November 18th, 2012
I really admire people who manage to post on their blog every day – AND find something interesting to say! I often struggle to think of anything to write that people might be interested in. Maybe having two blogs doesn’t help, although my other blog (Fat Dormouse Getting Thinner)has the theme of food, so that’s a little more “directed”
Here, I generally just post about “stuff”. I try to link to our life here in France, but I’m never quite sure how interesting it is to other people. Oh well! I shall continue to ramble occasionnally, in the hope that someone out there in the Virtual World is interested.
The blogs that I read often are beginning to think about Christmas – well, of course. It’s not that many weeks to go, is it? I wonder if Floss will run her “Pause in Advent” series this year. That is good, as it does make one reflect a little more about the most important side of the season. in the rush and bustle, God’s amazing gift to the world can be overcome by the panic of “doing it right” for the family. During Advent, I am going to try to add something to my Pretend “SMASH” journal each week; I’ve not added much to it, but I am enjoying what I do.
I know that I sometimes get so wrapped up by making sure we keep to the Christmas traditions that are becoming so important to me, that I neglect to think about why they are important, and why we are celebrating. Time moves on, and while traditions are important for making links from year to year, and from person to person, they are not the be all and end all of this time of year. The fact that God somehow became Man and was born to walk among us, and make new again the broken link between the Divine and the human – that is what this is about. That is what never changes.
But, having said that, so many of us do get wound up, and overwhelmed by the cost of this time. If you are in that state, I heartily recommend Frugal Queen’s straightforward and down-to-earth advice. She speaks from experience about reducing debt and finding thrifty ways to give gifts and “survive” Christmas.
We are going to my MiL’s for Christmas this year. Yes, it will be expensive – the petrol, the cost of the ferry/tunnel – but she has asked us to go, and wants to share the time with us. We’ll find the money somehow, and make it a holiday to remember. I’ve been buying presents from my favourite discount store when I see them for people. I try to keep to no more than 7.50€ (about £5) per person, except for The Mothers. I won’t tell you what I’ve got for people, because I know some of them read this blog from time-to-time. But I’m quite pleased with some of my bargains! I still find men difficult – especially young men! I have been thinking about going down the road of a cheque – but a cheque for £5 looks quite mean, whereas an actual gift can look better. But they should understand that we’re not exactly rolling in cash, so maybe it’s OK. What do you think? I would buy French beer, but this year I’m limited because I’m posting gifts to my family. I’ve already bought some gifts that aren’t practical for posting, (fragile, rather than heavy) so I need to think carefully about those as yet unbought.
Mr D and I are not buying for each other – we each had an expensive Kindle for our birthdays – but MrD does want to buy a new TV box while we’re in the UK, so that is our present! I think The Mothers will give us money too, so that will go towards the Box.
So, I’m planning what I will do to celebrate Christmas withfamily. We’ll take some goodies with us – some homemade (nut wine, grapefruit wine, Christmas cookies), and some bought (French cheese, beer and wine) – to share. We’ll listen to the great Christmas music CD that Mr D made last year on the drive across France – with music by Kate Rusby, Jethro Tull, Kate Bush, Thea Gilmore and other lovely, lovely songs. I will put up a few decorations at home (but not many. The Cats will get over-excited if I do!) andI will enjoy wrapping my presents.
watch?v=mWz2X_h72nU This is the linkto a fab Kate Rusby Christmas Song. Go! Listen!
I am afraid I’m reducing my Christmas card list this year: postage is too great. I’m going to renew my subscription to Jacquie Lawson e-cards (I think they are so beautiful and worth the subscription, compared to free e-cards) (and no, this isn’t a sponsored post!) and send them, with an email, instead of the “round robin” letter that I usually send.But there are certain people who will still receive a handmade card from us.
But, the first sign of Christmas is the St Germain Laval Christmas Fair. Which is this afternoon. I haven’t got a stall this year, but I am helping for a while on the Artisans stall. I’ll let you know how it goes!