Hold the back page. Grab a (large) drink. Sit down. Pinch yourself.
As we approach Christmas 2019, our first in The Cottage, I am looking forward to it.
I know, bit of a shock (to me as well), but I am genuinely looking forward to this Christmas …..
To add a little context I have never been totally opposed to Christmas, more a case of disliking what it has become and having the view (with all things really) that if it’s not worth doing properly then it’s not worth doing at all.
Very subjective I know, but my blog, my views!
In Spain Christmas was very much a practical time: dinner with family on Christmas Eve (the main meal), a relaxing day with another family meal on Christmas Day, back to work on the 26th and the main celebration being Three Kings on the 6th January.
No three month build up, no carols in every shop, so staff parties etc so it suited me very much. Wake up, have Christmas over two days, get on with life as usual.
So why am I looking forward to Christmas this year? No one big specific reason, ore an accumulation of smaller events and activities, which is how it should be …. in my book, or in this case on my blog.
A quick note on our Christmases Past to put this into context. The last 18 (2000 to 2018) we spent in Spain, so very much as above. Low key, my parents came out a few times, but all very Spanish. No complaints, very happy with this. Prior to this we had about 8 years where we were either at home in Surrey, or at home in Florida (with my parents) so again not really the long drawn out Christmases that from days gone by. And before that we had a few Christmases in Bedfordshire, which would be the lat time we had the Full English Christmas – office parties, pub parties, umpteen Christmas Lunches etc.
So 2019 looms, and is basically already planned!!! Officially it kicks off on November 24th with the local (Penkridge) Victorian Christmas Market. We will be having two real trees this year (one inside and one outside) and with a 20ft+ high lounge we will be supersizing the tree, so more decorations, lights and other decorations will be required, so will do this and support the local market. The trees are being bought from a local private nursery …. We will also be getting a few decorations from Wedgwood as we want a few special items to mark our first year in The Cottage.
Trees will be purchased on the 29th, but will be left bare to allow the cats to get used to them i.e. they have a few days to try and pull them down! Decorating day is set for the 1st December ….. the first time we will put the Christmas Carols on!!!
Our first Christmas Event is a Carols Service and Lunch at Weston Park on the 15th. We are going with my parents and an old neighbour who when I was growing up we always had a Christmas Day drink with (whisky). My parents have a meal each Christmas period with them so in effect we are joining them, albeit at a venue and event of our choice.
Friday 20th Sands and my mother have a date to make the mince pies etc. Sunday 22nd we are in Yorkshire for lunch with my Godfather and and some old school friends of my father.
24th long walk with the dogs, lunch, then the afternoon and evening spent preparing the lunch, and watching movies ….. Love Actually gets an annual viewing without fail.
25th will start with a walk with the dogs, then lunch with my parents.
26th lie in, walk the dogs, Fish Pie and then both off to Old Trafford with my parents.
27th we have an Open House at The Cottage. Calling it the Leftovers Lunch …. you can probably guess why? People will bring what they have left over and we will create some sort of meal. Primarily friends at this event, but my parents will be in attendance.
29th Sands brother and children are driving back from Formby so will bring Joan down for lunch and the I will drive her back early evening.
A little busy for sure, and I know far too organised really, but being our first here at The Cottage we want to establish some traditions of our own (Hint: we will only ever have Christmas Lunch at home and we will always host the Leftovers Lunch on 27th), while at the same time spending as much time as we can with parents, and giving remaining family the opportunity to join us.
New Year? Never really a fan, we will do something at home. A meal with parents and possibly friends then a few drinks, and on New Years Day we will take the dogs to the beach in Formby and have lunch with Sands mother.