Family Festivities Part I

Christmas means something different for all of us. For some people it is about celebrating the birth of Jesus and going to church on Christmas morning is an integral port of the Christmas celebration. For others; its about eating, drinking, parties and all out over indulgence. However, for most of us its a time for families and friends to come together and celebrate. Thus, the big family lunch is the pinnacle of the Christmas celebration. This year I am catering for fifteen and have to say, we are all really sad that our cousin will not be with us because she feels too ill to travel…
However, the build up to Christmas is usually very stressful for most of us!
We have to worry about the food shopping, the decoration, and most of all, the presents!
Lets face it guys, we all go out and buy what we want throughout the year, for the most part we do not have to wait until Christmas anymore!
I remember when I was a child, Christmas used to take forever to come, I would have to wait for a very long time to get that doll!
I am sure thirty to forty years ago, we all felt like that.
These days our children and grandchildren do not have to wait for anything. Shopping is now a leisure activity and so we get a lot of pleasure from shopping for the children and grandchildren, friends and family. Thus when Christmas comes around, it makes it more difficult to buy something that they do not already have…
Over the last few weeks, I have been shopping for my family and friends. This has been a difficult exercise. I went to London this week to do some shopping and the number of people everywhere was just overwhelming. People talk about downturn in the economy and the economic crisis… London must be immune because all the shops are full and all the good restaurants are fully booked. You cannot get a reservation for 8PM at a good restaurant unless you have booked well in advance.
People are just eating out more than ever…
In spite of the crowds, London is just magical during the Christmas season- The lights on Oxford street, Regents street, Bond street, the windows of Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and the Illumination of all the major department stores just add to the magic.
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is just magical too. Nothing says Christmas like the pantomimes and the ice skating rinks. My favourites are Somerset House and Canary Wharf.
Christmas is also a time for reflection… Have we had a good year? Have we had a bad year? How do we approach the New year? What are our goals for the upcoming year?
Every year most of us make New Years resolutions and often we never really manage to achieve them because the routine of life usually defeats out best intentions!
Although Christmas is a time of fun, laughter and the coming together of family and friends to celebrate, it can also be a time of hostility and regrets too. Many family members argue with each other over the Christmas periods. So many people who do not spend time together are thrown together during the festive season and this is sometimes just too much… Christmas can be a very political time – We need a lot of tact and diplomacy to deal with all the arguments that surface at this time of the year!
This year for the first time, I am really organised, my table is already set, my presents are all wrapped!
This is a first for me, I have to say. Usually I am last minute.com. My friend, Cheryl usually comes from London on Christmas Eve to help me wrap my presents… However, this year I will be able to go to my friend Jane’s Christmas Eve party and not worry about what I have to do before Christmas morning…
Since my daughters are back from University, the house is full of noise, laughter and fun again. But the mess has returned too!!
I am sure that those of you with teenagers will understand there are still partially unpacked suitcases lying around… Shoes everywhere and clothes on the bed, on the floor and their bathroom floor. I am trying to five them the benefit of the doubt. Because I have been accused of having OCD. Trying to be quiet about their mess is alien for me. However, I am really trying to be tolerant. I am telling myself that it is better to overlook the mess and enjoy the pleasure of their company! It is great to see them manage their lives and going off independently but it is also strange to realise that they really do not need you anymore. Yesterday, I was late coming home because I was trying to do as much shopping as I could. I was also doing some last minute Christmas shopping for Danielle, my oldest daughter because she works long hours. The girls decided to prepare their own dinner. They cooked themselves Spaghetti Bolognese and they where keen to have my verdict on their cooking skills. I am very happy about this, but I am still coming to terms with the change. Christmas day should run more smoothly from now on, Since my two youngest are able to cook for themselves and possibly everyone else!
I can hope can’t I?

Have a wonderful Christmas Holiday and a healthy and prosperous 2016

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