It's Christmas Eve and right at this moment the rain is hammering it down (again) which is a reminder that many people will not be spending Christmas in their own home due to them being flooded.
The news has talked a lot about Cumbria being flooded but nothing about closer to home for example St Michaels and Church Town near Garstang.
My friend and her disabled husband are currently living in a caravan in their driveway because, their newly decorated, bungalow was under three foot of flood water and have lost everything. She managed to save a few bits but that was all. They now have to wait for their home to dry out (in this rain?) before any renovations can start. I just can't imagine what they and other are feeling at this moment.
I wish my friends strength to carry on and to find joy and peace in the knowledge they have a fantastic family some amazing friends. All the best J and A
I missed yesterday as it was sharing pictures of our local area. It was pouring down for most of the day so I didn't venture out and I think most people are fed up of seeing rain. However there are some beautifully decorated homes around here. If it's fine tonight I will take a walk with my camera.
Back to todays - Favourite Christmas story. The Nativity. For me that is what Christmas is all about. What else can I say
After the recent happenings in our household, I say my priorities have changed and, I would have to say there are three. M. We are very lucky to have M as it could have been a whole different story and L of course. I know they're not Christmassy but Christmas would not be the same without them.
Our Christmas tree is still in the attic and we felt we can't not have a tree of some sort.
Our Christmas tree this year
The decorations are what didn't make it into the attic with a couple of cheap additions. You can't see it very well but there is a small desk top tree hidden in the picture and the little wooden tree lights up. We are in the process of making a small beaded tree that will also go on the table. We are going to remove all the gifts off the table and make a proper display. I'll have to do another show and tell again when we've completed it.
The owl is a new addition for this year. L wanted for the top of the tree instead of a star or angel so it has become part of the display.
I don't like being caught out with an unexpected guest or L saying, at the last minute, she needs an extra present so I buy pretty toiletries/smellies in the sales after Christmas and other small items and stash them away. These can also be used for birthdays too although the packaging might have to be changed.
Some things I have currently stashed away are:
Flower Soaps - peel away the petals to float on top of the bath water or use it as soap. Handbag Holder - unfolds to hang on the table to hang your handbag keeping it safe rather than hanging it on the back of a chair where it can easily be lifted. Wine - We are often given wine at Christmas of the sort we don't like (we don't like many wines) so we keep it and recycle it for a raffle/tombola prize or gift it. Pack of small cans of body sprays - Great for teens. Scarf - I was bought a beautiful scarf, one year, but unfortunately it's to bulky for me and I didn't want to put it in a charity bag so I've kept it until I find a suitable recipient.
I would love to hear your ideas for last minute gifts
I'm back. We brought M home from hospital a week ago. He is much better after being home a week. Still on crutches and pain killers but starting to get around a bit more. Yesterday he came grocery shopping with me (his first trip out) and managed to hobble around most of the store but had to rest a while as I went through the check out. He was then done in for the rest of the day but felt good to have actually have left the house and got a bit of fresh air.
How do I prepare for Christmas?
Well under the circumstances it's a good job I do prepare for Christmas. My preparations start in January with saving an amount each month ready for the bulk of the shopping.
I like to go shopping in the January sales for cards and wrapping paper. We need about 60 to 80 cards and usually only about 2 rolls of wrapping paper (if their decent ro1ls) If I've seen any decorations that I really, really like I wait for the sales and if it's reduced to my liking I might get it/them.
Throughout the year I will look a mark downs/special offers on gifts/toys/clothing etc and decide if it will be suitable for someone. If it is I will stash it away ready for the big day. This year my best bargain was 3 big hard back books I bought, from a shop closing down, for my little nieces and nephew total price was £3 (full price £15) I also look out for suitable stocking fillers too.
I start my food shopping from September getting little bits like tins and yellow sticker meats/special offers (I buy these anyway but I look out for small joints of ham/chicken legs/sausages etc). In stead of buying any of the fancy buffet foods I usually make one or two but this year I've got yellow sticker snack foods and stored them in the freezer ready for our Boxing Day family gathering. next year I would like to do more baking for Christmas and freeze it. (We'll see)
I'm always on the look out for things I can make too. Either knitted, sewn or crocheted. I've not made much this year but seriously considering it for next year.
I would love to hear how you prepare for Christmas.
I find I can't continue with my 25 days of Christmas as I don't have a lot of time with visiting M in hospital and organising everything in between and then L going into hospital next week. It's all getting too much.
I'm just keeping up with the necessary. I will be back to blogging as soon as things have calmed down. However I will keep reading and commenting.
Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a great New Year.
Update - M is now home and getting lots of rest and L operation that was due Monday was cancelled last week due to no beds in the HDU. No new date has been given as yet. I will be back writing soon.
Favourite handmade Christmas gifts given or received.
My favourite hand made Christmas gift I've received was from my MIL many years ago when I was Dating M for the first time. It was a corset/basque shaped pocked/bag that was made on a coat hanger to keep tights or socks in. I still use it today. Sorry no pictures as it's well used. I could do with a new one really.
My favourite gift I've made wasn't a Christmas gift but a joint birthday gift in November a couple of years ago. It too three months to make and it was the comic hero blanket for M's nephew, his girlfriend and his son. It was do that they could snuggle up on cold winters night whilst watching TV or DVD's and then for Christmas I made up a box of goodies ready for a DVD night. In the box was popcorn, hot chocolate, sweets and I can't remember what else.
What was/is your favourite handmade Christmas gift to give or receive?
Thank you all for your kind words. M is now sitting up and this morning they are hoping to get him standing. They did try yesterday but he felt dizzy. I suppose that's because he's been laid down for three days. He's looking better and got the colour back in his face.
When do we open our presents - The three of us open our presents when the last one gets up and then we have breakfast. Boxing Day when we go the in-law we do presents again and then when I do my Boxing Day, for my family, on the day or day after we do presents again. We like to stretch out Christmas for a long as possible.
In a previous relationship they didn't open their presents until Boxing Day.
My favourite Christmas food has to be the roast dinner. I'm not to fussed about Christmas pudding or cake. I also like the Boxing Day buffet we do. I start to make it just after breakfast and that's it for the day.
We don't buy all the lovely fancy foods in the supermarket and we don't have anything fancy on the buffet either. We did it once and suffered for it for a few days after as it was all too rich and our stomachs didn't like it. From the star of December I've been buying little extra bits and putting them in the freezer. Some have ben yellow stickers for example: a small piece of ham -will cook in the slow cooker with water and the stock will go in the freezer to make pea and ham soup with left over ham, two cheese and tomato pizzas, chicken wings/drumsticks. I'm going to get my turkey from Aldi next week. and then we are done.
Other news - On Thursday M was fixing the aerial on our roof when the ladders slipped from under him and down he came. he was very lucky as he broke his fall as he came down and only ended up with 3 fractured vertebra on his lower spine. I phoned for an ambulance and a paramedic came out along with the air ambulance and then the regular ambulance arrived. They were all amazing.
M was taken to Preston hospital where he is still. A back brace has been made and he's waiting for it to be fitted and then he will be allowed to sit up and maybe stand.
Family have been really good taking me and L from Blackpool to Preston to see him. I do drive but not that far and if I did I'm not sure I would be safe under the circumstances.
He has been so, so lucky as there could have been two different outcomes. One I will not think about and the other he could have ended up like my friends husband who is paralysed from the waist down from falling of a bungalow roof (different circumstances though).
And after all that the aerial is still flapping around the roof. I have a number to ring this morning to make arrangements for it to be fixed,
Next up is L's turn for her back a week on Monday. I really don't think I can take any more.
Have good week end and don't forget to tell me about your favourite Christmas food
My ultimate favourite Christmas music has to be I wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day (this has been going through my head for the past four days) but I love them all and like to play the CD often. Usually when I'm on my own.
My favourite Christmas hymn has to be Away In A Manger. I have a CD with all the Christmas hymns and play that too.
My favourite Christmas movies are all of them except the Gringe and Elf. I don't like Jim Carey and only he could play the Gringe and I don't like the story either. I can't stand to see adults acting like children and that's how I feel about Elf.
I noticed this year there have been Christmas films on the TV from around October. No I've not watched them. I was told "It's not Christmas" I've managed to sneak a couple in when no-one was in.
1 December arrived and I said "It's nearly Christmas can I watch the Christmas films now?"
"NOOOOOO" came the reply
"Why, it's nearly Christmas" I say
"To Cliché, too predictable, and just too rubbish"
L and M go to archery on Sunday and I can get two films in. I don't know what's on but knowing my luck it will be the two I don't like.
Why do I like Christmas films? Everything turns out great in the end but to get there each journey is deferent and I enjoy the journey.
Anyone else like Christmas films and do you have a favourite.