It's been very quiet here on the blog over the last week or so. We've had a full house this Christmas and I've struggled to find time to blog inbetween entertaining guests, generally running the house, feeding Master C (almost constantly some days) and helping Little Miss C enjoy Christmas.
The box that our delicious Christmas Cake from Heaven is a Cupcake came in
Things have been very different this year from all the previous Christmas Days that Mr C and I have spent together. This was the first year that we spent the day in our own home, but also the first year without my dad. My mum came down to stay with us for a week over Christmas and my sister and her husband also stayed for a weekend so that we could all celebrate together. In the three and a half years that we've lived here it was the most guests we've had staying in the house and having so many people to stay and for meals means that we also finally got to use some of the serving bowls that we were bought as wedding presents nearly five years ago!
Old fashioned Christmas Pudding box design from Bettys
For Little Miss C this was the first Christmas that she actually "understood" something about. She easily grasped the concept of counting down with her advent calendar, and also the idea that come Christmas Day itself she might be lucky enough for Father Christmas to have bought some presents for her and her brother. For her one of the highlights in the build up to the big day was making regular visits to a local house that goes more than a bit mad with lights.
Luckily they are very welcoming to children running all over their driveway and each year they collect hundreds for charity from all the visitors. Pretty much everyone in St Albans has heard of this house's lights and you can't help but smile as you drive past. A visit with a toddler really helps you to get in to the festive spirit that's for sure!
Master C is obviously too young to follow what was happening, but there being lots of pretty lights to look at, more people around to entertain him and fuss over him helped him to get in the party spirit.
Father Christmas obviously decided that Little Miss C had been a good girl and she was incredibly lucky when it came to gifts, both from us and from other friends and family. As is always the way though with small children, one of the boxes did seem to prove incredibly entertaining for a good while on Christmas Day.
The word I'd most use to sum up this Christmas is "different". It's been a week or so very unlike previous years. It was a different group of us that gathered round the table for Christmas dinner this year – no Dad, but Master C sat there in his bouncy chair beaming with delight – and that's something that's still taking some getting used to. Watching LMC's enthusiasm for it all though made it hard not to raise a smile, and I'm sure that's what my Dad would have wanted too.
There's been plenty of family time and combined with lots of good food and drink that's made it a special Christmas in its own way. Tears of both sorrow and laughter in equal measure. Life changes and we need to make the best of what we have, which is what I hope we have done this year. Wherever you are Dad I'm raising a glass and wishing you a Happy Christmas.