Tag Archives: Christmas

Wishes


To All of my Blog Readers:

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas!! Thank you for your continued support. I love reading all of your comments. You cannot possibly know how often you have moved me almost to tears with your kindness or made me laugh out loud (I have a really loud laugh, any member of my family will confirm this for me).

I hope your Christmas is peaceful and filled with love, laughter and excellent food.

Unusually, it’s very mild here so I found an old snow picture for you:

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Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Saying goodbye to 2015 with openness and honesty


Sometimes I think, I don’t know what happened. Sometimes I think, how did I get to be right here, right now, right where I am?

It’s like, I am in some kind of blurry confusion. Or like I landed on my bum with a thump. I wasn’t expecting it and I am sitting there all kind of dazed and amazed.

The hours tick by and roll into days. The days tick by and roll into weeks. And I tumble and roll with them. I keep attempting to pick myself up and stumble on but I seem to lurch from one impossible situation to the next.

Some days, standing in front of several huge piles of washing feels like enough to be classified as an impossible situation.  I look at the mixtures of red and white and black and blue, which should, technically, have all been sorted out into their appropriate baskets, according to my own rules of the house. I stare at those never-ending mixed piles and I despair.

Some days, I focus on the enormous list of things I expect myself to do that day, and I realise I am in an impossible situation. I can only disappoint myself because no earthly being can possibly tick off each of those designated tasks in just one day.

Some days, I find myself pondering over a blank piece of paper. It seems like my impossible situation is to actually find enough energy to draw up the day’s list in the first place.

Instead, I drag my lazy butt over to the sofa and distract myself with the TV, or a game or someone else’s news.

Then I leave the house at the very last minute to pick up my daughter, because even though, I feel incredibly lonely, I can’t bear to face the other mums. With their happy smiles or their problems or their invitations or their requests.

I attempt to hide in the driver’s seat of my car. And if they approach me, I feel the panic rising from the pit of my stomach.

Occasionally, there are days when the impossible situation is just to make it through the day.

On those days, I bite my lip, swing my foot, pace the floor, hug the dog, think of the kids, go back to bed in an attempt to wake up in a better mood, call my husband and just try to breathe in and out and tell myself that tomorrow is a brand new day full of brand new possibilities.

I’m still an optimist. Deep down inside.

2015 has not been my finest hour.

In all honesty, it’s been really bloody tough.

It’s been the accumulation and aftermath of: three burnouts, Crohn’s, a million doctor’s appointments, sick kids, diagnoses, arguments, a suicide, PTSD, continuous headaches, sleepless nights, stress, guilt, loss, panic and pain.

So I decided that the only way to turn things around was to go into a specialised clinic at the local hospital for a while.

It was the right decision. I talked and cried and laughed and painted and danced and beat the hell out of drums. I made friends and cried and talked some more. I listened. I hugged. I walked through the forest. I remembered things I’d ‘locked’ away. I talked about them and cried and then ‘locked’ them away again. Because it’s just not healthy to let those things consume your life.

Above all, I realised that my own driving force is low self-esteem, guilt and fear.

So all these years, I’ve needed to do my absolute utmost, to prove to myself that I am worthy, and to reduce the feelings of guilt that I carried around for things which I had always believed were my fault but actually weren’t. I needed to protect my family from all eventualities, because in my own experience bad things actually happened again and again.

I feel like I’ve been knocked down and built back up again. Albeit, loosely.

I can’t tell you that I feel ‘well’. I would more describe myself as feeling ‘fragile’. Sometimes, some days, still bring their impossible situations.

But I can tell you that I have more energy and that I am looking forward to Christmas more than I have in years.

And that I am hoping, ever the optimist, that when I look back in years to come, that I will see 2015 as a turning point in my life.

And that 2016 was a new beginning.

Wishing you all, from the bottom of my heart, a wonderful Christmas. And a 2016 full of hope, enlightenment, love and strength.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Christmas! Ching ching!!


Yesterday, we found ourselves surrounded by German shoppers. Not surprising really, since we live in Germany.

Though despite having lived here for, what? 12 years? I still find shopping with the Germans, as opposed to with the British, a truly shocking experience. They shop, but at most, they only ever seem to carry one bag. And most of them don’t have any bag at all other than their handbag.

You could be lulled into the belief that those bustling High Streets and shopping centres are filled with many browsers who use the shops to find their purchase, but then take out their smart phones or go home to their laptops and search out the very best deal for the exact same product online.

But those High Street stores are clearly thriving. So my true belief is that everyone here (except for me, of course) has a Mary Poppins Bag or perhaps even a Mary Poppins Pocket.

But yesterday, we weren’t Hight Street shopping, we were food shopping, in our local supermarket.

All our fellow shoppers stood there, with their little shopping baskets two days before Christmas. Easily convincing anyone that every checkout could support the sign ‘Express Checkout: 12 items or less’ (but does not, because of course, that checkout is just not necessary here).

Simultaneously we stood there, smilingly queueing with our two precariously balanced shopping trolleys.

We caused quite a commotion. Two boys behind us watched our mounting food bill on the electronic display. Passing the 100 Euro figure caused them to release some, quite loud, exclamations. Then as we approached the 200 Euro total, their gasps and gulps flourished.

Excitement reached an almost hysterical level as we neared the 300 mark (sorry, I mean Euro). Squeals of “Will it make the 300?” along with bulging eyes and anticipating jumps reminded me of a dedicated gambler longing to see his horse win the race and I smiled. Because I knew we’d hit 300. Just.

The air was so electrical, I half expected a bouncy store manager to run out, bearing bouquets, bubbly and other extravagant gifts. Overflowing with kisses and hugs and handshakes and thanks for being the store’s best ever shoppers.

But there was no music. No fizz. And no rigorous handshake.

Though we did see the manager briefly. We questioned him as to why we couldn’t use the 110 Euros worth of vouchers we’d been collecting all year. Apparently we could only use a maximum of a 20 Euro voucher at a time. Which does make sense. Express checkout mentality considered.

I know. Over 300 Euros on food. But in my defence we are six people. It is Christmas. The shops are closed for two and a half days and then again on Sunday. I like to cook. A lot. The children like to eat. A lot. And at the end of the day, despite having lived here for a quarter of my life, I am British. I know exactly how to panic buy.

Wishing all of my fellow bloggers, my friends and everyone who has a Mary Poppins Bag a truly wonderful Christmas.

 

Don’t cha just love Christmas?


So here it is: that time of year again.

Here anyway, there’s not a single, solitary flake of snow on the ground. The mulled wine is still in its bottle, as far back in its cupboard as it’s possible to be. After Thursday’s level of celebrating I have decided: I am never touching alcohol ever again. Well, not before tomorrow anyway.

The gifts are wrapped but not placed under the tree. Aden wanted to deposit his interestingly packed package for Joni, under the plastic needles, but we ran to the rescue as we anticipated the dog’s eyes excitedly lighting up and her wrestling the paper off. We explained to Aden that the dog would contentedly nibble away on his lovingly purchased present.

So he thoughtfully offered to squirt it with anti-chew spray.

The turkey is stuffing up the bottom drawer of the fridge. Reini’s chocolate gooey puddings are ready to cook, directly from frozen. Akasha’s covered the window in home-made stars and the apple tree is welcoming passersby with it’s twinkly, strangulating net of lights.

Cards have been sent, received and put up. The dog’s had her hair cut. Akasha’s offered to make extra presents – origami birds from loo paper. Excitement truly is in the air.

Christmas is coming and apparently we’re ready; even waiting for it.

Wishing you all a very, very Merry Christmas!!!!!

It’s a funny old Christmas


I’ve just spent two hours, I repeat, TWO HOURS looking for my husband’s main Christmas present.

I had hidden it, unwrapped (I know that for sure because other people keep nicking my wrapping paper, so I’ve not been able to do any careful packaging) but I suspected camouflaged by a carrier bag, in the walk-in cupboard, in the office.

I decided, after buying more paper (we had an embarrassing moment at the weekend when I had to hand over a gift wrapless) that today is the day for parcelling up the family packages. After all, my husband had been hovering in close proximity to the cupboard.

I waded in in a relatively relaxed manner and found a scrunched up carrier containing one or two little silly bits and pieces I had purchased for him, but the main present had gone. Vanished. Disappeared.

I attempted to stay calm as I pulled everything out of the cupboard and then put everything back in again. Then I decided I must have missed it, so I took everything out and looked through it again and shook my head and pulled out a few hairs and swore a little. OK, a lot.

It wasn’t there.

I panicked muchly as I realised that we’d recently visited the recycle place with loads of boxes. Perhaps it wasn’t in a plastic bag, but in a box and we’d chucked it?

The idea sent me quite dizzy so I decided that it was more probable that I’d accidentally parcelled it up and sent it to a friend in Scotland and that I would have to call her and tell her to return it. That I wasn’t quite that generous. I knew that it wouldn’t be here in time for Christmas, but at least, one day, he would, finally, hold his present in his hands.

I breathed and I thought through the parcel packing procedure. But I couldn’t imagine placing my husband’s gift, along with the other articles, in my friend’s box, in my mind’s eye. Not that that really meant anything. Last week I handed over a card to a friend and when she opened it, the card inside stated it was actually designated for a completely different friend. Who happens to live in Scotland. And is probably wondering who on earth Lili is. I apologised for the mix up and hoped that it was only two way. As in, not that Lili’s card was actually in the hand of yet another friend. And really, should that be the case, where could that friend’s card be?

I decided, after emptying the cupboard, and all of the boxes inside, three times, that there was no way that my husband’s present was in there. So I started ransacking my bedroom. I found shells under my bed. Along with straighteners that I hadn’t even known that I owned. And my blue rucksack disguising itself as dirty washing. But no matter in which drawer or in which cupboard I looked, I found no present. I scratched my head as I stared at the added mess I’d newly created.

I headed to the living room. Perhaps I’d been pawing his gift and he’d entered the house and I’d ran to the wall cupboard and lunged it up, up onto the top shelf? But no, I hadn’t.

I thought about Aden. He had hidden a present from his little sister and had hunted for it, distressed, the whole of last week before one of his older sisters had finally found it for him. He’d hidden it extra safe. Inside his wellie boot.

I stood still and just thought.

And thought.

And then, I ran upstairs to my daughter’s wardrobe. And there, on the top shelf, stood a box, barely visible, I opened it and I remembered:

I’d given the darn present to Joni, so that I wouldn’t lose it.

Wow!!


Look! Look!! LOOK!!!

This is what my lovely husband gave me for Christmas:

Yes, he took stories/poems/discussions from all over my blog and had a book made out of them for me.

And doesn’t it fit just perfectly here:

As you may imagine, I blubbered all through Christmas!!!

Now, that should motivate me!!

For my True Love:


Reini and Children: so you’ll remember today.

Readers: Do you all know the song Twelve days of Christmas?

I used it as a basis for my husband’s Christmas present. (He works hard and spends little money on himself, so it’s my duty ;-)).

Besides, I am soppy and I do like to have fun. I also love Christmas. Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Think last verse and the best bit is: I’ve taught all the kids it and we plan to wail it sing it to him on Christmas day, once he’s opened all the pressies!!! 😀

12 Single Socks
11 Bars of Choc’late
10 Beaming Bottles
9 Capable Cups
8 Dependable Pants
7 Brushes for the Pot
6 Erotic Massages 😉
5 Fun-ky Things—–
4 Gel Pens
3 Silly T’s
Dinner for 2
And a Silly Verse from Me to You! ♥