Christmas comes but once each year, or so they say. I feel that over the past several years Christmas has been a word thrown around from late September. I don’t often hear people discussing their Easter excitement in January so the concept of Christmas being an event with 4 months of a build up, it makes me think is it more of a commercial wonder than the actual magical experience we all hope it can be?
Small cottage = Small tree
I have spent so much time thinking about christmas these last few years, how to make it special and how to make it a day to remember, filled with love, family and a delightfully decked tree, that sometimes the true meaning of the season goes under the radar a little. This year I have tried so much to be more mindful of why the season is special all on its own without the excessive need for gifting things that were not particularly necessary or life altering. I worked hard this year to make all of our gifts individualised and useful to the people we love. Neil and I also made the decision to forgo gifts for our families in place of something close to our hearts. Giving to us is so much more satisfying than receiving.
Gift wrappng this year was plain and simple… unless it was neils in which it was difficult to wrap considering all his gifts were awkward in shape and size!
I have really come to notice over these last few years how fortunate my life is, to have happiness and contentment is better than any gift we could ever receive. Neil and I have more than we could ever need or want in life so we decided to ask our families to make a donation on our behalf rather than buy us a gift, an act in which we do not need praise for nor am I telling you all this to make us sound so wonderful and selfless in our acts. We grew up wanting for nothing and when you have everything you ever wanted, what is the harm in giving a little something back to those who have so little? Is that not The true meaning of the season.
My very first attempt at making christmas cake with my own icing and marzipan! I think this may be a new tradition of mine as it turned out rather well.
I was working over christmas this year, christmas eve 7.30am to 8pm and on christmas day I was meant to work the same however I caught a 24hr bug from my darling niece and ended up having to go home sick at 1.30pm and spending the rest of christmas in bed whilst the world celebrated. I slept as they ate their christmas dinner I had dry toast and some flat coke trying not to feel too sorry for myself… What a lovely day it was and despite the sickness to be honest I was glad of the break to rest
Riley came into work on christmas day dressed up as mrs claws (see what I did there) and gave all the residents their gifts… she wasnt best pleased with the outfit but she brought a lot of smiles to a lot of faces on christmas morning.
As a nurse working over the christmas and new year season is not somthing you can avoid, I once had it described to me as being maulled by a bear, if you just put your head down and get through it you will come out the other side… I wouldnt say my own experience was quite that bad but working over the holidays is a privlidge. In all honesty some weeks I spend more time with my residents and collegues than I do my own family. Being a nurse very much means that you put others first, you care, you do, you worry, you cry and stress but the rewards far outweigh all of it and working over christmas with the people I love is really a true gift.
Some serious christmas feels at the beginning of december with the snow.
As boxing day came I had begun to feel a little better, our family came round for dinner. I was trying to live in a little christmas day bubble and make the day a special second chance at christmas day, while Everyone was out enjoying the sales and trying to cure the post christmas overeating blues, for us the fun will just be beginning. We had a wonderful day eating dinner, dessert and playing games, Sadly my stomach was still not up to scratch for the usual christmas indulgence but I had a lovely day regardless with our family.
Our christmas market night out
It has become a sort of tradition that we play games when the family are round for dinner so this year we played what do you meme? which was hilarious and then a few rounds of 221B baker street a Sherlock Holmes mystery game which my darling best friend got me for christmas.
Christmas at Dibney Cottage is always a lot of fun ( if I do say so myself) Neil always tells me I go overboard but if you can’t at christmas when can you? This will be our third christmas in the cottage, which to be honest I cannot believe. Life is just going by so fast and 2018 has now arrived. It will hopefully be the biggest and best yet, we are planning a trip around italy, i’m turning 30 and we have lots of little projects on the go.. Such a lot to look forward to this coming year.
But back to christmas! I just love this time of year winter, christmas, new year… I have embraced a love of all things Hygge and I just love spending time with the people I love most making memories I will hold onto forever. It’s strange but over the summer months I could take or leave things but in winter I just have to get out as much as possible, to every market, food event and christmas movie showing my work schedule will allow.
Our Christmas dinner table ( well boxing day dinner table)
Christmas to me is so much more than gifts and food, it’s that feeling you get, the anticipation, the magic, the longing for something wonderful. I often find that christmas day (or boxing day as it was this year for us) itself is a little bit of a let down, for me it’s all about cooking, tidying up and making sure everyone else is well fed, watered for and catered to. My day is christmas eve, it truly is the most wonderful day of the whole year, the magic in the air, that feeling of anticipation for the coming day, presents all wrapped under the tree, the fridge filled with goodies and us on the sofa with new jammies, freshly bathed and sitting by the fire with a hot chocolate watching scrooged.
As I have gotten older I have realised that christmas feeling I had as a child, the excitement and inability to close my eyes with anticipation… had santa arrived with my gifts? would I get what I wished for?. That feeling can continue albeit in a slightly different way. Now that I am older and santa no longer visits me I still keep that feeling in my heart, the joy of giving, the happiness on everyone’s face, I love feeding everyone and being the host at the party, baking and cooking to see the smiles on everyone’s’ faces.
Winter walks before the new year
I cannot believe 2017 has gone and the year really did go so fast. We did so many wonderful things and seen so many beautiful places, we made new friends and reconnected with some old ones. Life for us could not be in a better place right now. Going forward in 2018 we wish everyone all the love and happiness in the world.
To good health, happiness and a 2018 to remember
Love Laura x