Saturday, 28 December 2013


Spoiler alert, this post contains references to Father Christmas which aren't suitable for young ears!!
Well that went fast didn't it? I hope Christmas in your house was a good one,
 it was quite a quiet one for us this year;
 I've enjoyed it but it did feel a little odd. It was the first year in a long time where no one believed in the magic of Father Christmas, no magic snow foot prints down the hallway, no glittery reindeer food on the drive, no carrot and mince pie in the hearth - we did however have to stay up til the wee hours to hang the stockings on the ends of beds long after the kids were supposed to be asleep.
 The boys always share a room on Christmas eve and there was some muffled sniggering as I sneaked in at gone 1am!
We had finished the food shop on the Sunday and got a bit of baking done - I'm not sure why I pack the freezer with so many goodies as we seem to live on chocolate,
 salted peanuts and cold turkey for days!
The freezer remains stuffed with home baked goodies so it will last a few weeks yet. There'll be some good packed lunches for school and work anyway. 
As I've always baked and home cooked a lot, my kids consider it a great treat to be able to choose shop made things as Christmas treats, which is why tonight we have one of those huge chocolate gateaux, full of cream and sponge, from Tesco!
You know the ones, they are huge, say they'll serve 18 (?) and cost about £2.99
(and yes taste of cotton wool and foam)!
In a slight break from family tradition we spent part of Christmas eve at hospital; nothing to worry about but the builder was diagnosed with a slipped disc a couple of weeks ago and had an assessment on the 24th. It seems the problem has been there a while and will probably need surgery at some point, possibly in 2014, the most memorable line from the appointment was -
 "why Mr Builder you have the reflexes of an 18 year old!"
 no, he will not let me forget that in a hurry!!
After that visit we sneaked off to a café for a quiet coffee and cake, very delicious and such a treat - Mr Builder doesn't often find himself in the city centre shopping! And then home for the usual family Christmas Eve visit to Holt - described better last year! We stayed and wandered around looking at the pretty lit up market town, then our usual stop for coffee and something at Byfords - I had the soup this year as I'd had one lot of coffee and cake that day.
Hot chocolate - huge cup!
 And then we made our way home to prepare the turkey which had been delivered earlier.
I seem to cook a little less each year, now it's just the 5 of us and not a whole host of family members (long story, family rift) the turkey is a lot smaller and it's mainly me eating the veg.
Anyway we gorged the night away on crisps and other junk and the 3 kids eventually went to bed. The deal was that Little Miss would be first up and was allowed to shake the boys awake, hopefully not at dawn! As it turned out she overslept and number 2 son staggered in around 9am - wow what a lie in!
 They always congregate in our bed to open stockings, everyone has one, mine was a little limp this year (not much fun doing your own!) and contained an orange some chocolate coins and a deodorant (well it was all I could find in the bathroom at 1am)
The kids had a little more success!
 Holiday sunglasses!
Can't think who Father Christmas aimed these at!
One of these etched glass hearts in each stocking except mine - no one loves me!
We did have a nice time though and it seems like we were all just a little bit spoiled, me included! After the birthday-which-must-never-again-be-mentioned I was given my own laptop, in red (my favourite colour). Strange as it may seem this is my first gadget! I only use the home desk top and my little phone for internet use, my phone isn't great either (neither is my eyesight on a tiny screen) which explains some of the gobbledy gook comments I occasionally leave on blogs!

I haven't yet managed to get everything I use on it yet so it's still sitting in it's case, I tried but the many fast and helpful hands reaching over my shoulders were confusing me! But it does look lovely and I know I'll use it plenty.
I've done one of my favourite things everyday over Christmas and that is set the dining table with lovely cutlery, china and crystal glasses - I'm like a kid playing at tea parties! If the truth be told the Christmas Day dinner table was set a week before Christmas and had to be dusted!

We've had a few family members over although one nephew is spending Christmas in Australia (and will probably emigrate there in the not too distant future). I always look forward to the sister-in-law visit and her very random gifts! The builders family are a little eccentric and although I love his sister dearly we never know what to expect! She doesn't have a lot of cash and enters lots of competitions the prizes of which she is only to happy to share - this year I struck lucky with a perfume gift set by Issey Miyake, the only draw back was I had to pose for a photo receiving it!! Oh well I'll smell good for most of 2014 at least!

The gifts purchased for number 2 son were not very well thought out though, given my past descriptions can you see anything wrong with the following items which we, for some unknown reason, decided to buy him -
A Soda Stream (providing unlimited fizzy, e number additive laden drinks)
A set of darts
Some indoor fireworks

Oh well I'll have unlimited tonic for my gin at least!!

I hope you're having a great time however you choose to spend it, and if I'm not back in the next few days I'll wish you a very Happy New Year. I look forward to spending a little more time with all those "pen friends" I feel I've made over the past 12 months.
All the best


  1. Oh I so know what you mean about no-one believing in Santa any more. It really isn't quite the same. The magic has gone. Mine went years ago and now some of my grandchildren are on that slippery slope too. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. I hope that the Builder is okay and wish him a speedy recovery. All the best for 2014. xx

    1. I think some of the family traditions keep a bit of the magic but it has certainly been different this year, happy new year to you too x

  2. I'm dreading the day when Savanna doesn't believe anymore.
    Sounds like you all ate, drank and made merry and lots of fun was had.
    Happy new year to you all.
    Lisa x

  3. Meant to say, well done on the present front, enjoy using that red laptop when you get the chance.
    Lisa x

  4. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas Jay, although I know I will feel the same when the kids no longer believe in Santa. My 9 year old doesn't (she told me) and I have suspicions about the next one down although he would never admit to it (he knows what's good for him! so it's just a matter of time...hope the Builder's back is not giving him too much grief and Happy New Year to you and the family!!! Mel x

  5. Too funny about your son's gifts! It sounds like you had a marvelous time, excepting Mr. Builder's trip to the hospital! It is a different thing when your children stop believing, but it does morph into something equally fun, I think as I am sure you found out! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Jay!

  6. I absolutely love Christmas but I have to agree that it just doesn't hold the same magic when the kids stop believing. Just one more thing which makes me sad about my kids growing up. Well done on the present front, more successful than your birthday. You'll love your laptop when you get it set up, I've got a red one too. Hope Mr.Builder's back isn't playing him up too much. Happy New Year.

  7. I can see why you saw some similarities with our Christmas with teenagers! Lovely to hear about your traditions. We had been up in Newcastle the weekend before Christmas but didn't see any sights. Like the idea of a trip to Holt.

  8. I must mention the soda stream before I forget! Our elder granddaughter got one for her 15th birthday and I was staggered at the idea - but in retospect it has turned out a brilliant gift, we got great enjoyment out of it earlier this year when we went to New Zealand to stay with them. On another note, yes, Christmas seems to diminish a little as the years go by, but you do at least still have youngsters in the house which keps the jollity going; I have felt a little deflated this year though I hope I haven't let it show too much. We certainly buy less foodie stuff, and cook less year on year. Now I'm not going to be bah-humbug, just acknowledging that unless you have children and crowds around, Christmas does become a bit low-key.I have enjoyed reading about yours!

  9. Perhaps you should've bought a fire extinguisher too - just in case! A laptop is a great present. I've never had a stocking, not something our family did and as there are no children I don't suppose it'll ever get introduced.

  10. Sounds like you had the best kind of Christmas--full of cozy indulgences and people you love and plenty of sweets!

  11. Hi, Jay,
    I enjoyed reading your post about how you and family spent Christmas. It made me laugh at times. We had a wonderful Christmas, but we got visited by a 12 hour "stomach bug" with diaherria (never could spell that word) and throwing up. Luckily,
    I was the only one who escaped it.

  12. Happy New Year, Jay...
    Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog...much appreciated♥
    Linda :o)

    1. I forgot to add...
      I did my own stocking for years....cause I never got anything either!
      I put my foot down, and now I get cool things in there as well!
      Tell them who's boss !!!

  13. Hi Jay,
    you and I are kindred spirits as far as gadgetry's concerned. I am currently using Annabel's computer as my desktop has died and I am in no hurry to go through the rigmarole to buy another (learn how to work a new one!). I don't even know how to upload photos from my phone on Annabel's (which explains the lack of pretty pictures on my post today), and nor am I really inclined to learn...

    I think it's sweet that your kiddos share the same room on Christmas eve and I can't believe you got a 9am sleep in! Lucky you!
    It was just Annabel (my youngest) and I this year. Husband was away working and eldest daughter was overseas (Montreal) so we had a quiet one (I know you've already read about the biggest reason for this. Ahem!), but sometimes that's how Christmas is - not fancy, or blog worthy, but real.

    All the best for the New Year Jay. I really hope you have a good one x

  14. Sounds like you had a busy but lovely family Christmas, Jay.
    Hope 2014 treats you well! x

  15. Lovely to hear about your family Christmas. A few years ago we decided to change the santa stockings so that everyone has one with 5 items in them - something to eat,drink,smell,read and something funny. We are never allowed to spend more than £5 and have all year to find things.I still buy things for the children but they do ones for us and it has remained an essential part of Christmas without me doing everything.
    Sarah x
    Sarah x

  16. This did make me smile! I'm so glad you received such a great gift, you deserve it. I guess the trade off for having teens who no longer believe in Santa is the lie in you get on Christmas morning. It sounds like you had a great time though. x

  17. I really really miss Christmas eve with young children. It was my favourite part of Christmas. Love your Christmas eve tradition.
    A red laptop sounds wonderful - happy Blogging.

    Happy New Year to you. I enjoy reading your posts. You make me smile x

  18. Christmas does change over the years as the children no longer 'believe' but, in some ways, it gets better. I still have to do a stocking for my 18 year old daughter (!) but my son hasn't had one for years which is a relief (and helps the wallet too - that stuff is so expensive - even the little bits and pieces!) Happy New Year and here's looking forward to reading much more of your blog in 2014! x

    1. I like doing the stockings most of all, so I guess I'll carry on for a few more years - I have been doing one for the builder for 30years after all!

  19. Funny, I have a daughter, Annie, who is great at choosing random gifts. This year she watched me unwrapping FCUK smellies, proudly announcing that she won them in the tombola at the school fair. I'll be smelling nicely, too in 2014. She gave her brother a carpet golf set, also found at the school fair. I just love her!

    I am a new reader btw and enjoyed this post very much, will do some catching up with older posts. Cx

  20. Annie sounds very resourceful, my sis in law often travels far and wide with her wins , thank you for taking time to read my blog, it's nice to ' meet' you.

  21. Sounds like a fun Christmas - I'm still smiling about son number 2's presents - hope you have a great 2014 x

  22. Sounds lovely !! I love the matching set of mugs for everyone !! Such a sweet thought. It's a shame about the family rift. I unfortunately have one of those to deal with on one side of my family, but luckily the other side of my family is wonderful and there were 19 of us around the Christmas table this year which was such a treat. Glad you all had a wonderful Christmas

  23. I love all your little stories and niceties all within that one! It all sounds perfect and am glad you had such a good Xmas. Happy New Year to you all Jay :) X