What a Christmas,

I can now breathe a sigh of relief as Christmas came and went with the following achievements:

1) daughter still fervently believes in Father Christmas (there were a few wobbles which I managed to save) each year I am having to up my game (and get hubby to follow suit)

2) son managed to contain his excitement and wake-up at a decent time in the morning and not complain when we asked him to steady up a bit on present opening- we managed to eek it out so they both opened their last present at 4pm rather than everything at 6am!

3) hubby and I did not have any arguments – apart from a small one relating to photos on the phone going awol – I subsequently ‘accidentally’ broke the phone so hubby had to buy a new one…

4) None of us were ill and all our family were well …..touching wood 1000 times on this

5) we actually felt like we had caught up with each other after a year of rushing around like blue arsed flies.
Now looking forward to 2016, a new house, new job, new schools and an amazing volunteering opportunity that I hope will help.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Alternative viewing this Christmas

If you need some alternative viewing this Christmas, check out Vimeo for inspiration….

Click on the mood screen anywhere you fancy and see where your mood takes you..

Enjoyed a day with a Canadian friend today, a fellow adult who also still believes in Father Christmas – the Canadian coffee certainly helped inspiration for reigniting the Christmas spirit in my 9 year old daughter. A bit of Baileys goes a long way.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Preserving the belief in santa claus

We were on a budget last christmas. As a result my husband bought a present on the father christmas list second-hand instead of new. Unfortunately it looked second-hand and was ever so slightly damaged.

My daughter said at the time that it didnt feel like Christmas. Now, approaching ten, she recalled seeing her dad’s ‘ebay bought list’ and saw the present was listed…..let the father christmas doubt and distress commence.

I was angry at my husband for not forking out the extra money to get her the new present. This must be a pressure tolerated by all families on a budget. But it is heart-breaking when you realise it is lack of money that has broken the father christmas spell.

Thankfully she still wants to believe, and was wiling to accept our explanations for why Santa delivered a damaged present. But even so, I was resentful to my husband for not paying that extra £20 which would have made all the difference.

I have a young son and I am keen to preserve the belief for him too. But its horrible feeling like a fraud to keep the memory of past Christmases alive.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Gingerbread and pine

At the moment we have the heady smell of pine Christmas tree combined with Gingerbread house.

My daughter had the most fun with a £3 budget spent on a gingerbread house making kit. If yiu have children, no matter what age, I strongly advise getting one of these…


This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

The right way to start Christmas

Tonight we got a fantastic dose of community in the shape of a school carol service in our local church.

The church hasn’t seen so many people in generations and the vicar said that if the number of people attending a carol service continued more frequently he would have to apply for an extension. 

Although I am not religious, I am a sucker for a Church. I got married in a church and people quite rightly say that it was hypocritical. However, to me anywhere else wouldn’t have felt right.

Same with Christmas, the original reason for Christmas is religious, but for non-believers it is a chance to take a pause from the daily grind and appreciate time at home with the people you care about. It’s also about taking a pause from the general shittiness that life brings, getting rid of all the hate, helping others and showing care to one another. But it’s still hard not to trivialise all this through an obsession with the High street and online deals. Which I think is where places like the church come in. It cuts all that crap out and just focuses the mind on the good stuff. 

I went to a catholic school so was put through Jesus of Nazareth on an annual basis and ‘hail Mary’d’ my way to December 25th. But for the first time ever, this year I am going to church on Christmas Eve with the children. I am not religious but it seems like the right way to start Christmas.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Nativity at night-time

Nativity, it’s the month when parents, grandparents and carers get the chance to see their little loved ones sing and do their best to say words they have been practicing for weeks. 

For us, it was our son’s last nativity at pre-school. He was a Roman soldier. My husband asked if he needed a sword and my daughter said: “He’s counting the folk not killing them!”

When we arrived the other soldier had a sword and the teacher had to occasionally swipe it away as she was helping the children with their lines.

My son was acting like a teenager, with his spiked up hair he pulled faces all the way through, barely said his lines and didn’t sing one word.

Then after it was all over he ate a mince pie and then larked around with the three wise men, playing with cardboard crowns and lots of running around in circles. The adults meanwhile drank mulled wine and listened to the results of the raffle.

When my son went to bed, he then sang all the songs perfectly before drifting off to sleep…..typical!

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Christmas greetings to an Alzheimer’s sufferer

How do you write a Christmas Card to someone who is consumed by Alzheimer’s?

My husband’s Auntie was diagnosed with the condition 2 years ago. In that time she has gone from a busy, intelligent, chatty retired secondary school maths teacher to a bed-ridden spirit of her former self, with zero recognition of her husband or children. 

How do you write to someone who has resigned themselves to their fate through refusing to eat – Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!

I write in the hope that as her husband reads it out to her she will enjoy looking at the picture on the front. 

I am also going to send her the biggest brightest bouquet of flowers I can find for her room. 

Alzheimer’s is cruel in every way to the sufferer, their friends and family.

I hope one day they find a cure.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.