And so, to Christmas.
Albie was beyond excited about Christmas this year. He knew the Nativity Story, some carols, had a wish list of presents and a myriad of logistical questions about Santa and his sleigh.
On Christmas Eve, we prepared and cooked with some carols on. Marcus and Albie picked up my brother Andrew from the train station in the afternoon and by the time that tea time had come around, Albie was fever-pitch ready for The Night Before Christmas.
We set out a parsnip for the reindeer, a cookie for Santa and told Albie he could write Santa a wee note to go with it. Oh my! Albie isn’t yet writing, but boy did he have a lot to tell Santa! Never fear, Uncle Andrew stepped in as secretary, and Albie dictated this lovely message to Santa:
Love from Albie.
Here is a parsnip and a cookie. Please give the parsnip to the reindeer and eat the cookie.
Do you like a cookie drink?
Would you like a cookie drink?
Make some sparkling drinks!
How is your day going?
Would you like some wine drinks?
I like dancing and living in different places like in a house and I love to walk very special places where there are lots of sparkling things and curtains and secret doors going into tunnels.
Fred is my brother and he enjoys lying on the grass and living with his family.
Albie (that’s me!) loves to play with Lego and loves to build things out of Lego. And build secret places with windows and scary eyes with lots of monsters (but no glass).
I love to live with my Mummy and Daddy and Freddy and keep safe and warm.
I love to eat some things and I love to eat strawberries and all the things in the universe.
I LOVE SWITCHES!! And cars.
Good luck Santa!
Love Albie (And Freddy)
Ahhh, the mind of a three year old boy on Christmas Eve. What a trip that is!
We spent the rest of the evening in a hubbub of cranberry sauce making, and Vege Nut Roast Construction.
In the morning, Santa had brought him a train set. We got him a marble run. He got many other things besides. A lucky and happy boy.
Freddy learnt to crawl. Which isn’t exactly a present as such, but seemed nice timing all the same.
(side note: the average number of toys a kid in UK gets for Christmas is 43! )
I was gingerly hoping Lancashire would put on a good show for Andrew, and lo and behold, she did. Christmas Day morning dawned still and bright. So we opened presents, had a few quick skypes to New Zealand and got out for a walk on Pendle Hill. It was glorious. Cold. Really, really cold. But absolutely glorious.
I enjoyed the ramble and the conversation as we walked – invigorating for the mind and body. We spoke of many things as we strolled – podcasts and books and plans and things yet to do. We began to chat about careers, and what we wanted from them and it was a conversation we went back to, in different guises, over the next few days. It is the first time in a long time that I have really examined where mine is at. It has been wrapped and packed and boxed up for a fair while now but I can see the time is coming closer when I will get to stretch my mind again, that my days of being “just” a Mum are numbered. It was exciting to speak some of my half-stringed thoughts about what might happen next.
I digress. It was basically a lovely way to start the Christmas Day. Sunshine on the body and soul. AND, made all the more memorable, by a truly random Santa and his elves running passed us.
You couldn’t have been more perfect Pendle.
And then it was off to Marcus’ Mum’s place for the afternoon and evening. A house filled to the gunnels with family, with hussle and bustle, with gifts and chatter – just as it should be. I have to admit though – I’m pretty useless at taking photos when things get busy. Did I take photos at Marcus’ 40th? Bup bum. Christmas 2013? Bup bum. Farewell weekend? Bup bum. A place gets busy with people and I very rarely pull the camera out. That is why it looks like all we do is constantly walk in the wilderness! I have to work on this, I really do.
So just believe me when I say it was a full and hearty Christmas day at Lorna’s house. We took along some sides, a Vegetarian Nut Roast and a bevy of home-made sweet treats – Key Lime Pie, Cardamon Bannoffee Pie, Orange Almond Cake and some Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies. Andrea and her husband Paul had done full courses of magic in the kitchen at Lorna’s and together we all sat down, at one long table, and had a splendid family Christmas dinner. Queue crappy iphone snap to prove it all happened:
(I may, or may not, have cut Albie right out of the photo.)
And so, a belated Merry Christmas, to you all from Lancashire. I hope it was fill with light, laughter and love wherever this finds you.