Relax Now…

Carol Hello Darlings.You now you've done enough now don't you? That Christmas is upon us, all is well with the world, and that none of those little niggly "got to be dones" really matter now? Don't worry... you are not alone in feeling that no matter how much you plan, no matter what you do, no matter how organised you are, Christmas still manages to take you by surprise.. that your little pile of stocking fillers remains woefully small, that there are cards you forgot to write and brandy butter you forgot to buy and that above all else the Christmas you have created does not quite have the finesse of the Christmas you imagined...

You are not alone... the past hour here at Chez Brocante has been spent stringing up yet another string of lights around the greenery I dragged in from a walk the other day. I can't quite get the balance between twinkly and erm.... well Blackpool lights. And so I have today spent way too much time winding them in and out of the the laurel leaves, steeping over Finley to wrap them around the candlesticks standing tall either side of the mantelpiece and entertaining passing friends and neighbours by forcing them to endure the seven different ways the lights can twinkle (From static to all out flashing disco), so I can at the end of the day hold a consensus and make a decision...

And you know what? It doesn't matter. Now that I am finally sitting down, the lights are fading softly in tune with the flicker of many candles, and none of all the fussy little things that have been worrying my sleep matter anymore. I can't buy more presents. There isn't time to do any more baking. The house is quite as decorated as it's going to be, the beds are made with sheets starched to high heaven, our Christmas Eve Jim Jams are suitably cinnamony and short of declaring myself Sergeant Major and insisting the rest of the family dance to my rather demented tune, there is nothing more I can do to guarantee Christmas bliss other than relax and go with the tinselly flow...

This year will be the same as  the last.There will be toys without batteries. One of the kids will no doubt have the screaming ab-dabs.  Somebody will cry. Somebody will steal all the gifts out of the Christmas Crackers and stash them in her bra. Mum will have forgotten something crucial to the Christmas meal and we all, every single one of us delight and despair in the never changing round of that which is guaranteed at Christmas. Vintage family rituals are the bestest kind...

So yes, this year will be the same as the last. And yet, and yet, and yet.... in houses across the land thing will be different. People who sat at the table the year before may no longer be with us. Purse strings have been tightened to a degree some of us have never experienced, and children who once believed in Santa may have developed a scepticism we could hardly countenance in one so young. Things change. In my world, sadly, it will be the last time we spend Christmas in my childhood home...

Things change. And in the end it is only people that matter. Whether the lights wrapped around your mistletoe are doing a highland jig or dancing the Christmas Polka...

And so my Darling, in this my Christmas Card to each and everyone of you, I say enough now...you've done all you can and now it's time to snuggle up into the heart of those we love, put stressing about the state of your kitchen floor aside for three days and really enjoy all that Christmas is meant to be...

Enjoy it Sweethearts.