Ready for Christmas!

I haven’t blogged for a while as Christmas has gotten closer and we haven’t been ready at home, due to the shop being so busy. It has been a really good Christmas for us. The decorations have been really popular and we are down to just a few.

Annie and I have been busy making hampers of homemade goodies for her friends and family. This was an experience. We had no idea of quantities, despite her mathematics (rather disappointing for a teacher!), so the pan of tomato relish just seemed bottomless and we ran out of jars. So, with hot tomato relish waiting, I ran into Ripon to buy jars. No one in Ripon sells empty jars. Not to be defeated I bought the entire stock of cranberry sauce from Poundstretcher – it came in really nice jars.  The man at the checkout asked if I “liked a bit of cranberry with my turkey”. “No,” I said, “I hate the stuff”. We rapidly emptied jars of cranberry into every receptacle she owned and jarred the relish. We are now eating cranberry sauce with everything. We have made apple and cranberry crumble and pies (I love it really).

The other Christmas challenge has been the tree. We have had the same real tree for about 6 years and we bring it in every year in its pot. However, it has become a little less of a traditional Christmas tree shape since it suffered abuse last Christmas. Annie said it had become more if a Christmas bush. So, I went out in search of a new one. I bought a lovely little potted tree, brought it into the house last weekend, decorated and watered it. Then, by Thursday it was losing all of its needles. I initially thought that Matilda had vandalised it. We kept hearing a bit of a jingly, clattering noise when we were out of the room and she had also taken a run and jump at it a few times while we were in the room. This upsets Eddi more than us; she becomes very distressed when Matilda misbehaves, as if it is her responsibility. But the tree soon went brown, so we took everything off it and out it went, leaving its remaining needles all through the house. We now have a cut tree, as that was all that was left. I can’t put the pressies under as Matilda bites the paper off them and Eddi can’t stand the stress.

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