The Christmas quilt is finished at last, and in time for Christmas too, can you believe. I actually made the deadline this time. Pity about the Autumn quilt still pinned and waiting, but I will have it done early, won't I - for next Autumn. Well, that is the plan.
This afternoon saw my house filled with friends again, and the Christmas mugs were once again filled with fresh coffee, and the chocolate biscuits made an appearance too, so the energy levels for the chatter could be maintained. This is what I love best, when there is no racing about trying to shop and get things done. When we can sit and take as long as we like over coffee. Especially when it is a trifle nippy outside.
I was in the post office earlier, and I overheard the lady behind me talking to someone - the conversation revolved around the run up to Christmas, and she said " I can't wait for it to all be over". And it actually made me feel so sad. Now I don't know her or her circumstances, but we are 11 days from Christmas, and it could be such a wonderful time, whether we are alone, or coping with an overflowing house.
I happen to love preparing for Christmas, whether it be decorating my home, so it is warm and welcoming and festive, or baking so that I have gifts for my family and friends, making things for the people I love, preparing for visitors or returning children, wrapping gifts, planning surprises, hunting for the games and puzzles, lighting candles, and having my Christmas music playing. Going to concerts and carol services, reading the Christmas story, and doing simple things, like gathering pine cones, opening Christmas cards and sipping mulled wine, after braving the elements.
I am in no hurry for it to be over.
The smells of Christmas linger in my mind - the cinnamon and spice, the roasting turkey with bacon rolls, the gingerbread, fruit cakes and mince pies. The smell of warmth and cosiness, and love and family. And the laughter from decades of Christmases past echoes through that same mind. Little voices of the children when they were young, such excitement and delight on their faces. Nativity plays, Joseph with his crushed finger, the sweetest angel in town, the shepherd with his toy sheep. Little voices singing so sweetly - interesting versions of old carols.
How could anyone want it to be over already?
I want to linger here with those memories. My memories. So many which only I could possibly have because my children will not remember things from so far back. Special Mummy memories. Letters to Father Christmas, which they all still write when they come home, and the letters written back by Father Christmas too. Kenny singing Oh Holy Night.... the kids groan, but hey, they miss him too when he is not warbling away as they open their presents. (The only recording I could find of Oh Holy Night, my favourite carol - was by Kenny Rogers 30 years ago or so. So Kenny has now made himself at home with the family on Christmas mornings.)
Ah... I miss my kids, you know. It was so much simpler when they were small and all home with me. They grew up and flew away in 3 different directions. And that is the way of life. Complicated. There is just one of me. Remember I mentioned being cloned? Now would be convenient. Because I want to be in 4 places at once. And I can't be in 4 places at once, can I.
But I can dream. And remember. And plan. And bake. And put Kenny on. And I can do so many things. And I will. It is Christmas time.
And I am in no hurry for it to be over.