The Christmas spirit has finally arrived in our house! It came in on a gust of goodwill, courtesy of Team Baldwin, who turned up on the doorstep yesterday bearing aloft a small, but perfectly formed, Christmas tree in
a decorative pot, and above it, smiles as broad as Santa's.
Team Baldwin, for the unaware, is made up of the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and grandkids, Jack and Hazel. Their Dad, known to his nephews
and nieces as Uncle Dunk'em Dave (on account of his nefarious activities on Family Beach Days) is also a member of Team Baldwin but was not on the doorstep yesterday. Unless he was disguised as the Giant Penguin but I rather doubt it.
There were two reasons for the visit. One was an appointment at the dentist's but the other, more important reason, was to help Jack celebrate his 19th birthday, albeit two days early. Add to that a third reason which was to help make
me feel altogether more Christmassy than I have to date. The day was a stellar success on every front. Though I say so myself, who certainly shouldn't.
In one way, it was a hark back to those distant days
when Team Baldwin used to come to stay during school holidays. One of my tasks - along with arranging trips out, visits to the swimming pool and fish 'n' chip suppers - was always to wrack my brain to dream up some craft-related activity to occupy idle moments.
Yesterday, excited by my Shrink Wrap Magic Trick (see previous blogs), they both set to with a will - plus glue, glitter, pins and sequins - to decorate Christmas baubles for me. Which only goes to prove that you are never too old for a Bauble-Related Diversion.
Meanwhile the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I traipsed upstairs with the aim of accessing the loft and retrieving the Christmas decorations stored in the heady heights. After an anxious few moments when I thought
I had mislaid the key which would open the loft door, the Y of the DDs demonstrated her resourcefulness by refusing to listen to my wittering on about lost keys, opening the door easily with a twist of the wrist. Up she climbed, her dear head disappearing
into the blackness as she felt around for the light switch. Everything should be within easy reach, I told her, helpfully. And hopefully.
Every bag she handed down the ladder to me was a kind of discovery.
For example, I'd forgotten all about the Christmas lights which look like a series of random candles, all different heights, when viewed from indoors - but which form a star when viewed from outside. How clever is that!? Nor had I remembered the large, shiny
red plates I bought last year in a bid to invest my festive table with a touch of glitz and glamour.
Here were the over-the-top Christmas stockings I bought some years ago when we celebrated a Secret Santa
with the Middle of the Darling Daughters and her fella, pre-Trio. I will be able to bring them back into usefulness when the (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys come to stay after Christmas.
We had to decant the
Christmas tree in pieces as the box it was stored in was too bulky to shift down the loft ladder. It is one of those trees with colour coded branches which have to be slotted into the main trunk in the correct order in order to create a symmetrically perfect
specimen. The young 'uns left their baubles to dry and joined their mother and me on serious Tree Decorating Business.
In my imagination, I had pictured us decorating the tree to seasonal music. Deck
the Halls with Boughs of Holly, for example, would have been just perfect. If not completely accurate. Mr B, however, wanted to watch Escape to the Country so I had to make do with decking my tree without musical accompaniment. I did, nevertheless, persuade
Team Baldwin to join me in the wearing of Christmas crowns (made out of old Christmas cards on a previous occasion) for added (silent) atmosphere.
Dinner was my famous (at least within the family) Madras Beef
Curry - one of the Birthday Boy's favourites - followed by birthday cake, complete with nineteen candles. I'm glad Mr B and I were able to start off this year's birthday celebrations. Start as you mean to go on, I always say.
We had a Group Hug on the doorstep as Team Baldwin left. Next time I see them it will be Boxing Day. The house seemed very quiet after they had gone but they'd certainly left something behind them.
of Christmas Spirit, that's what.