It very much feels like the run up to Christmas now, and I like that. The living room is looking crowded but “affa bonnie”:
Our neighbour gave us the huge poinsettia, wasn’t that kind?
We had a friend over this afternoon for coffee, which was really nice. I always love getting this beautiful cloth out, which was a gift from friends in Norway:
We had banana bran muffins, flapjacks and (store-bought) panettone. I have also made my pfeffernusse, but they have to ripen for at least a week. (No pomanders this year.)
I always enjoy decorating the mantlepiece. The card here is from last Christmas. The Dafter was so terribly ill with ME/CFS that she could hardly lift her head up. She usually makes us gifts, but last December we told her that she was not allowed to expend energy on this, which she reluctantly agreed. However, she somehow, with the aid of a snowflake-shaped and a regular paper punch, managed to adorn this card. Inside there is a very sweet message thanking us for her care of her. That card means the world to me – and I am so very grateful she is so much better now.
The little Christmas tree plate was my Granny’s. I remember her Christmas table entirely set with Christmas china, but this is the only piece that has come to me – and it’s enough.
This past week we had some wintry weather:
Michael had to stay home from work for a few days with bronchitis, and the Dafter has still been coughing after a nasty cold. She has been working very hard to finish her art assignment before Christmas, but last night she was able also to go to a Christmas party. What a contrast with last year at this time!
We are all a bit concerned about her health – we don’t want a horrendous relapse – but I think she knows her body so well now, and is largely able to pace herself. It will be very good to have some restful days, though. I myself have now caught The Cold, and have been taking it easy, as I don’t want bronchitis or anything else!
Behind the scenes – or should that be behind-the-sofa? – we have been busy wrapping and parcelling up presents:
Every year we send quite a few parcels, to family and friends. We also send a lot of Christmas cards. Living far from so many of the people we love, we’ve always done this. It’s true that the cost of postage is rising, and also there are quite a few things – nail polish, whisky, etc. – that you can’t send, as they are classified as explosives. I was told the other day by the post office mannie that if you don’t put a return address on a parcel going abroad, the post office in that country may destroy the parcel. It is such a shame that the acts of a few people have caused such fear and limitations. I know many people who have stopped sending Christmas cards because of the cost.
Michael and I feel that this is such a special time of year, often one of the few times of year that we are in touch with friends, that it is worth budgeting for increased costs. Perhaps if we had family nearby, or were constantly in touch via social media with people, we would feel differently. But showing people that we have been thinking of them, with presents and cards, remains a priority for us.
I have been taking time every morning to think a bit about Advent, which for me signifies the coming of the Christ, light conquering darkness. As my minister once said, Advent really should be a Christian mindset every day. That’s true (for me at least), but it’s especially nice when most people around us are also preparing for a special time, as the darkness of the Winter Solstice closes in.
I hope you are all enjoying the run up to Christmas too.