Where are the days going? They are slipping through my fingers like quicksilver. Everyday I think of something I want to blog about it yet before I realise I’m laying my head down on the pillow thinking of the stuff I need to get up early and do before the next day begins in earnest.
Aside from the slightly raised adrenaline I love it. My last craft fair before christmas is done and all my orders are collected or safely posted off. I have earnt enough to fill a hole in my bank account and pay for a beautiful christmas tree and a duck to roast for Xmas day.
Small things but deeply satisfying.
Now I need to get down to making our festive presents and all the usual christmas flim flam.
Recently I’ve been turning that quote – I think it’s Einstein – about doing the same things and expecting different results – over in my head. Relating to christmas obviously.
I do love christmas, as a child we ticked between christmas proper and a more wicca solstice. There is always room in my heart for family being together, feasting and shiny things. Ritual warms my heart but over the years I have learnt it’s important to follow the ones that mean something to you. Empty rote with nothing behind it is soul sapping and draining.
I’m lucky in that my mum and dad never put pressure on us over where Christmas is spent. I can’t bear that over one fleeting day. We have lots planned for this year - some here and there, a special early Christmas dinner, a festive Eve gathering, happy firework and champagne filled New Year’s Eve date.
My Dad’s 60th falls on the 22nd, we’re having a tea party and Zeph and I are slowly filling the freezer with bits and pieces. I have a master plan pinned on the wall of foods to be baked, cooked, frozen and bought. Occasionally I feel a wave of stress begin in the pit of my stomach. This year I’m trying to choose to squooshe it. .. because that choice is mine to make. Honestly it’s going quite well.
My years resolution of embracing the now has made a definite difference to my psyche. When you’re busy noticing the moment you see that you’re moving through a bountiful ocean of them and Christmas is just another one that will be followed by another. This does seem obvious but there’s something all engulfing about all that busy preparation for a day of static perfection that usually fails to live up to the weighty expectations.
Stirring the pudding today with Ida I mentally fingered thoughts about christmas. The midwinter aspect of a festival full of light, brightness and love to push back the dark, celebrating the birth of a baby, green man or christ child. Rejoicing in new starts and beginnings.
Odd then that lots of the woes I hear are about the stuff nor conforming to old patterns. People tug of warring about where it’ll be family wise, the country eating the same menu, nativities breaking from tradition, new fangled carols. Things changing.
Mind you here’s one of my namesake dichotomy’s because you could put some of the blame on our overwhelming consumerist world. The mighty power of advertising selling us all the stuff we need to be happy. Fancy puddings, bigger turkeys, pinescented mince pies, lavish gifts, perfume, the perfect party dress, bucks fizz, smoked salmon, themed decorations….
Ooops - my heart just leapt in joy, rack after rack of magazines filled with aspirational shots of unachievable glamour and gorgeousness? Although not naturally a squeeee -er and more of an inappropriate curser my heart gives and internal Attic24 style squeeeee of happiness. Let me at them! I loves a bit of fairy lights me…
I suppose the trick is to enjoy them, take what you like and understand that you can still be happy without a prescribed tick list style experience.
And notice the moment.
So with that in mind right this minute I see;
A pile of stuff to wrap – I love wrapping. We have brown paper and string and a bag of ludicrous tags cut last year from old cards. We also have a very exciting new sellotape dispenser, a gift from my mum, exasperated by our old homemade version. Ida is flexing her fingers in anticipation.
The house smells steamy and fruity. The pudding is steaming away ratting the saucer in the stovetop pot. It has to steam for four hours and should have been done weeks ago. It’ll still taste great though. I’ve made it on xmas eve before now. Written out in hand the instruction are terse consisting of a list of ingredients, the words mix thoughtfully and steam for four hours. It’s Great Grandmother Driffields recipe, although I’m not precisely sure whose great grandmother she actually is – I have a warm sense of continuity that reassures.
The house is glimmery with a few extra strings of white lights. They hold back the grey day outside. The tree is being delivered on friday. Steve’s off on saturday and we’re planning to decorate it all together and make this years wreath. I chose not to do advent calendars this year and mark our own countdown studded with small preparations rather than Ben10 chocolates or my tearful time pressed hours trying to find 48 things small enough to fit in the drawers that aren’t chocolate.
Oh and to end I just glanced at my very cheap (allegedly the terrorist’s choice) digital watch to see it pleasingly lined up in 11:11:11. Undoubtedly an auspicious sign.