In my live Facebook broadcast earlier this week I mentioned how I hadn’t been feeling festive, and how the Christmas Spirit hadn’t quite found me …

There were a number of reasons for this, the main one being : I am an “empty nester” and don’t really need to go to all the effort of decorating the house; which in previous years has resembled Santa’s Grotto. Having grown up kids, denies you the luxury of nativity plays, letters to Santa, carol services and all the other paraphernalia that is associated with childhood at Christmas.

And that’s okay.

So how do I get into the Christmas spirit?

Well for me, Christmas is all about Family … and this photo above really says it all.

It was taken during the last Christmas we spent with my Darling Dad. It was such a happy time – but it was overshadowed by the sadness of suspecting that this was to be his last. The most wonderful thing was that we had a fantastic time ( as the photo shows ) without forcing the issue and trying too hard.
You see, that’s what our family is good at – making the most of things – and above all – counting our blessings.

I have found as I get older, that with this Attitude of Gratitude, life really can be a “bowl of cherries”. What more can you ask for really? Other than a roof over your head, a meal on the table, and your loved ones by your side.

This photo has been circulated throughout our family many, many times.

* It was on the back of the order of service at Dad’s funeral.
* The framed version hangs in a few kitchens.
* I have had it as my screensaver ( of late it has been appearing on my facebook memories feed )
* Last year it was imprinted on a clatter of mugs
* I could nearly go so far as to say that most family members have it on their phone
* It is a fridge magnet
* And I even think it has appeared in a calendar.

So when I say “Christmas is all about Family” – I know what I’m talking about.

Of course it is important to enjoy all the trimmings that Christmas has to offer. Especially the traditions that we build (invariably) as families. Our include:

* Granny’s fudge
* Christmas tree decorations made out of lollipop sticks
* Making mince pies – with Granny’s infamous pastry recipe
* Raucous card games – in our case, Racing Demon
* Decorating the tree ( with Christmas Carols playing in the background )
* A special tree decoration – that is now in it’s fourth generation of Christmases
* Granny insisting on buying dates ( of all things ) even through no-one EVER eats them
* Watching the movie Elf, to get us in the festive mood ( I am ashamed to say I haven’t watched it this year )

Granny seems to be making quite an appearance on this list; which funnily enough would have pleased Dad no end. Because what he did worry about – when we realised that the cancer was winning the battle – was “whether or not the Little Ones would remember him.”

They are all fortunate to have been old enough to do just that … just as we all do. We remember him and many other happy family gatherings with love and with gratitude and the hell of a lot of laughter and wonderful memories.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed with it all :

* Amazon haven’t delivered on time
* The cat is stuck up the tree
* Your niece has just declared she is a fruitarian ( watch Notting Hill for this one )

THEN just … step back… take a breath… look around you and stop to appreciate – what it’s all about… and have a think about what Christmas really means to you.

Thank you all so much for your support and friendship over this year. I hope you all have the most wonderful holiday season and send you love and very best wishes for 2017 xx


Much Love 💕


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