I suppose the reminder that real life in December doesn't bear any resemblance to a White Company Catalogue came on Tuesday, when I decided to go to the Mall, armed with a list. I put my camera in my bag, imagining that I'd take a few photos of the seasonal scene, of jolly people and stylish decorations. But though I arrived shortly after the shops had opened, it was clear that other people - many other people - had the same intention. I think my patience began to wear thin when I found myself trying to work around a woman describing individual items to someone on her phone, "Well, it's a Pirate telescope...you know, the kind of thing that a pirate would use"...."No, it's a hip flask"..."I don't think it would keep coffee hot".... *sigh*. I did what I had to do and came home as soon as I could, thinking I'll shop local for the rest.
A morning spent making wreaths was far more fun and another timely reminder to prioritise, making sure I leave time to enjoy this special time of the year.
My WI Christmas lunch for example. It seemed ages since I'd spent time with my friends, chatting, laughing and remembering good times over a table filled with someone else's washing up! The party poppers popped, the screaming balloons screamed and the cracker jokes were as awful as always. Why did the orange take a prune to the party? Because it couldn't get a date.... We chatted about friendship with the new vicar's wife, the way many of us have known one another since our children were born and the importance of these long lasting relationships which somehow come to the fore at this time of the year.
Walking back to the car park, I smiled when I spotted the tiger in the shop window. Perhaps the Bristows have got the answer to keeping Christmas shopping fun?
Whilst I was out having fun, the bears celebrated St Nikolaus and Paddington and Aunt Lucy dressed up for the season.
The days fly, the Advent calendar pages are turned and the little bear has found his way into a kindly pair of hands.
My little Advent calendar of memories sits on the table with a sweet picture each day. Today, it's from playgroup days, with Maisie reading a story and Edward wearing his railway guard's hat. Maisie was there yesterday - she'd organised the lunch in fact - and I must email her that photo later to enjoy!
Today, I am at home. Perhaps I'll find time to give the recipe for some of the fancy tea we brought home from Boston a try.
It will add to the seasonal mood as I deal with the clearing up here.
Not snow - though a few flakes have fallen this morning - but the fallout from the making of our Christmas cards, which is my priority today. I might find time to catch up with my Christmas journal too.