Friday, 17 December 2010

Three Thoughts

Goodness the past week as flown! With the slow thaw finally happening after all the disruptions of the snow, the normal rhythm of life is steadily returning. G is back from his travels, jet-lagged and just a little grumpy.... and the weather induced pressure at work is also easing.

A little late, and with not one Christmas card written, or present wrapped, we start preparing for Christmas with oomph tomorrow.

I usually find Christmas a huge stress, and normally end up in floods of 'I am a failure' tears by Christmas  Eve. I become overwhelmed with the pressure to create the perfect lead up too, and the perfect Christmas day.

Last year we had a very simple Christmas, it was a painful time, just a few weeks after the loss of G's mum, and we missed her presence dearly. It did make me look at what was important for us as a family at this time of year.

There have been three things this week that resonated with me, and I hope you don't mind me sharing them with you...

'Next year I hope mummy will have the house straight, so she can do special Christmas things with me'

A conversation between my 7 year old and my mum, during their day out at Chatsworth House, where they are celebrating Christmas with a Russian theme.


Me? I was at home tidying.

I want my children to have strong, warm, happy memories when they are older. They won't remeber a tidy house.

It's the simple unexpected things that give rise to unexpected intrigue, questions and excitement.

The £2.50 mini box of satsumas from the grocers....

Why are they in a box? Who gets to keep the box? How many can we eat? Why don't they come like that in the supermarket?

I  get to spend time with the most extraordinary people living ordinary lives. During one visit this week I had one of the most bitter sweet moments of my life.

In a room filled with the most beautiful music, I learnt from a remarkable person, the periods of music filled silence, said as much as the spoken word.

I will carry that moment will be with me, and when I feel tense or anxious about getting it all right & perfect, I will hold that moment.

It's not about the trimmings, homemade vs readymade, the pressure. Its about life, love, family and the future.

So this weekend, in between the 'fettleing' and tree decorating, you will find me with my smalls on the floor, making paper chains, following the 7 year olds special time with mummy request.

Are they not the most delicious paper chains? I admit to being a smidge excited about getting my hands on them, but not as much as my daughter....



  1. zLovely thoughts and gorgeous paper chains -enjoy making them!

  2. Heed the words of your 7 year old. Like you said, she wont remember (or appreciate) a tidy house. Whilst shuffling around the house at Chatsworth, I couldnt help over hearing a lady behind me telling her friend that she would have liked to have gone to a carol concert that was being held near her, but she had her cards to write - so she was going to get those done instead. I turned round and told her to go to the concert and consider it a gift to herself - I truly believe we need food for our souls as well as our bellies. If the cards dont get done, it really really doesn't matter. (I hope it wasnt your Mum!!!).Promise yourself that next year Christmas will be for you too. Those are the most fab chains. Are they Kath Kidston! Have a lovely time. xxxx

  3. I think the juggling is the worst, but then trying to slow down is just as bad - the guilts can be a very heavy weight to carry.

    Here's to balance - for all of us and the beautiful memories to follow.

    Nina xxx

  4. I haven't written any christmas cards either yet- a job for tonight. Don't know how I managed to get so far behind this year- must have been moving house!

    Those satsumas look delicious- what a bargain, although they'd last 5 minutes in our house, my two year old has eaten 4 this morning already!

    We made some of those paper chains in a different patterns- I'd recommend digging out a pritt stick as the stickers are a bit fiddley x

  5. We get clementines like that here in France (in the supermarket) but we still think they're a great treat! I use the boxes for all sorts of things - they're great for carrying kindling. And your three thoughts are really valuable. I noted to myself that I seem to speed up at Christmas and keep going in a whirl, thinking that something will go all wrong if I stop. I made a note to avoid that this year!

  6. Don't be hard on yourself......a happy life is when all are relaxed and being chilled out.....far to much pressure for this perfect life we are all meant to be aspiring too.....
    I'm sure your Christmas will be a lovely family time....full of warmth and

  7. we got those chains yesterday and are really looking forward to doing it together said the 50 plus, 18 and 20 year olds. too true.......the house i grew up in was immaculate in every way but i remember hardly anything that we did together......

  8. I think you have managed to buy the most beauitful paper chains ever made! Hope you have a wonderful time together making them up.
    The comment about the tidying just brings home the eternal juggle of trying to get the balance right doesn't it?! I'm so far behind with things this year. It started well then with the children being off school with snow the other week when I planned to get wrapping done and then losing 3 days to being ill in bed I've never going to do all I wanted.So I've said sod it. I'm giving this evening over to planning what really needs to be done this week ahead and then I'm going to immerse myself in getting that Christmas feeling!
    That's the plan anyway!
    Lisa x

  9. Love the paper chains, enjoy every minute making them with your daughter. You will turn rond one day and they will all be grown up and gone, then your house will be tidy then again maybe it wont. Memories are precious store them while you can. Wish mine was small again, christmas is so magical, when the house has young ones. Have a lovely christmas

  10. Your three thoughts are very apt - we should try to live in the moment - but it's hard, isn't it? My oldest grandson (aged 10) said the other day, 'I remember when I was little and we used to make cakes - that was good fun'. I was chuffed! Happy Christmas :)

  11. A happy new year to you and your family dear friend, remember to take life a little bit easier in 2011 life is about making memories, no one realy notices if you have not dusted or the ironing is pileing up and any way it can all wait life is for living.

    Hugs Pat