Friday, 15 April 2016

Delayed December post

We started December by paying a visit to the big family run garden centre on the St Albans bypass. I had suggested we went out for lunch. However we hadn't had the radio on, and as we approached the old M10, realised that there was a huge traffic jam. We discovered via 3 counties radio, that a rubbish lorry had overturned on the M25, shedding its load. As we sat waiting for the traffic to move, I began to practice some of the things I had learned on how to deal with anxiety. We were in a situation that I could not have foreseen, or avoided, so I had to breathe deeply, and think. We were not alone in being inconvenienced, the cafe would not have run out of food, and we would appreciate it more for being that bit hungrier. Then my phone rang. It was my CBT counsellor, who was very apologetic about the no show, but her explanation didn't exactly fill me with confidence. She proceeded to book me another appointment. The garden centre had their usual Children's Christmas display.

Most of December was taken up with card writing, letter writing, printing and posting. I also did some knitting for the expected new arrival. I went Christmas shopping only once. I went to Watford for 3 items, and came home with 1. Within an hour of getting home, I had been online and ordered the other 2 items. The high Street retailers cannot complain if they lose business, when they do not stock what people want to buy.
I also continued with the CBT, although the Counsellor informed me she would not be working over Christmas, so that was one less thing to take up time. I attended Lydia's nursery concert with her mum, and we both went to Nathaniel's nativity play. He was a narrator this time, but was daydreaming and needed to be prompted.
We went to the other garden centre to find a Christmas tree as our 4 year old tree had shed its needles after a particularly dry Spring. Hard to believe when in December it rained and rained, but was so mild that the heating didn't come on. Nothing like the 'long range forecast of snow and ice', why do they bother?
The family had their usual trip to London, which meant a visit from Son, Daughter in law and toddler Ethan, not forgetting Tom who was as affectionate as ever. He does have sharp elbows when he sneaks up for a cuddle. We sorted out Son's old room for Ethan to sleep in, but in the end Son slept in there. They took their Christmas presents home with them, as they had already said they were not coming for Christmas.
Husband duly collected his Mum, we'd done a quick change from 5 ft bed to 2ft 6, by unzipping the mattress, collapsing one base and sliding those into the space underneath.   We had our church carol service on the Sunday before Christmas, but Mum in Law decided against coming. She doesn't often go to an evening service these days, but at her age she can be forgiven. The carol service is for me one of the highlights of Christmas.
 Eventually everything was ready, gifts wrapped, stockings sorted. We were going to our Daughter's on Christmas Day. They came to our service, as there was no service at their church plant, and the main church is always packed on Christmas morning, as families come home, and grown up offspring go with their parents, and grandchildren.
We went to church first then came home,and gathered gifts etc. and husband changed out of his suit. Gift opening took place after lunch, and everyone seemed pleased with their gifts. The children were playing, when at about 5pm, there came a knock at the door, Daughter was behaving strangely. I wondered who could be calling on Christmas Day? Daughter opened the door and in came Son, Daughter in law, Ethan and Tom! They had discovered that neither of them had to work on Boxing Day, so had booked a local travel inn. Daughter was in on the secret. Well it just made my Christmas complete. Later there was much hilarity as the children helped put up a toy tent that Lydia had received, and they all crowded in, when Tom got in as well, the whole structure was leaning to one side.
Tom joins the fun

Tom stayed with us, their visit meant a bit of shopping to top up food supplies, but that was no problem.  Grandma enjoyed seeing the family too.