As I have mentioned before, I absolutely love Christmas Eve and for me there is nothing more perfect than family gathering together around the fire and the wonderful anticipation of what is to come. Our Christmas Eve started slightly differently with a trip to the emergency vet as poor little Alfie had been scratching his tummy a lot and now he was unable to sit still for very long. The vet found out that he had something to do with his skin (a big long word!) and gave him an injection to help until he could be treated in 2 weeks. Poor little chap. Anyway, we were ready for the family to arrive and when the Carols from Kings College, Cambridge started at 3pm I knew that Christmas had finally started. I even shed a small tear or two with the loveliness of it all as it is a moment that I wait for all year, but that is only between us!
These are the children's stockings, well they're actually pillowcases. My friend has one of those very, very expensive sewing machines that embroiders and she did the names for me and the flowery bits. The children leave these by the fireplace ready for Father Christmas to come and fill them.
The next morning, nobody is allowed into the sittingroom until everybody is up and can share the wondrous moment.
Even Posy and Alfie were given a toy. We had a lovely day and everyone did their own bit to contribute to the day in some way. I particularly loved Alice's place name 'cards' for the lunch table.
The day went by in a blur and at one point in the evening after the marathon of present opening I sat back and actually wondered if all the planning, organisation and stress it produces was ever worth it as it was over in a few hours. I then remembered that Tom had given me a card to open that had been under the tree and in the quiet of the room I opened it...
...it was a lovely card with a gorgeous robin on it and inside he had put a £5 note and written.."Dear Mum, I thought you would like this card! Just to say I couldn't find you a present so I got you this instead. I love you very much and appreciate you organising Christmas, Love Tom P.S Sorry about my bad handwriting I have cold hands."
In an instant I knew that it had been worth every last stressful moment and that I would do it all over again next year....only this time I'm starting in August!