So many things crowding my mind as we come up to Christmas this year. This little baby has joined our ever growing family, older daughter's second child, long awaited and much loved. And within weeks there will be more babies, with daughter in law and younger daughter both due very soon after Christmas. It is a total delight to have more babies coming into the world but I want to be everywhere at once, sharing the time with everyone, making sure everyone is ok. This is daft, I recognise, as my presence won't make anyone any more ok but I have found before when babies are due that there is a part of me which doesn't settle until everything is done and I know everyone is ok and that I feel a powerful urge to see, in the flesh, to be there myself to assure myself that everyone is fine.
How lovely it will be to have these cousins growing up so close in age and as part of the burgeoning family of cousins. It is hard to express how very blessed I feel. I have found myself thinking a lot about my parents and Ian's father as we approach Christmas and I know how much they would have loved to see their grandchildren raising their own children. It seems very right to have the new babies coming into the world to counter balance those we have lost.
I have been coughing my way through the last two or three weeks and not doing very much else and I feel Christmas is coming upon me without much preparation having been done. In lots of ways this is fine. I like Christmas to be a time of company and food and I don't have much sympathy with grand present buying and fuss. I was rather appalled and felt myself very much turning into a grumpy old woman when I read that the average family will spend £300 per child on Christmas presents. I truly cannot understand how ordinary families can afford this and I cannot see how children can grow up with any sense of the things which matter which cannot be bought if their Christmas is measured in new things coming in through the door.
What matters to me is spending time with family, eating well, playing with children and enjoying the company of those I love. To this end the turkey is ordered from some friends who raise a small number every year. These turkeys will have lived a good life, free ranging and eating well and they taste fantastic. Today, very late but never mind, I have made the cake (gluten free yay!) and Ian has bottled the damson gin.
The cards are written, deliberately slowly. I love getting cards with news of friends inside so that is what I try to do myself. I know that if I write more than half a dozen at a time I stop enjoying writing to my friends and fall into a frenzy of simply scrawling my name so I have to drip feed the cards over a week or so. No presents have been wrapped but then there aren't that many.
There is not much going on in the way of decorations yet but if I can stop coughing for long enough to feel like being outside I have plans to make a wreath for the door with things from the garden. Our Christmas tree can only fit in one place, right by the stove, so it goes up very late, on Christmas Eve or maybe the day before, so that it will last through Christmas. This means it can be decorated with the help of a grandchild or so and all the old decorations will come out, many of them seriously battered these days but what would Christmas be without the slightly drunken looking knitted snowman and the decoration made out of the inside of a toilet roll?
And there is knitting to be done to try to finish this little jacket in time for Christmas.
Ian has been looking after me and bringing me cups of tea and making meals. It has been quite a restful lead up to Christmas in many ways. Time to get better now though. There is fun to be had!