So, I lied! Okay, this actually is the last post about Christmas. It got to Christmas eve and everything was so pretty that not blogging it was a missed opportunity. One of the reasons I had to take some pictures of our Christmas Eve is because it's really the time all the little finishing touches come together. I mentioned before that something I admire about my mother is her ability to always have something seasonal and wonderful available to harvest from the garden at a moment's notice. Christmas eve day we spent a merry hour or so clipping bay leaves, spiky and un-spiky holly with red berries, rosehips, mistletoe, rosemary, sage, and the last two roses of the season from the garden, before lashing them to the windows.
(note: my sister's interesting spelling of 'bread' and affectionate nickname for 'parsnips')
I also wanted to talk a bit about what I learned. So every year, Christmas Eve is as monumental as the day itself, for us. It starts with all the preparation for the next day and ends with films and relaxing. A lot of things didn't go smoothly, not least my mum being struck down by illness and having to go to bed. I saw a lot on twitter about people who'd struggled with arguments or disappointments, and I realised something.
Christmas Day is just Christmas Day. It's just one day.
Part of what we think struck my mum down is the exhaustion of it all. Trying to craft the perfect Christmas. From her high-stress teaching job (and if you don't think teaching is high-stress you need to get. away.) straight on to entertaining everyone, shopping for two sets of family, right up until she returns back to work. Particularly when you have high-maintenance family members, so much is riding on that small window of time that it's so easy to turn up disappointed. I tweeted about it too, but my point is, spread the love out over the days. Enjoy the little things. Don't save all the pretty biscuits for Christmas day. Don't wait to drink the Baileys. Failing all of that, remember that for a lot of people, Christmas day isn't the greatest day of people's year, surrounded by overwhelming, earth shattering love and togetherness. Sometimes it's just a day, and if that's the case, you haven't failed.
I hope you all had a lovely or at the very least, tolerable Christmas! ;)