Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Not Always on the 25th.









We flouted convention yet again this year.
Christmas celebrations happened here at the weekend, with turkey (and vegetarian options) stuffings and sauces and sprouts, lots of puddings with brandy cream, smart crackers  (the sort you pull) full of good jokes and gold hats and really useful things like teeny screwdrivers and measuring spoons.  There were flashing lights and tinsel, clementines and good cheeses, mince pies, pigs-in-blankets and there is a Christmas cake that I had completely forgotten, still sitting there.

Father Christmas managed to deliver during the afternoon via the very small Victorian fireplace in my bedroom. The smaller members of the family had some great gifts, including a very surprising  toy lobster.  Older members played with the new toys, read the new books and  built a spectacular marble run.

In the evening half the family went back to their new home, having moved into it last week and needing to unpack a few dozen more big boxes. The other half, who had travelled huge distances to be here, stayed on, built an even bigger marble run and also ran themselves up the Malvern Hills. They left after another couple of days to help hose down elephants in Thailand - among other wonderful things.

My husband would not have been happy with this flouting of church routine. His life was largely controlled by such concerns and we all supported him in this. But this is another change in my life since his death that I totally accept. Life in widowhood presents so many changes, and my family members lead very different lives. I have also experienced different Christmas celebrations at different times, including a Russian Orthodox Christmas on January 6th. I try to stay flexible in every way.

So I am here, home largely alone, while so many others are panic-buying in the retail park. It's a warm and comforting feeling that I've done my best  for the family and if I fancy a cheese sandwich for Christmas dinner I can have exactly that.

Very happy, peaceful Christmas to you all, where ever and when ever you celebrate.

12 comments:

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Your early Christmas celebration sounds lovely. It is not about the time, it is about the people and the love.

Right now, a cheese sandwich would be perfect. I am still scrambling around.

Relatively Retiring said...

Starting Over: thank you for commenting. If we hadn't held the traditional celebrations I would be sad, but now it just feels wonderful that everyone can have time to do very different things.

Elephant's Child said...

It sounds blissful.
For a number of years I have said that what I most want for Christmas is Boxing Day, when all the fuss is over and I can breathe again. And point people to the fridge for left-overs.
And Arleen is right about the people and the love. Which you have in abundance.

gz said...

Two dozen beliefs at least celebrate light in one way or another around this time of year..a good reason to get together.
Glad you all had a good time

Zhoen said...

Marble runs and a surprising lobster toy sound great. I've worked so many holidays, shifting them to a better time is just sensible. Flexibility is difficult to achieve, but makes life so much easier and more joyful.

Good solstice, to you and yours.

I'd really like to see what the lobster looks like...

Molly Bon said...


Having your family and grandchildren to share the spirit of the season is wonderful whether it falls exactly on the 25th. or not. None of ours will be here for Christmas or days on either side so I'm a little envious! However, when our daughter visits in the New Year it'll feel like Christmas. Your recent memories will be sauce for that sandwich!

mm said...

Yes, I'm in a similar position. My sister, who lives in another part of the country, was due to visit this weekend but her partner is very unwell and she doesn't want to leave him as he is extremely dependent on her. I fully understand but I have to be honest, I will miss her - she is my only relative. I have difficulties in travelling right now or I'd go to her, but what I can do is support her at a distance and I plan to do that. Meanwhile I will celebrate the Solstice in my own fashion.

I am getting together with good friends on Christmas Day for a couple of hours, though not for the meal (which I'm not totally sorry about!) and I'm looking foward to that.

Enjoy your cheese sandwich!

Jenny Woolf said...

Our Christmas will be spread out. One daughter going to Ireland before Christmas, the other going to HER inlaws on the day itself. We will catch up with the girls and their families on other days. But on the day itself T's sister is coming here and we can have all smoked salmon and salad which is what we like to eat!

Pam said...

We'll be 15 on Christmas Day, ages ranging from 14 months to 71. It will be mildly chaotic. 11 of us will be sleeping in the house (it's a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house, which is not quite big enough). I mildly envy your peaceful cheese sandwich - but then next year they'll all be elsewhere so we'll get it then. Happy Christmas. (I loved, in a horrified way, your rabbit story.)

Relatively Retiring said...

Many thanks to all the kind people who found time to leave a comment. Happy New Year to you all.
I've been away for a while on granny duty, enabling son and daughter-in law-to get on with important jobs in their new home without the constant help of a two year old.....floorboards can be lifted, and there is a wonderful cavity beneath. How amazing is that? Even better, some other small person has posted c.d.s through a gap in the floor....now there's an idea!
Fortunately granddaughter was also around to provide a fairly constant song and dance display on another area of bare boards. You get the picture?
Zhoen: if you google Jellicat Lobster toy it should appear. Pity it's a boiled one!

Tanza Erlambang said...

merry Christmas
have a great day

Joan said...

Happy Easter— you are missed.