Christmas 2017... the one with Friends

By the time we got to Friday 22nd December I was more Scrooge than Christmas fairy as I was still worrying about Ollie. He'd been so much better in the two weeks between my last blog post and his final day of testing that I was hopeful he would be signed off but scared because I'd thought that before and been disappointed. I arrived at the hospital with Ollie that morning walking a fine line between hope and terror, with hardly any brain space to spare for thoughts of Christmas shopping, present wrapping and biscuit making.

My spirits were lifted when we were able to leave the hospital whilst waiting for the results and I headed into town to get all the things I hadn't been able to get until payday. I spent four hours wandering around town, waiting for the call to either return to the hospital or go home and when my phone range I almost cried with relief. The tests showed that the liver was recovering. Ollie would be OK.
Suddenly, it was Christmas and I hadn't planned for any of it. There were stockings to be stuffed and presents to be wrapped and I'd never left it so late before. We hadn't done half the things I love to do during advent and I worried that Christmas this year would lack the joy and excitement I treasure about this time of year.

But then, it's Christmas Eve and I'm watching a wave of light fill the church as one Christingle candle is lit and each person in turn lights another, we're with friends and my kids are well. Nearly everything is ready for the next day and if it's not then it doesn't really matter.

And I'm happy to report that this Christmas has been one of the best ever. We spent Christmas Day with friends, relaxed and stuffed full of good food. On Boxing Day we returned the favour and I loved cooking and hosting and playing with the kids.

Like always, I want to use this blog as record to look back on. To write down the little things I may end up forgetting or overlooking by the time my children have grown. Each Christmas contains the same elements - trees, presents, food, fun but I don't want to lose sight of the unique events and activities that will always make this particular Christmas different to others:

- Lily having the part of Mary in her school nativity. It was a short performance of fun Christmas songs and she was more shy than I thought she would be but my heart almost burst with pride over and over.

- Snuggling in my bed every night for bedtime stories from our Christmas Book Box.

- My 'Nola Day' this year was a festive visit to Peterley Manor Farm's Christmas fayre. Each year I do something with my best friend and it's always amazing, a trip to the shops, a garden centre or a Christmas market. This year we wandered around the lovely stalls of handmade luxuries and indulged in a cup (or two) or mulled wine.

- Ollie's excitement at being able to put the star on the Christmas tree.

- Lily losing her first tooth! The next was so wobbly we wondered if Santa would bump into the tooth fairy on Christmas Eve!

- Lily writing her letter to Santa, and helping Ollie to write his. We sent them to Santa and were all excited when he sent a card back, telling us of all the preparations at the North Pole.

- Ollie going on one of the rides at Eden, he chose a pink car and loved every second. Screaming for ages after because he wanted to have another go.

- Angelic Sugerbells and Sparkles McJingles visiting Elf School for another year.

- Lily's heartfelt and dramatic rendition of Santa Clause is coming to town. Each line acted and accentuated with finger waggling and his wriggling. I'm definitely going to look at enrolling her in a musical theatre class this year!

- Ollie deciding that this was  a perfect time to potty train and insisting on keeping his potty under the tree! He liked to sit on it by the tree and watch TV.

- The children's nativity during the Christingle service at Church.

- Friends, Lindsay and Andrew having the honour of portraying Mary and Joseph in the 'live nativity'.

- Matt tidying up the bedroom tip so I could relax in comfort on Christmas Eve - possibly the best present this year.

- Spending Christmas Day with Lindsay, Andrew, Jessica, Reuben and Katie.

- Jessica's handmade place name cards - each lovingly decorated and personalised with our favourite things. Mine had a cup of tea and a 'splodge of black'. She knows me well!

- Playing games each evening. The board game on Boxing Day night was so much fun and gripping that was scared to roll the dice at the end. It went on far longer than expected but was so much fun I'd do it all over again today if I could.

- Ollie favourite toy by far this year was his Transformer Rescuebot Heatwave. He has hardly let go of it since opening it after lunch on Christmas day. He also got a scooter and his second favourite toy is his car mat from Nana Caroline.

- The kids loving my Mum's boozy Caribbean Christmas Cake. I'm preciously hoarding the last few slices just for me.

- My Harry Potter present hoard! I'm obviously rather easy to please when it comes to geeky wizarding gifts of all shapes and sizes.

How was your Christmas this year? What are the unique moments you want to remember for years to come and how do you ensure you never forget them?
Our Cherry Tree © . Design by Berenica Designs.