How was it for you?
How was Christmas and New Year for you? I feel like I have just project managed a massive theatrical event or rock band’s European tour to be honest and I need a long lie down in a dark room until about March. A very good friend of mine described his Christmas as a ‘bit like running a cafe for the last two weeks. Bastards just keep wanting stuff.’ I know exactly what he means-thank god for gin.
It is, of course, all my own fault.
I love Christmas and have already started planning festive season 2015. I love hosting the family Christmas lunch and I start to get properly excited about the whole thing as soon as Bonfire Night is over and done with. I always try to desist with too much Christmas activity until my sister’s birthday on December 3, but even that goes by the by some years as I am so keen for the festive frenzy to begin in earnest.
Having expanded my family substantially since I re married in 2013, I know have four step children, as well my own two teenagers. Three of my ‘steps’ have partners, one has two children and one is ten. I also have a step nephew and niece and a new mother in law, sister in law and brother in law. My own family consists of two sibs both with partners and children and my parents as well as various aunties, uncles and cousins, some of whom also have children. For Christmas purposes, and indeed other celebrations we are generally talking immediate family, but this Christmas as I continued to load up the dinner table with endless dishes of festive fare I did take a step back and think how my family has well and truly gown in the last two years.
I also felt slightly smug that I had purchased 20 new wine glasses in the pre Christmas sale at Wilko.
This year, we are building an extension.
I have spent the last month making lists, buying things, wrapping them up, arranging foliage, pondering the benefits of including dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks in my artisan garlands and seriously considering opening my own Christmas emporium with the sole purpose of selling gorgeous festive stuff. “So what will you sell for the rest of the year?” Enquired Mr A as we queued to buy Californian walnuts and Italian chestnuts at the Oxford Covered Market. A perfectly reasonable question I am sure you will agree. “Oh, things for Valentines Day, Easter, Weddings…Hallowe’en?”
He smiled and handed me my bag of walnuts. “Mulled wine?” That was of course the appropriate response to my outburst. It happens every year. I get very excited about making things at Christmas and then decide I can make a living doing it, only to realise on twelfth night as I take down the knackered decorations and deal with the crispy Christmas tree and make next year’s gift tags from this year’s Christmas cards (yes I really do DO that) that actually things like this are probably best left to the professionals.
Ho hum so January…what to do now then? Nothing to make this month, but as luck would have it I stashed a family box of Quality Street on top of the microwave and so far, nobody has spotted it. Trust me, in this house that is nothing short of a New Year miracle. Plans to drop two dress sizes by April may have to wait.
Sarah Edwards is a journalist and lives in Oxfordshire, mostly with her Labrador, Jack, two teenage boys and husband Mr Adams. Occasionally she lives with her recently expanded step family too. She loves family life and all that it brings to the ever expanding table.