christmas

Christmas with Katie

I always think that Christmas is a very sneaky time of year.  There’s oodles of preparation for it; the shops are full of mince pies in September, the radio stations start playing festive songs as soon as Hallowe’en is over and people start asking you what your plans are before the month of November has reached its last day.

And then … poof! … it’s over.  Where did the month of December go?

Father Christmas loved me (again) this year.  He left me copious amounts of presents to unwrap.  These included such lovely things as Little Big Planet for the PS3 (WooHoo!), a Sigma 70-300mm lens for my DSLR, Dogma on Blu-ray, Police Squad! on DVD, some Chanel No. 5, clothes, a slow cooker cook book, a couple of photo frames and a couple of decorative perfume bottles. 

Gosh, I love Christmas! 

We entertained Mumsy and The Baby Brother, who arrived on Christmas Eve.  Having bought the last copy of Buzz! (special edition) from a local shop, it was only right that we play it.  And play it we did.  We even played against Erroll online.  If you ever play against Erroll online be sure not to pick anything scientific or technological or food related.  S/he is very very very good at those topics.  Obviously we still won.  I don’t win when we’re not playing online.  My reflexes are so slow that I may as well have been born a snail.  Plus my head doesn’t work.  *sigh*

We ate out on Christmas Day … expensive, but worth it simply because there’s no washing up that needs doing afterwards.  We had turkey and gammon.  On Boxing Day my MiL cooked lamb.  On Saturday we spent the day at Mumsy’s (with the Naughty Nephews) and had succulent beef. 

I’m happy not to be a vegetarian.  I make no apologies for this. 

Some snapshots …

Mumsy waits patiently for her Christmas din-dins.

MumsyChristmasPub

Mmmm, flakey chocolates.

ChristmasPub2

A toddler contemplates.

Toben

A boy with his Star Wars annual.

Adam

An older boy reflects on a wonderful day spent with his fantabulous auntie.

William

I hope you were all as blessed as me! 

please God, thanks xxx Elsabeth

Naughty (or nice)

Dear XangaLand,

Tonight I shall not be tracking Father Christmas as he flies through the air visiting all the countries in the world.  It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I’ll be entertaining others. 

It occured to me at some point last week that I don’t remember that (surprisingly unpainful) moment when the jolly (Coca-Cola) giant with his white beard and red suit became someone I didn’t believe in.  My nephew is now at that age where he knows Father Christmas doesn’t exist, but he’s not fully sure and thus he has to pretend that he still believes.  I think that’s such a magical moment; it’s the moment in life when you realise that you’re a little bit more grow’d up than the previous year, but you know you’ll always be able to experience the magic of Christmas and the myth of Father Christmas just makes it all so much more exciting.  What’s the point of life (and Christmas!) if we can’t savour the magic of pretence and child-like belief?  Not to mention the presents and the tinsel, the baubles and the (yucky) mince pies, the abundance of alcohol and the Christmas carols. 

Yes, even adults can hear that jolly Ho! Ho! Ho! as Christmas approaches. 

So, XangaLand … May your Christmas be magical and your tree brimming with delightfully fandangly presents.  Enjoy!

FC

Love, KatieF x

The Christmassy Xlog

I adore Christmas.  I love the sparkles and the silly songs and the cheesiness of the occasion.  It’s my most favourite time of year.  I can forgive anyone anything at Christmas … yes, even you PC Do-Gooder folk who like to be seen to be ethically correct.

It usually takes me a while to get into the Christmas spirit though, and this year was no exception.  Although we went shopping last Wednesday (a perfect day, not least because shopping on a Wednesday before schools finish for the holidays is oh, so quiet) and are now [nearly] sorted with regards presents, I had no real Oompf! when it came to the whole Yay! thing. 

Then I woke up early this morning and wrapped fourteen presents before half past nine. 

Go me!

We put our decorations and tree up this afternoon whilst listening to Cheesy (Christmas) Songs on some Cheesy Songs channel on the tellybox.  I was – naturally – delighted when East 17 started singing about wanting me to Stay Another Day.  I joined in very heartily, remembering most of the words – this was despite the urge to laugh uncontrollably at the chavviness of the video.  Nice. 

I’m slightly perturbed by the tree though.  Every year I buy three or four new decorations (this year I picked up some non-sparkly ones in France) and yet every year there appear to be no more decorations on the damn thing than there were the year before.  I blame the Christmas Pixies, who must surely be stealing them for people less fortunate. 

Pictures?  Why not. 

ChristmasFairyPinkOrton

BaubleRedOrton

BaublePurpleOrton

Yes, myself and Orton have been playing. 

We went to Woolworths on Thursday night, hoping to grab some bargains in the (up to) 50% off We’re Closing-Down sale.  After that experience I have decided that it’s only fair that the company ceases trading; there were no bloody bargains.  Woolworths was only ever good for its cheap caf├ęs and its old-fashioned photo-booths, which were perfect for wasting an afternoon at when we should have been in school, learning things.  The orange curtain always suited me more than the blue one.  I therefore feel no emotion at the (apparent) loss of such an old institution which has graced our High Streets for far too long.  I make no apologies for this, despite it appearing that I’m possibly the only person in the whole of the British Isles who really couldn’t care less. 

And now, ’tis time for tea. 

please God bless my last week at work this year xxx Elsabeth

Why is my electric bill so high?

I live in the FlatLands, yet work in the Shire.  Over the course of the last week all the little towns, both Quaint Market and Dodgy Chav, have celebrated the occasion of an impending festival by ‘turning on the lights’.  As you wind your way through the twisty lanes you look forward to arriving at the next town so that you can marvel at the beauty of twinkling lights on frosty evenings. 

ChavTown, where I work, has money to spend on lavish town centre water features and perky little benches that nobody sits on.  It has no money to spend on the bus station, which pongs of wee, nor indeed on the Christmas lights.  Meagre strings of plain white bulbs hang pathetically, looking for all the world as though they would rather be anywhere but there. 

I laugh.  Inside.

In total contrast we have FlatHickTown, where I live, with its abundance of town centre Christmas trees strewn with bright lights, its gay abandon of plastic snowmen, stockings, trees and Santa’s hanging from every building on the high street, warming the cockles of your heart with their cheery brightness.  The garage forecourt looks particularly illuminating with its reindeer. 

I smile.  Smugly.

I love Christmas lights.  I love the fact that they can make even a dull, miserable, extremely dark, evening so much happier just by being there. 

But I only like them if they’re done well. 

We don’t tend to put lights up on our house.  We have lights in the window and on the tree [not yet, heavens!], but we leave the outside lights to those who are more adventurous.  Some families have some amazing lights on their houses.  But some are hugely pathetic and embarrassing.  They make me cringe and I just want to wait for the dead of night so that I can go and tear them down and stamp on them, hard.  If you’re going to do it at least do it properly … *sigh*

Christmas lights make me realise that it’s nearly Christmas.  But it’s still so far away, and I still have two weeks left at work.  Humpf.

please God bless those with no artistic bones who make me look at their pathetic light-strewn house for the whole of december xxx Elsabeth