Jaqui's Daily Blog

Christmas Challenges and Looking Back

Looking back over my diary (aka the Daily Blog) for the last four years, I am aware that I don't seem to be quite so up to scratch with All Things Christmas as in past years. I tell myself that I need to toughen up a bit, to knuckle down - please feel free to insert your own appropriate cliché here.

I forego the pleasure of the company of the Bacon Bap Brigade after choir so that I can make a trip to the supermarket where I hope to be able to buy red, yellow and green jellies, the wherewithal for Ready, Jelly, Gos (see my Cook Book page) ready for the Twinkles ' birthday party. In case you are admiring this act of self-sacrifice, I have to admit that I am not exactly missing out altogether. I am already planning to stay on for coffee and a naughty-but-nice mince pie pie after our choir's performance at the Community Centre's Christmas Fair tomorrow morning.

After lunch (no, not a bacon bap, I had to be satisfied with egg on toast. Mr B, for his part, enjoyed the left-overs from his Chinese takeaway of yesterday) I settled down at the dining room table having set myself the target of completing the second page of the Christmas Card List. Only three pages to go! Last year our cards were all in the post by now - I am not sure that looking back is A Good Thing - Christmas is challenging enough without competing with myself.

I haven't managed to buy an Advent Candle yet. At this rate I'll be playing catch up throughout December. I have, however, adopted an idea I saw on line and started a Reverse Advent Calendar, which involves putting an item of food into a box every day, rather than removing a chocolate treat. By Christmas Eve, we should have a fine haul for the local Food Bank. My friend Sallie says she has adapted the idea by collecting dog food for dog owners who won't want to see their pets go short of festive treats but need to make sure they can keep themselves warm in these cold winter days.

Looking through my food cupboard for possible contributions to the RAC, I came across any number of jars and bottles which were past their "Best Before" date. Sad to say the rubbish bin is rather fuller than the Reverse Advent Calendar though hopefully that will change over the course of the month.


I gave myself a rest from writing Christmas cards (after all, there is always tomorrow...) and set to writing our Christmas Letter 2016. It's most enjoyable, looking back over the note-worthy events of the year - a bit like watching Sports Personality of the Year but without the running, jumping, throwing, catching or anything else Sports Related.

Strange, isn't it, that while it seems as if this year has absolutely flown by, when I come to remember events of the early part of 2016 they seem such a long time ago. Take my wonderful weekend at Centre Parcs with the (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys and their parents when I learnt how to build a den and disgraced myself by getting hopelessly lost on my way back to our holiday home from the swimming pool. Was that really this year?

This time last year, the Twinkles, Tala and Lilia, were still just babies - today, approaching their second birthday on Monday, they are proper little girls, feisty, fearless, and totally enchanting. The same, but different, as their mother, the Middle of the Darling Daughters says. Where did that year go?

Today would have been my dear Mum's birthday. I remember her last birthday so very well. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I took her out to a local Carvery for lunch. As my birthday present I had had her wedding ring altered so that she could wear it again without worrying about it falling off and getting lost. After lunch, back at the care home where she lived, we shared the birthday cake I had bought with the other residents and they all chatted about their long ago school-days. Did anyone remember Empire Day, a lively ninety year old enquired - then, sitting up ramrod straight in her chair, she sang the Empire Day song. Word perfect, I'm sure. It was a Magic Moment.

I'm glad my Mum's last birthday was such a joyful occasion. It makes me think: does it really matter how well advanced my Christmas preparations are?

All that matters as I've said before is Doing It With Joy.



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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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