it was delicious. My mum also made her homemade crackers, this is a bit of a family joke after the year (probably 35 years ago now) in which we all got tooth brushes in the crackers and weren’t overly impressed! The gifts were much more appreciated this year and my son is made up with his whoppee cushion, he thinks it is hilarious.
This morning was just a late, lazy breakfast type of morning, playing along with Pop Master on the radio and getting things together before we headed home just after lunch. I did pop to the local supermarket very early (7ish) after a request from Mr S to get the one thing missing from our Christmas shop which had been delivered the day before. Of all the random items, it was dishwasher salt that had been out of stock. Our Christmas delivery was very nice timing as I managed to miss the putting away of the Christmas shop where you try to hide the nice bits and fit all the fresh stuff in the fridge. I left with an empty fridge and tonight its full of our Christmas food.
I am so grateful that I got to see my parents this Christmas, it was what I was hoping for but had been quite worried in the preceding days that it would be cancelled. It wasn’t about grand events, it was simply about spending time as a family, those little moments around the table, the funny stories, shared memories of Christmases past, remembering those no longer with us as part of those happy memories and being together. Family is love and belonging.