Monday, 3 January 2011

Christmas Planning...... not!



.... Christmas was very good: It was snowy and crispy so it actually looked like Christmas. Our new log burners were beyond hot and no one fought........... although, ........ will I fess-up?????? It would be fair to say that I was universally loathed on Christmas Day.

Santa was very quiet arriving on Christmas Eve, none of us heard him. Both babies had been instructed to wait for us before they lashed downstairs but the 6yo came in about 5am anyway for a snuggle, with no mention of Santa. At 7:30 the 8yo appeared and got into bed too. She was very keen to go downstairs but we cruelly shushed her, as the 6yo was still fast asleep. She huffed and puffed... it was very entertaining.

'This is the worst day of my life,' she informed us. [Blimey, if Christmas Day as an 8yo is the worst day of her life so far, she's got some shocks coming......]

Eventually 'curly' opened his eyes,

'Hello Mamma,' he said.... still no mention of the man in red.....! I thought the 8yo would explode.

'Hello baby,' I said. 'Do you think Santa's been?' Whoaaaa there tiger!!! He was AWAKE and out of bed in one sweet movement. We stampeded downstairs, waking Grandma on the way.

Santa had ignored every single note the children had written to him and let me tell you there were plenty. Snow trapped kids are very resourceful when holed-up with three 2-kilo catalogues.... They wrote letter after letter amending the previous list over and over.

'........ actually Santa I'd rather have cat. number 556/1276: The Sweet Factory and 5 kilo of sweeties....'

Yeah, like Santa takes any notice of pleas from small children! In any event he brought bikes, big ones, or as I like to call them respite for parents. Since the snow melted we've hardly seen the sproglets; they jump over Daddy-constructed jumps on the track and power over the lawn, through the million, or so, mole hills..... grrrrrrr.

Prior to Christmas I'd extracted a promise from Hubby that we'd go to church on Christmas Day. I'm very Dorothy in that respect 'I do believe, I do believe, I do, I do, I do....' I just dislike most of the rules associated with religion and generally I cannot reconcile the role of women in religion..... Deep breath... but I was brought up Catholic and that stuff sticks. It is baby Jesus birthday y'know and I want my babies to remember that, not just the toys and feasting. The nuns would be so proud.

Unfortunately for all my grandiose insisting that we go to church, I hadn't actually checked out the times of services.... hmmmmmmm, Freudian do you think? So at 10am we wrapped Grandma in a faux fur rug in front of a stacked fire and set off on snowy roads to find a church service. [The children were extatic to be going to church; leaving light sabres and ice-cream makers for Grandma to run amok with!!!!! There were some choice phrases aimed at me let me tell you. Hubby did that look that said; I think you are Genghis Khan..........]

The roads leading to the local church seemed impassable, plus there was a sign stating that there was a 1:6 descent to get to the church and being in a tizz I'd forgotten that the church lay on the flat before the hill! We turned around and headed off across the Clee Hills to another little outcrop with a big Victorian church. That church was cold and closed so we set off again [the kids were REALLY happy by now.....] this time to a village overlooking the valley. There were humans walking up the steep, lethal, stone steps up to the church. Hurrah, we'd found our Christmas service.

We smiled at all......... one, two, three parishioners. It turned out that these three were actually the organist, the church warden and the bell puller....sorry, I can't think of a punchline. WE were the parishioners. It was 10:30am and the church was the coldest place on earth, even colder than outside, I kid you not! Hubby suggested it was probably -12°. Our breath froze as we spoke and fell to the floor, shattering into a thousand tiny pieces. Several of these pieces lodged in my heart along with the icy daggers that my family shot at me from their wild eyes.

'What time does the service start?' I enquired.

'11am,' the kindly warden-lady informed me. I didn't dare look at Hubby.

By 11am the 6yo was very near tears. I read to the children from a children's bible. They weren't interested, it's not Harry Potter is it? Fortunately the priest and one more parishioner turned up and at 11:10am the service started. It was a High Church of England service, I may as well have been back with the Catholics. It was a lovely service and we nine holy-people sang like our lives depended upon it, if only to keep warm. An hour later we were offered our freedom.


'Next year, check the bloody times please,' pleaded Hubby on the way back home in Dizzy. He's so nice, he could have said so much more. He's Santaish.... I'm more the Ice Queen but with a more limited wardrobe.

The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon