Christmas this year was…crowded. Wonderful. Scented with wood smoke and Dad’s mince pies baking in the aga. Filled with the sounds of music and kids shreiking. Dusted with snow.
Christmas with three hyper children and 14 people is never going to be relaxing but it was pretty magical nonetheless. My dad and step mum dressed up as santa and his elf and turned the shed into a grotto. Frankie spent the whole time half in awe of the bigger kids running around and half terrified. We ate and ate. I got sick as I always do so was forced to take it pretty easy. There was a misunderstanding about kids stockings but Dave and I managed to scrabble one together last minute (she was delighted with her Goodies crisps, raisins, plasters and balloons!)
My Dad and step mums house is filled with the most enchanting details- stained glass ceiling panes, glass domes, oak panelling, marble fireplaces. Its very old, very draughty and comes with a constant list of building maintenance so it isn’t all romance and wood panelling, but at Christmas time it almost shines. Almost as if in response to the strings of fairy lights and rich garden greenery and twinkling candle light it says "I got this". I was allowed to style up the oak room (so-named due to the panelling) for the festivities so I merrily donned my coat and wellies and let loose with my secateurs on an enormous rhodedendrum bush, a couple of fir trees and an errant holly bush hiding behind by the fence. I found spiders in my hair for the following couple of hours, but I was a happy bunny indeed. There is a high shelf lining the top of the oak room which I filled with greenery and tea lights in jars. I laid another armful of greenery on the table, then lit as many candles as I could lay my hands on, and it was the perfect backdrop for our Christmas piggery.