I hope you're all enjoying the festive season? It's time for a catch-up. I have been a bit quiet over Christmas as I was ill. Nothing serious, just a cold, but it knocked me for six and left me draped over the sofa for three days straight. On Christmas Eve, as I started to feel unwell, our living room still looked like this, after all the epic DIY we've been undertaking:
We managed to clean it up and move the furniture back in. There was still a section of wall unpainted, drying out from a leak during the wild weather we had a few weeks ago, and we never did get around to laying that parquet after realising we would never get it sanded on time anyway. We stuck a bit of old carpet and a rug over the unfinished section of floor to hide its concrete surface, but at midnight, I had to call it a day and headed to bed, leaving the house undecorated for the first Christmas ever. I had anticipated relaxed carols and cocktails around the tree, kisses
under mistletoe, and wearing a killer party frock. Instead, I'd spent
the evening on my hands and knees in old jeans and a hoodie, scrubbing
blocks of parquet while my Baby finished up the custom skirting-board.
There was no tree, no stockings hung, no mince pie for Father Christmas, and no carrot for the reindeer.
I went to sleep with a heavy heart, feeling very un-Christmassy, horridly ill, and utterly exhausted. This was not what I had planned for our first Christmas Eve alone together.
On Christmas morning, it appeared that the elves had visited in the night! I came downstairs in my pyjamas to see a beautifully decorated tree, and the living room decorated throughout. I felt like a child seeing snow for the first time at Christmas. Quite honestly, I sobbed a little, with my cold-addled brain not quite being able to cope with this 'miracle'. My wonderful man explained that he'd stayed up until 6 o'clock in the morning putting up decorations and tidying up, and that all he wanted was for me to be happy at Christmas.
As if that wasn't enough, he later single-handedly cooked up the best Christmas dinner I have ever eaten (sprouts and leeks with chestnuts, bacon and cream anyone?!) while I was curled up on the sofa in front of the new woodburning stove.
Christmas was very different to what we envisaged. We didn't have our house ready in time to throw a pre-Christmas party, we didn't do the decorating or cooking together, we didn't go for a Christmas walk, play games, or any of the other things we had planned, not even managing to make the annual family get-together on Boxing Day. Being ill and the whole DIY debacle could have made it the worst Christmas, if that's what I was measuring it by. But, in terms of Christmas magic, and experiencing the meaning of Christmas (which for me is about love and peace on earth, with no religious connections), it was the best Christmas I've ever had. It was relaxed and cosy, I was very well taken care of, and we started a few traditions of our own, like burning a Yule log.
I hope that my Baby never has to experience a Christmas Day being ill, but if he does, I'll try and be the best Christmas Elf I can be!
Was your Christmas as you expected it to be? I hope you weren't ill too!