Christmas Eve has arrived all of a sudden, and the house is looking and feeling full of Christmas spirit. All my presents have been wrapped and are sitting patiently under the tree. I love wrapping gifts, which I know will have some people groaning and rolling their eyes, but for me putting together a beautiful combination of ribbons and paper gives me much satisfaction. Each one is a little work of art, which might only be appreciated for a moment before it is eagerly torn open, but it’s short life is beautiful and filled with promise, bringing a smile to peoples faces.
Starting early and wrapping a few a day, plus not having a mountain of gifts all helps. I can give each present a bit of thought as I wrap it, anticipating the smiles of pleasure when it’s contents are revealed. Giving gifts is a tradition as old as time, and it’s not the money spent which matters or brings the most joy, but the time spent thinking about the person who is to receive the present. A thoughtful gift will warm the heart for months if not years.
I have a tiny inexpensive pair of sparkly earrings which my son gave me many years ago when he was eight years old. Every time I wear them I smile, at the memory of his anxious face breaking into a huge grin when he saw my smile as I unwrapped his carefully chosen gift.
Lots of candles have been placed and lit as the nights have drawn in, and they bring with them memories of those who won’t be celebrating with us this year. This always pulls me back into fond memories of Christmas past, knowing that no two years will be, or should be the same. Time rolls on and change follows in its wake.
Garlands have been hung all around the house, some old and reusable, others fresh foliage cut from the wild woods just a few days ago. The greenery from the woods brings us firmly into the here and now, while echoing all the previous years. Never the same twice, nature reminds us to stay awake to what is passing right now in this moment, it’s a precious gift.
Cards have been hung, filled with wishes and hopes for a wonderful 2014, pulling me forward into the future, while filling my heart with the warmth and love of family and friends. I know cards are yet another area where many people groan and complain, and many now don’t bother to send them. I think this is sad, as a card is such a wonderful thought sent from one heart to another, but if it is seen as a burdensome task then there is no pleasure. I send less cards than I used to, but those I do send are to people who have touched my heart in someway over the past year.
I take my time to write them, sitting perhaps with a candle lit, and thinking about the recipient. I think of them as little mini gifts, and the cards I see hanging in my own kitchen this year make me smile as I think about the person who sent them, and our friendship.
I’ve looked out the Christmas china, but have yet to set the table, another thing I love doing. It’s like making a work of art which will be here briefly, before being used and enjoyed, and then tidied away.
And I’ve found the cake topper which I have used for our Christmas cake ever since I’ve been married. She always makes me smile, but now I need to get my skates on and bake the cake! Don’t worry it’s not a traditional cake, and so doesn’t take long to make. I have a house full of raisin haters, don’t ask me why as I love them, and so traditional cake never gets eaten.
This year I’m trying a Nigella cake, made of Guinness and chocolate, which I’m sure will go down a treat. Thanks to Poppy who inspired me with her Christmas post over at her lovely blog. I had better stop blogging and get baking!
Wishing all the lovely people who read, follow and comment on my blog a wonderful Christmas. It has been a wonderful year of getting to know all sorts of creative and inspiring people from all across the world. Blogging has been a wonderful and surprising gift in my life, and has enriched me in so many ways. Merry Christmas you wonderful people Xxx.