It's 4pm on Christmas Eve and I thought it would be nice to pop up here into the Attic for a quick chat. How you all doing? All ready? All set?
I did my last round of gift-dropping and shopping at lunch time, braving the rather bracing weather to stroll along the canal and up into town. I arrived home windswept and relieved - that's my final outing done and dusted and I am bedding down into the warmth and comfort of home for the duration now. It feels so, so good.
This week has been absolutely fabulous, day after day of relaxation and great family time. I've loved having everyone home and the house full of children, my own and various others coming and going.
I've found time to tiptoe through the festive pages of my two favourite magazines - Country Living UK and Country Homes and Interiors. I'd been saving these issues since early November and they didn't disappoint....
...*sigh*, its always so inspiring in Magazine Wonderland!
On Monday we spent a whole day doing jigsaw puzzles, we have these two 500 piece puzzles called "Christmas Eve" which I bought last year (see here for the complete images) and it was fun to be absorbed in them again. I especially enjoyed it as Little Man joined me for much of the time, a rare occurrence to have his company and quiet chatter as we pieced these images together.
Although much of this week has been spent indoors, pyjama clad and in full slobbery mode, we did manage a family stroll to the woods on Tuesday morning.
It was raining and everything was very brown and soggy....
....but we were rewarded with the woodland pretty much to ourselves and an unexpected Heron sighting.
There was also chocolate involved of course, it's the only way I can soothe the moaning that occurs when a wet, muddy wellie walk is on the cards. Cripes, I love the above photo of Little B's hands with his Festive Nails - you can tell he hangs out with girls a lot round here!
Our old faithful Christmas tree is in situ, I think this tree must be getting on for fifteen years old, maybe more, and we've had the same decorations on it for the past twelve years or so....
....I love the bright colours and eclectic look of it all, I don't feel the need to change any of it in future years.
A few days ago I was told off by Little B, proper told off. He was most upset that I hadn't put real candy canes on the tree this year, he couldn't believe that I had forgotten. Actually I hadn't forgotten but I somehow thought that the Little Peeps wouldn't notice them missing or be bothered about them as they are getting older. I guess I was wrong about that (all three Little Peeps were thrilled when they eventually appeared), and it made me realise that not all Christmas Traditions are parent-led. Must remember that next year.
I have a few of my own little personal Christmas Traditions, small things that I do each year which make me really happy. Red tulips for one, gosh I so love having these fresh flowers on my table for Christmas.
These tulips appear every year in the supermarket for just a few £'s, complete with a little bit of gold-sprayed foliage. I love that.
Something else I love to do is to treat myself to new pillowcases for Christmas, an idea totally inspired by the lovely Jane who used to write her blog Posy and did this exact same thing. J and I don't buy gifts for each other at Christmas, so this is kind of a Happy-Christmas-to-Me-from-Me kind of a thing. It's quite cool buying for oneself at Christmas!
Aren't these just so pretty?? I love that they have a different print on the reverse, I only found that out when I unpacked them. They are now freshly washed, ironed and waiting to go on the bed in a little while - ooooo freshly laundered bedding to look forward to tonight, I am rather giddy about the pleasure that thought is giving me!
I've got an easy dinner planned for tonight, a kind of fireside finger-food type thingy. You know, crisps, bits of pork pie, little sausages, olives, cured meats, a cheese board, some spicy chicken wings.....the Little Peeps are really excited by the prospect of eating dinner on their laps in front of the fire/tv. Afterwards I'm going to sit with Little Lady and paint our toenails golden, we do this simple thing together every Christmas Eve, and I love that we do. Aren't these small, simple traditions precious? I think they really are worth so much, makes me feel quite emotional. I think because my memories of my own childhood Christmases aren't that great (some are downright awful to be completely truthful), it makes me wish hugely for it to be different for my own children.
Tomorrow we are home just the five of us, we may or may not go out for a walk, depends on the weather really. I am so looking forward to the day unfolding, to be cosy and close with my sweet family.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, I hope you have everything you wish for....