Friday 21 December 2012

Festive Yuletide Witterings

Talk about awkward...

The Princess has just given me her letter for Father Christmas. At the age of nine, she's still a firm believer and I am over the moon. I love and embrace her innocence. 

Not sure how anyone can believe, when the beard is this bad!!!
This was the Prince at his pre school Christmas party today.

Trouble is, now I've seen her letter to Santa, I've realised we've not bought her ONE thing from her list and we've finished (and overspent on) our Christmas shopping. It would appear she's forgotten about the items she mentioned two weeks ago. Oh frickadoodledoo.

And so this is (nearly) Christmas. And what have you done?

I have taken the children to a Christmas party and they got their faces painted.

I have reflected on pre-school Nativity plays past:

Five years ago

..and present:


I have fallen in love with our Christmas tree which isn't dropping a needle. It smells gorgeous. It's been up since December 1st. I get so sad when it's time to say goodbye (tragic soul, huh).

The Christmas shopping wasn't always plain sailing...

And I've had a lovely parcel that the lovely Lucy at sent me ALL the way from Australia.

She and I are obsessed with vintage Ladybird books.

I squealed. I actually squealed!

The Husband and I met when he lived in Banbury...

And Lucy also made me these cute cards and gift tags below:

Do hop over to her blog, it's lush. Thanks very much Lucy. You are one of my favourite bloggy lady birds...

Today I have been all about the charity. The charidee. The cherry tree.

Coat, cardie and skirt all cherry tree items

Less than £15 in total darlings. 

The coat was a tenner from British Heart Foundation.
The brooch was a gift from
Photo taken by The Prince this afternoon

My Nan bought the coat for herself. It's originally from Debenhams. Sadly she died nearly three years ago and hadn't even worn the coat. I feel closer to her every time I wear it. This Boxing Day will poignant as it was three years ago on December 26th that I last saw her. We held hands, as always when we chatted, and I thought I'd see her again in the New Year. I didn't.

Anyway, so she lives on every time I wear the red coat. The cardie is from the Cats Protection League and cost me £2. It's originally Per Una and I love it. Muchly. It has an embroidered bicycle and everything. The skirt was about £2.50 and I wear it a lot.

Photo by The Prince

Photo by The Prince
(trigger happy)

My other cherry tree purchases: The Santa hat for 20p from Scope. We love a Santa hat, don't you?

And this vintage 100 per cent wool duffel coat from St Michael. I love it on The Prince so much. £4! A steal!

Ignore the white icing on the side. No, ignore it I said.

Afternoon beach picnic

Oh, his shirt is second hand too. Land of Boden don't you know...
I also bought this Accessorize purse from Scope the very day mine broke. My zip went and all the money fell out (I say ALL the money, like I am the Queen....oh hang on, she never carries dosh).

It caught my eye and cost me £1.

 It's brill. What is more fab is that they are still selling them in Accessorize for £16 and mine is brand new. Bargainous!

I discovered this fact about the purse still being in stock when I was in Monsoon this week and having a lovely chat with the assistant. We were both giggling about how we discovered the truth about Father Christmas. She was 11 and one of the teachers at school was saying how you can have good and bad lies. A good lie example the teacher gave was Father Christmas. Well, the Monsoon assistant was gutted. She stormed home and demanded to know the truth. And cried from shock.

And me? My own "discovery story"? Weeeell................

'Twas the night before Christmas and I was ten years old. I remember feeling the excitement as the tingle of expectation shivered down my spine. After the carol service and mince pies by the fire, I kissed my parents and siblings goodnight and went to sleep with my eyes shut tight.

Around midnight, something made me wake. I heard a noise on the landing outside my bedroom. It was Him, I knew it. Should I leap out of bed and ask for a ride on his sleigh? Could I pat his reindeer and gently feed them a carrot, while burying my head in their soft, smooth fur? Could I hug Saint Nick, marvel at his rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes and then boast to my friends that I'd actually met him?

I didn't know what to do. I was literally quaking in my bed. I heard the rustling of wrapping paper, footsteps padded up and down and I couldn't breathe.

Slowly, and very quietly, my bedroom door opened. I shut my eyes as tight as I could, and held my breath, for fear he would not fill my stocking with gifts if he knew I was peeking. I lay as still as I could and heard a sackful of presents land swiftly at the foot of my bed.

Then Father Christmas left the room but I heard him still outside my door. He had more to bring to me, I could feel it.

 I heard him creep back into my room but dropped something heavy and he said, in an exasperated whisper: "Oh BUGGER it."

This wasn't right. Father Christmas didn't swear... I slowly opened one eye, as carefully as I could.

And lo and behold, in front of me, picking up the doll which he had dropped from a shiny new pram, was my dad in a pair of Y-fronts.

At first I thought he must have been helping Father Christmas bring in all my presents, but slowly yet surely, realisation dawned on my disappointed, naive little face. My illusion was rudely shattered. 

What was worse, I don't remember - realising that Santa didn't exist, or seeing my dad swearing in his kecks - but I didn't let on for another year or two as knew my lovely dad would be deeply disappointed.

Rule number one - Santa NEVER drops a present, and more importantly, he certainly NEVER uses rude words.

Here I am on that said Christmas still recovering from the shock, with my brother Robert and sister Anna.  I loved that doll and pram for many years.

(Am a bit ashamed now, hence the smaller font...anyway, the awkward thing was that after we stopped giggling from swapping our stories, we suddenly noticed a mum walking out of the shop with her daughter who was about ten. And I had a terrible niggling feeling that the little girl may have just listened to every word.)

(......still, I guess she can turn it into a funny story when she is older, about how she "discovered". That's what we told ourselves anyway as felt MORTIFIED).

Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for following my blog. I don't do adverts or giveaways or promotions so I flipping love it when people come across my humble dronings on. Cheers!


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

And here I am, loving every word, both familiar and unfamiliar British expressions!!! Since I have a dear American friend who lived in London for many years, I do know what that word means that your FATHER SAID! teehee...oh dear, what a way to discover the truth! But what I am not sure of is the "Y"....was that his underwear???? teehee....anyhow dearest Gem, I was laughing from the BEARD that dear Santa was wearing (yes, how could anyone believe with a bear that fake????) to your story about your dad. I have enjoyed visiting you and will continue to do BECAUSE OF YOU and you alone.

I wish you and the children the most MAGICAL CELEBRATION MY DEAR. I am alone this is so far a not so magical Christmas and I am not sure why, but I am grateful for who and what I have. I suppose that is enough!

Hugs to you my dear, Anita

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

GEM! Oh you dear heart for coming to chat with me! I WILL GOOGLE THOSE PANTS! I better ready for an interesting photo of them!

Yes, my post was difficult to make in light of what had happened. I still find it difficult to go on with such madness in the world, in OUR WORLD here. Maybe that is why I feel the way I do about Christmas this year...all is well here. My dear and wonderful husband is with me, by my side, carrying on as usual. I just feel a bit alone inside however, seeing how relationships change over time. I best remember what I have had, what I do have, and what I can continue to make happen in my life that is meaningful...oh forgive me, I am just rambling now!

I just feel lonely...people being so busy and unable to come to the house for dinner, that sort of thing, you know? But my husband and I will make our own memories, so that is what I need to focus on.

Thank you so much for asking, for listening, all the way from ENGLAND! Much love! Anita

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! I SEE WHAT THEY ARE....SURE!!!! My husband calls them "V EIGHTS!" Oh what a shock for you to see "FATHER CHRISTMAS" in those! oh dear, I needed that laugh....

Kylie said...

Well Gem, you write so well and with such humour, you don't need to 'advertise' (I don't think blogs should be about advertising anyway really...)

Love all the new Cherry Tree gear and that you wear your Gran's coat with love and flair.

That is one crap Father C, how anyone, even the most innocent of kiddos could be fooled by him proves that there really is such a thing as Christmas Magic. Have a lovely one x

sandiart said...

I have given myself permission to bog off from the housework etc to read a couple of blogs as I have been so busy doing other things I haven't really had a chance to read. Love, love your cherry tree goodies, as I have said before ours are miserable and you cannot find much at all. The prince looks a treat in his duffle coat, I had one that I wore to death and it was still as good as new years later and I still have it and it prob still fits haha. The Princess looked so CUTE in the Nativity play, you have such gorgeous looking kids honestly....I found out about Santa by the cranky man next door (he and his wife never had kids and he was such an old woman)I was gutted too and went home bawling my eyes out, I think my mum went and told him off :) Wishing you all a wonderful, wonderful Christmas and New Year.
xo Sandi

thriftwood said...

Oh Gem, what a lovely, happy post! Your bargains are fabulous ... love the coat and even more special that it was your Nan's. Love The Prince's duffle ... my Oliver had a red one, many moons ago, and he always reminded me of Paddington in it. I wouldn't worry about your little girl's list ... I'm sure when she sees what Father Christmas has brought her she'll forget about what she's asked for, and maybe if she gets some Christmas money, you and her could have a girly day buying some of the things on her wish list in the sales! I'm afraid I discovered the reality in a much less dramatic way ... my big brother spilled the beans!

Have a fabulous Christmas with your lovely family Gem, and we'll have a catch up soon!

Love Claire xxx

Julia said...

What a lovely post Gem. My nan died 18 years ago today and I wear her platinum wedding ring everyday, so I think about her all the time, it's so nice to think of the memories. Your Father Christmas story made me chuckle, I really can't remember when I knew, but my son (who is also nine) still believes although my 12 year old daughter doesn't! I'm sure I had the same dolls pram as you, it looks very familiar! Wishing you and you family a very merry Christmas xxx

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I just wanted to come by to say MERRY CHRISTMAS GEM!!!!! Anita

Anonymous said...

Oh Gem ,you always make Me laugh,You write so well :o)
Love all the cherry tree gear,you find such great things. Love that you wear your Nanas coat and still feel so close to her. LOVE the story about how You found out about Santa,so funny.I hope You had a brilliant Christmas and Wishing You and Your family a wonderful New Year. Much love Julie Xxxxx

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Darling Gem!

I was JUST THINKING ABOUT YOU because you all are 6 hours ahead of us here! So in what, FIVE HOURS you will be ringing in the new year. Well my dear, as always, I am looking forward to seeing your blog posts, laughing and wandering the seascape with YOU.

I wish you nothing but happiness in your new home in the coming year and I can't wait to see what you have been up to. I sure miss Fee; give her a big hello if she happens to come your way.


Annaboo's House said...

Happy New Year, my lovely!!
Hehe- Annabelle just saw the first photo and said 'look dardar ditmus and a very teeky elf' (Father Christmas and a very cheeky elf)!! Seems like fake beards and bad costumes don't matter when you're 3 eh?
Love your bIcycle cardi- what a fab find. Gorgeous coat, too- lovely to remember your nan by.
Anyhoo, Missus. We need a catch up Over coffee and charity shopping, I feel.
Let me know when you're free.

Jemima said...

Oh dear, what a way to find out that there is no such thing as dear Santa. My son is 14 now, but my brother told him that Santa was killed in a tragic sledge accident, along with all the reindeer. Sigh.
Lovely photos!

. said...

Hello sweetpea... and a happy new year! Love the story... I can't remember how I found out, but I do remember getting a bit tiddly a few years ago and putting the wrong stockings on the kids beds! Alf was delighted with his big brothers stocking but Ollie received Lily's and he still hasn't forgiven Santa! Needless to say Lil was 13 at this point and slept through the whole debacle... got to love a teenager! xx

m said...

Hey Gemma, you've not been posting for quite a while and I hope everything 's ok over there! Miss your posts! :-)