The run up to Christmas…

I’ll keep this one short!

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It’s that time of year where the final couple of weeks run up to Christmas is upon us, everyone is busy planning, buying and wrapping, going to parties and enjoying themselves. For me, these last few days are a nightmare. Don’t get me wrong I do love Christmas, and usually in the last week/couple of days, its lovely. It’s just all the stuff that comes before it! It’s super busy, and I’m having to juggle more than usual this year.

It’s been a tough couple of months, with Mum falling and breaking her hip and needing extra care when she came out of hospital, and the simple fact that I have family sending me text messages telling me to go and help out as my Dad is tired from having to look after her isn’t helping! What do they think I’m doing sitting on my arse all day and larging it up?! I have been helping out and thankfully she is now in a much better position as she is able to do so much more for herself. And then there’s hubby been away abroad working, Kids to manage, house to manage and work all thrown into the mix. Oh and there’s all the house stuff going on too. More on that another time I don’t have the energy to go there!

I have the headache from hell most days and to say I’m feeling stressed is an understatement. Hubby is doing his usual last minute shopping for his family, which is always right up to the wire. Why? As usual he’s been super busy working and hasn’t had the time. I have most of my presents already bought, just not wrapped, there are only a few more to get but as they’re foodie ones these are best left as late as possible. We have 12 months of the year to go and buy gifts for loved ones and friends, so whilst in the past I may have been guilty for last minute shopping, the reality is there is no excuse. I can’t believe I managed to write the Christmas cards early this year, although I’m sure I will have forgotten someone along the line!

We are visiting hubby’s family the weekend before Christmas and will be spending some time in the neighbourhood. Will have to take the bigger car this time as we certainly won’t fit all four of us, luggage and presents in my little dinky toy! My car is not what you would call a practical family car 🤣. I’m looking forward to spending some time away albeit only a couple of nights, it is a break away from the daily grind at home, I’m hoping the tiredness will pass and let me enjoy my time away. Plus I get to dress up a little as we are staying at a nice hotel without the kids as they’ll be at their grandparents, and we get to eat out in a posh restaurant for a change. To be fair I do like a Harvester pub, but sometimes something a little more refined is welcomed.

We also have the Theatre booked, the Panto to be precise, and I’ve heard great things about it, hoping it lives up to it. I’m sure it will – Peter Pan is a classic, although it’s been brought right up to date apparently this year. I’m sure the kids will love it, I may have to pack an extra Tena pad – apparently it’s hilarious!

Photo by Tuur Tisseghem on Pexels.com

If you were wondering if Hubby and I had finalised our Christmas dinner menu yet, well the answer is no. Not yet. And, if I can’t get a click and collect booked then it might just be chicken instead of turkey this year 🙄. I don’t fancy doing anything super amazing this year, not that I could anyway not being that good a cook and all, but I’m still not feeling full on festive yet.

There’s niggling doubt over Covid at the back of my mind, we’re promised things won’t change, and it’ll be a normal Christmas, but I’m dreading the bit after Christmas. Omicron has a lot to answer for! I’m now booster jabbed, if I’m honest I feel quite crap with it. I wasn’t too bad with the AZ, but this third half dose has made me sore, and very achy. I did have the flu jab done at the same time which I admit could have something to do with it. In all likelihood the simple fact that I’m just completely shattered is probably the underlying issue!

In fact, I’ve been feeling decidedly grumpy of late. I’m trying to figure out if its just me getting older and having less tolerance for stupidity or actually whether there is something more going on. Perhaps its hormones kicking in, now that I’m over 40 there are obvious hormonal changes going to happen but I’m starting find my sleep patterns are getting worse, my tolerance levels are lowering and I’m generally feeling… just bleurgh! (If there is such a word?!).

Anything and everything seems to irritate me these days. I also notice I don’t feel the cold as much as I once would have. Although this may just be down to the fat content I have keeping me well insulated 🤣🤣🤣.

It could be the dreaded Menopause kicking in although it’s a bit early, my family don’t normally experience it until 50+, but you never know. It may be that I just need an MOT and a break away from everything. I might be waiting a while though, I’ve been married ten years and still haven’t been on a honeymoon, somehow something always gets in the way 😞. Perhaps it’s just good old fashioned frustration getting the better of me. If you know the answer give me a heads up 😉.

I’ll sign off until after Christmas. Will catch up with you all after, until then have a great holiday everyone, wherever you are, whoever you’re with and whatever you do x

Take care, stay safe

Becks xo

Christmas, food and all the bits that go with it!

Each year I buy a tonne of Christmas magazines. You know which magazines I’m talking about… the ones that promise you the perfect Christmas. Well, I’ve done it again, spent a small fortune on magazines that will somehow take me to the holy grail of Christmas perfection.

Presents under the tree

Inside they are filled with perfect images of the perfect décor scheme, the perfect Christmas tree, the perfect Christmas countdown, the perfect Christmas family crafts to make, the perfect Christmas menu, the perfect Christmas collection of drinks, the perfect Christmas gift list and it goes on… I love the idea of getting perfection at Christmas but the reality is far from it.

Food

I’m an awful cook, and I don’t know much about putting the perfect scheme together, but I do know I have an amazing family and I love doing our silly Christmas stuff together. So what if I over cook the sprouts and burn the turkey a little, we are still alive and we can laugh about it and that’s what is important to me. Enjoying the time we have together, being silly and doing daft things. So yes, I would love the perfect everything at Christmas but sometimes perfection isn’t really what we need, what we need is for things to just be a little bit okay.

Hubby and I have the same conversation each year about what we are going to cook on Christmas day. We peruse the magazines with the aim of identifying a really first class menu for the day, but after looking at a lot of the ideas and images we come to the conclusion that we wouldn’t eat most of it and it’s all a bit too fancy. We’re simple folk and like old fashioned, simple, hearty food. So we end up doing a more traditional meal of turkey, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, veggies including one or two Brussel sprouts even though there are only two of us in the family that will eat them, gravy, cranberry sauce (although hubby puts mint sauce on his instead of cranberry as he’s a fussy one!), pigs in blankets and occasionally a Yorkshire pudding if we do beef instead. We don’t normally have a Christmas pudding as I’m the only one who’ll eat it, and we often don’t have room anyway! We might get in a cheesecake or something simple just in case.

There are always mince pies in the house, as the kids merrily munch their way through them, and we always have the kid’s version of a trifle, minus the sponge fingers, custard and cream. Yes, I know it’s just jelly, humour me will you?

I did find a fabulous recipe for a Gingerbread Soufflé which I’d like to try, never baked a soufflé and I’m sure it will sink in the middle but I might just have a go at it. Recipe can be found here if you’d like to try it for yourself https://www.yourhomestyle.uk/recipes/desserts/hot-gingerbread-souffle/

I have had a request from hubby to get in some stinky cheese (Stilton fyi) and some cheddars too, which is fine as both the children and I like to have crackers with cheese (although not stinky cheese!). It’s nice to have something different other than the usual chocolate and sweets that are usually abundant at this time of year. I confess to not buying tins of sweets for us at home, we do buy for others, but we usually get given plenty as gifts from friends and family. Oh, and I’m aiming to get hubs a Colin the Caterpillar Advent Calendar this year as he’s been hinting at it for ages! Although it’ll probably be sold out by the time I get to buy one!

Drinks

My kids love their hot chocolate, squirty cream and marshmallows, so much in fact, that we’ve had to cut them down on it to once a week as they were getting into the habit of having one several times during the week. They’ll get a few more this Christmas though as they like to prepare it all. There’s something about giggles when they’re using squirty cream, they sneak a squirt directly in their mouths too! Grim monsters 🤣.

There’s lots of ideas for the perfect Christmas cocktail, I’d love to try some but I have to admit I usually just end up with a G&T with a citrus twist for my tipple of choice and we usually have bucks fizz or prosecco for Christmas lunch. It’s all a bit of a faff, and takes up too much space on the sideboard, plus there’s always the risk something will get knocked off the side with us being quite a clumsy family. I do like the idea of all the loveliness of a cocktail trolley, just not sure it would work in practice.

Decor

I mentioned in the last post about our Christmas decor this year and pointed out some of the trends and how we tweaked the latest trends to suit us. I also mentioned I would be attempting to dig out the deccies from the garage. That has and hasn’t happened. What? I see that confused look on your face. I know. I only managed to get in the garage the day hubby left for work abroad, very much last minute too! So, this meant I didn’t have the manpower to help with the lifting and ‘getting of things up high’, with me being a shortie and all that. I ended up just getting the kids Christmas trees and their box of decorations as they were easy to hand and it meant that at least they got to do some decorating for Christmas. We can wait until Dad comes home and get at least one family tree up before the big day. I’m not bothering with outdoor decorations this year, we haven’t the time to put any up really.

Outfit selection?

So each year I say to myself “right time to really snazz it up this year”, meaning in Becky speak time to find an outfit that’s all sparkly and christmassy. The reality of this is a pair of loose fitting trousers and a top without fail every year. It is essential for the consumption of all of the mince pies!

I did attempt a sequin outfit once, I scoured Pinterest for ideas and identified a really great looking outfit. Sequin skirt, top and shoes. Fab. Well I attempted it. Slippers instead of shoes as we don’t wear shoes in the house. Family trait I’m afraid. Never can see the joy in dragging outside dirt in on carpets and flooring, especially when dogs and people might have peed on the pavement, or spat on the pavement, anyone whose worked in the city will know what I’m on about. And whilst were on the matter why do people feel the need to put their feet up on public transport seats, dirt on clean clothes, really! It’s unhygienic enough when the ‘boys’ in the house miss the toilet seat (mums of boys will know exactly what I mean here!), I certainly don’t want anyone elses ‘ickiness’ in my house or on my clothes if I can help it.

Anyway, I digress, so sequins were donned, and a white top with a cardi to top it off. It looked awful, the skirt showed my massive mum tum and teamed with dark nora batty wrinkly tights (only those of a certain age may get this), the top was a ill fitting and the cardi just didn’t cut it! I looked like a granny gone wrong. I knew as soon as I donned the outfit it was just wrong, so took a pic to prove how bloody awful it was and immediately went to the backup outfit of loose trousers and top! Failsafe, not attractive or particularly stylish but great for slobbing out after Christmas lunch.

Lesson learned. The Pinterest image I found was the look I was going for but I completely misinterpreted the outfit. In the image I found the individual had on knee high boots in black, gold sequin skirt (similar to mine) and a black polo neck top. She was also very slim and as I mentioned in a previous post it’s hard to find images of plus sizers in the type of outfits I like. It’s a learning process and I know what went wrong which is a good thing to come from it. And you get to have a good laugh at my awful choice in footwear!

I still have the skirt even after a couple of years, It’s in the pile of ‘not sure abouts’. It may go to the charity shop, or someone I know might benefit from it. I may be able to make it work with skin colour tights, and keep the outfit light but I may just give up and use the darker sequin skirt instead. I can see how unflattering the skirt is it just highlights the mum tum too much.

So, I’ll be revising my wardrobe choices this year and maybe, just maybe, might don something a little more jingly this year. Funny Christmas jumpers anyone? 😁

Let me know in the comments below or over on the facebook page if you’re planning on donning a fancy Christmas Jumper x

Whatever your choice of food, tipple or outfit this Christmas, I hope you enjoy it.

Decorate to your heart’s content and cherish the moments you have with loved ones.

I will try to post again before Christmas, but until now, take care, stay safe.

Becks Xo