It’s here. Much quicker than I expected. It’s the Sunday before the kids return to school. Christmas is well and truly over except for the horrible part, packing up the sparkly lights and the decorations and ironing the school uniforms that have been hiding at the very bottom of the massive pile of ironing. You all know I’m not one for wishing away the holidays from the moment the kids arrive home on the 22nd of December. I love the lazy days that stretch in front of us once the holidays begin. Although I’m working on a Master’s thesis this Christmas was the most relaxed I’ve experienced since returning to college five years ago. I’ve enjoyed every second of it.
Christmas starts in our house on the 22nd of December when we celebrate my husband’s birthday and the beginning of the school holidays. This special day has developed a new significance in the last few years. My brother – in –law and his wife live in Italy and usually arrive home on this particular date. So, you can see why Christmas begins on this particular date chez Shiels.
This year was no exception. It was just a little more enjoyable because the 22nd fell on a Saturday, no school for the kids or me and no work for their Dad! The gate was watched expectantly for the glare of headlights which would herald the much waited arrival of a much loved Uncle and Aunt. Christmas officially began as their car swung down the driveway.
We’d arranged to head to see Santa the following day in Dromad Train Station. He is our Santa of choice because by some terrific twist of fate instead of sending a helper he actually shows up himself. Now, we all know how busy this man is at this particular time of year so he’s not there for hours at time weeks before the big day. We also know, from the fact that he manages to get around the world in a night, that he is a master when it comes to organising his time. So, he pays a visit to Dromad on each of the Sundays during the month of December and yes even managed to take time out of his hectic schedule on the Sunday before Christmas Eve.
So it was with great excitement that I woke up on Sunday the 23rd of December as I’m sure you can imagine. The nine year old joined me in my Christmas cheer but the 11 year old’s mood was somewhat subdued and she began to complain of various different ailments. You know from previous blogs she’s 11 going on a hundred and slightly cynical (I wouldn’t have her any other way to be honest). I don’t have to explain to you that she has no truck with the notion of Santa. To cut a long story short myself and herself stayed home while the boys went off to visit Santa on their own. I did instruct Darren to give Santa my usual hug and kiss but the nine year old informed me that he refused to carry out my instructions!
I have forgiven him…..but only because Santa brought me a Kindle. (This was to make up for Mammy Byrne not allowing him to leave a Speak and Spell under the tree when I was a kid. She was against such toys, “sure couldn’t you just put a bit of effort in and learn the bloody things” she’d say. But that’s another story!)
So it’s the end of an era Chez Shiels. Oh she’ll jolly me and the nine year old along but she does this with much raising of the eyebrows and rolling of eyes. She says she’s not for turning but I know one day she’ll admit to how wrong she was!
This year is a significant year for another reason. My lovely friend is emigrating. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I always feel they are a complete waste of time. But, this year I am making a change. This year I’m following through. When I say I am going to meet up with someone I’m going to meet up with them. Time passes way too quickly and should be spent doing things that make you smile and add to your store of memories. I’m fortunate to have many wonderful memories of happy and fun times with my very lovely friend but I can’t help wishing that I had a few more.
So while the dawning of 2013 marks the end of an era or two it is a new beginning and new beginnings bring forth an abundance of new experiences and opportunities. I’m ready!