It's a lovely card, isn't it? I bought my cards from Oxfam again, this year. There were 3 different views in the boxes I bought. I have used up the one type, entirely, but the other one looked like this:
Anyway, I've written my cards, so that's another tick on my Christmas list. Only another 2 million things to do before Christmas, then. Nearly there!
Every year, when Christmas looms, I am reminded of the things I intended to do during the current year, or of the things I started, but which remain unfinished. I habitually whip myself into a frenzy, during the month of December, trying to finish off everything I've started during the previous months, as well as doing all of the usual Christmassy things, like buying presents, writing cards and putting up decorations.
I won't bore you by going into details of all of the things I need to get done, before Christmas. I'm sure that you each have you own interminable lists, and have no desire to hear about mine.
The Christmas day arrangements are worrying me, a little, this year. For the last few years, I have had Christmas dinner prepared for my immediate family, by 1 pm. By 3.30 pm, everything has been cleared away, the dishwasher has been loaded and we have been on the way up to the Midlands, to pick up my aunt and then have tea with my parents. It has tended to be a busy, but organised day.
This year, my son and his girlfriend have invited the 4 of us (my husband, my other 2 sons and me) to have Christmas dinner at their house, along with son's girlfriend's mother and brother. This is great, but it does mean that I won't have any control over the time everything will be ready! I have asked them, politely, whether they would mind preparing dinner early and they don't mind, but I can see that there is potential for things to go wrong. I am determined to bite my tongue, if they do!
I am an only child, so I like to see my parents on Christmas day. I don't like to think of them being alone at Christmas and they are in their 80s, so I don't know how many more Christmases we have left to spend together. I have been more than happy, over the past few years, to put in the extra effort needed, so that I can be with my parents on Christmas day, but I do feel a little guilty about asking my son and his girlfriend to do the same thing. I know that I won't be able to relax properly this year, until we are leaving my son's house on Christmas day, to travel up to the Midlands. My parents won't mind if we are a little late, but my aunt gets more and more difficult, as she get older and I know that she will get 'arsey' if she has to sit around waiting. She now lives by herself, however, so I don't want her to be alone on Christmas day, either.
It makes me look back, somewhat nostalgically, to less complicated times, when my children were young and my parents used to travel down from the Midlands to stay with us for a week or so, over the Christmas period. They were the best Christmases of my whole life, I think and we were all particularly sad, when my parents were no longer able to cope with the journey, even when we picked them up in the car.
I hope that you all have simple, relaxing plans for the Christmas period. If you are in the fortunate position of having a young family and hale and hearty parents, remember not to take these special Christmas times for granted. They are all too short and things will change before you know it.
I must go into town, now, to post my cards and buy something for tea. If I wait a little longer, the queue at the post office will probably reach my side gate, so that I can join it and shuffle the usual 10 minute walk into the High Street, whilst whingeing and complaining about the Christmas rush etc. I like to keep up the old British traditions, so I think that I may well do that. If I'm lucky I might find a 'nice, young man' to chat to whilst I am shuffling. Fingers crossed!