It has felt like Christmas has arrived at our doorstep earlier this year. November left on Saturday and as her coat tails dragged through the door, December knocked her firmly out of the way and settled in the lounge with glass of mulled wine and started sprinkling festivities everywhere.
As not to disappoint our new house guest we headed out first thing to bring some greenery into the home to make sure she felt comfortable.
The children delighted in dancing through the fir trees, examining for the right height, the right thickness and of course, the exact right shade of green and finally we found one that everyone was pleased with. Then we bought our new plant home and popped her amidst some festive decor.
December looked up from her mince pie and nodded approvingly, and the kids clapped their hands in glee as he who helped create them tried to fit a seven foot tree in a six and a half foot room. They stared longingly at the boxes of baubles waiting to adorn the tree but still grinned in delight when they were told, ‘not now, we have a trip to take.’ And we left December snoozing by the naked tree and crept silently out of the house.
For we had been summoned to a very special lunch, as guests of The Garden Centre Group, to start the onset of Christmas by meeting Father Christmas and having lunch in his presence. Excited, didn’t quite sum up the mood.
The children dined on sandwiches, jelly, a sparkly, chocolate crispie cake, teddy bear crisps and washed it all down with a beaker of squash. They watched the spot where they thought Santa would appear with hawklike precision.
Myself and he who helped create them feasted on afternoon tea and succulent mince pies.
Father Christmas spoke quietly to each of my children, making them promise to sleep tight on Christmas eve and gifted them all one early present. BB squealed in merriment as she danced with wings, showing the cafe with glittery laughter.Then we waved goodbye to the man in the red suit and continued with the all-consuming task of decorating a Gingerbread man.
Finally after much merriment, we gathered up our new toys, clutched at colouring bags and left over cakes and headed home. We walked through the door and December looked at us with a smile and pointed to the tree waiting to be filled with festivity.
And we set to work.
Day started to turn into night, and December started to get to her feet, she looked towards the top of our shining tree, smiled enthusiastically and silently laughed when BB placed the Christmas star in its place of honour.
Happy that she had brought Christmas to the home, she nodded a farewell and went on her way, leaving a brood of shattered but sated children in her wake.
Welcome to December. Let the festivities begin.
(Disclosure: we were asked to review lunch with Santa at The Garden Centre, for details on how to book please visit their site. )