I hope you all had a suitably over-excited and Magical Christmas. Judging by our early December celebrations and what I know of you all- that is a certainty! I thoroughly enjoyed being with you all and watching you get involved with decorating your own little Children’s Tree- and having our own Seasonal Celebration.
Now, I need to admit something to you- I was quite looking forwards to ‘Designing my Own Christmas ‘ this year...
Being truly honest- I’ve always been more of a Winter Solstice soul- so, I thought I’d paint you a picture of just that- on Winter Solstice morning, out of my upstairs window over School Green.
I think I may have mentioned here before about how I feel a Pagan heartbeat that chimes for me so well with the Island and for me particularly West-Wight.
I do, like the notion of festivities marking out jollity, celebration, love and kindnesses in the deepest depths of Winter- the ‘half-way’ when the days tip-over into beginning to get longer again and promise Spring and Summer.
I love the idea of getting together all the nuts, fruits and staples from the store cupboard - and cooking up a yearly turnout into cakes, pies, pickles and sauces.
I adore serving these to Family, Friends, Colleagues and Customers...
But, personally I’ve never been partial to Turkey, or gravy. I simply loathe Sprouts, can take or leave a roast potato, find bread sauce a bit ‘mushy’ and positively hate Christmas Pudding and Brandy Butter.
Neither do I like Christmas Cake or Mince Pies- and I am troubled by anything Cadbury’s masquerading as chocolate- and the excesses thereof, challenge my usual liberal sensibilities.
Historically, my inner- monologue has sought successfully to be quelled.
Left to my own devices by Boxing Day- all vestiges of commercial excess would have worrisomely been assigned to the recycling bin- Wrapping paper I couldn’t re-use, packaging- a bothersome plenty, and any kitsch piece of nonsense I might not drag out next year- a challenge to my poor little brain.
Do not get me wrong...
I LOVE, your wide-eyed view of it all. I love the magic, the bed-time stories- the traditions and the Family get- togetherness.
Yup, your Grandmother, GiGi, has reached an age where she says it is really for the children.
I’m not ‘Bah-humbug’ about it.
I love the vibe. As of Christmas Eve particularly here in Freshwater, people arrived to see their families and came to me for gifts and a lovely catch-up-a palpable sense of lightness and seasonal fun has pervaded the village and it is good.
However, Em (Bel and Fizz) I did feel something of a sense of foreboding as it seemed to me that my declaration of being happy about the idea of Christmas Day going solo
was a bit troublesome. This was mainly the result of many well-meaning friends and family declaring that ‘you shouldn’t be on your own in Christmas Day’...
I awoke early as usual- and punctuated my usual routine with the ritual yearly giving of the dogs ‘Reindeer Headbands’ . This took all of 30 seconds as this year, Marley decided to break with this tradition quite firmly and rip Milly’s ears of of her head- leg it up to the end of the garden and tear them to shreds. Seems like I’m not the only one breaking with tradition this year.
I walked the dogs, made a few loaves of Pumpkin Bread, ate Smoked Salmon and Scrambled eggs- happily- but all the time slightly apprehensive that a Black Dog, might just tap me on the shoulder.
The day passed quite contentedly- and notwithstanding the hole that is there daily since Grumpa died, it wasn’t so bad.
I guess that the novelty of spontaneously making a Nut Roast- and being able to eat my own version of Christmas dinner (Salmon, Nut Roast and Spring Greens) and idling away my day pleasantly culminating in listening to Neil Gaiman read a Christmas Carol- was just what I needed this year.
Today, would be your Auntie Lucy’s Nineteenth Birthday. I have lit a Candle for her beautiful soul tonight.
No Black Dog was behind me- or even on my perception of the horizon.
Sometimes, I think- you get golden opportunities to see reflections of what really matters in your own life.
I’ve got you all (and you, have me!) We have had the blessings in our lives that Grumpa and Lucy gave us- and they live on in our hearts forever.
I don’t miss- this year- doing all the things that surrounded Christmas that I disliked. The excesses of rich food I didn’t like- the (to my feeling) excesses of gifts wrapped in plastic- body lotions/soaps/Celebrations mock-chocolates/tins of shortbread that would go soft before eaten/ Family bags of Crisps/yet another Christmas Pudding to add to the 9 from previous years etc etc etc...
This year, I spent it alone- yes, but I didn’t feel lonely.
I’m looking forwards to 2018 dear Grandgirlies as I expect you all are to a degree- whilst delightfully living in the present.
So that is where we shall all delight.
The present is ALWAYS a good gift!
Your Ever-Loving Grand-Mother,