Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Christmas Tree Fairy et al

This morning, I awoke to squeals of excitement, announcing the most fabulous news that the Christmas Tree Fairy has visited our house and decorated the Christmas tree overnight. In my awakening slumber I could hear:


"Look at that one"

"There's a Father Christmas"

"That one's shiny"

"This one's red"

"Mummy, Daddy, QUICK! The Christmas Fairy's been!"

And behold, as I wandered into the living room, rubbing my eyes to overcome my tiredness, there in the corner was our tree, decorated with all our lovely decorations.

There are the ones that I had bought for our very first Christmas Tree, when 21st C Dad and I lived in Nottingham and we had a red and gold traditional colour scheme. Now, it's a fabulous eclectic mix including the old glass baubles from my grandmother's tree, the lovely wooden baubles that we bought during our adventures in the Lake District, the little wooden decorations that I collected when our eldest son was born and the handmade beaded hearts that I made for 21st C Dad a few years ago.

These days, it's a wonderful case of "anything goes" featuring all the oddities that we have collected each Christmas.

If the excitement of the Christmas Tree Fairy wasn't enough, we ventured into town to witness something very special. If ever you have wondered how Father Christmas delivers all the presents on Christmas Eve...I'll let you into a huge is because he has hundreds of helpers who help him on his way and they are not just elves.

For those not in the know, Bury St Edmunds is the highly classified location, where Father Christmas holds an annual competition to test the speed and dexterity of his team. So, we rushed into town this morning to witness the event and there they were, all running around the Abbey Gardens and the streets of Bury, giving new meaning to the phrase "The run-up to Christmas"

With a quick visit to Santa's Grotto and then a stop-off at Moyses Hall to pick up a silver threepenny bit for our Christmas pudding, we ventured home for what has become a new tradition in the 21st C household...the making of the nativity costume for the school play. This year, the eldest 21st C kid is a Wiseman, which is more advanced than last year's snowflake affair and has required a tad more creative thinking.

Despite about ten days notice, I'd completely forgotten about the costume until this weekend and panicked when I saw the reminder notice on Friday that the costumes must be in by Monday. So armed with some shopping time yesterday and some time on my hands this afternoon, I set about trying to make something from this pile of materials.

Not being a natural seamstress, I had thought that it would be just a case of cutting a hole in the middle of the beautiful fabric and just putting it over the little man's head and then tying some braid around his waist.

Oh um....if only I hadn't cut hole so big.

Instead, with a hole that was way too big, out came the needle and cotton, which then led into a complete afternoon of dressmaking. However, I am dead chuffed with the results that I can now see me competing for the Martha Stewart award. Here's the little man modelling the finished results...(note to self...must send my mum the photos to reassure her I am not a lost cause!)

So after a busy day of festive traditions, new and old, I think it's time to put my feet up and watch Cranford on BBC1, with a glass of the Drunken Monk's Christmas Mead. Not to be confused with Ruby's monk of course.

All across the land there will be mothers uniting in the taste of fortified wine and honey. To you all, here's a toast....

"To Christmas time and the joys of traditions, borrowing from the past and creating your own and setting great memories for your children to take into their future....Cheers".


Ruby in Bury said...

What a clever 21stCMummy you are. I can't make school costumes at all!

Beautiful tree, the Christmas fairy has done you proud!

I had some Drunken Monk mulled wine yesterday, which was gorgeous. I bought it from the Moyse's monk! Mead is yummy - lovely honey flavour. Did you get yours from the Moyse's monk? I've also got a bottle of his elderflower wine, which is supposedly going to be saved ... don't know if it will be or not though ;-)

Florries mum said...

Is every-one hiding from me? I was behind that crowd of Santas as they set off round the gardens, then followed them through to the back gate, but didn't spot you.
I am so glad to see that your childrens school still has a nativity play. I was very disheartened to read in the paper this morning that many schools have stopped doing them in case they give offence to other religions. What is the true meaning of Christmas if not the nativity story? Take that away and you are left with all the commercialism and no faith-of any religion.

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Ruby - I am feeling really chuffed about his costume. Trust me I am not a natural...the best bit was when I told him that I'd done some sewing and he said..."mummy, you're really clever"...that's me with a big grin still on my face, and I promise it's not the mead.

The mead that I am still drinking is the one that I got at West Stow's Yulefest a couple of weeks ago. Contrary to popular belief, I am still less than halfway through the bottle...honest gov (hic!).

Hi Florries mum - have just popped over to Ruby's blog and read that you were sorry we missed you. I've just had a look at the photo that I took of the back of the Santas to see if I could see you, but all I can see is their backs. We made it in the nick of time, ran through the Abbey Gate, ran around the frontto take the photos and then ran back up through Abbey Gate St to meet 21st C Dad who missed it all because he was parking the car. Poor 21st C Dad. He drew the short straw today and ended up making the roast dinner (and sorting out my messy cupboards), while I was indulging in my creative side.

You are so right about the nativity. It is such an important part of our culture that it should never be dismissed, for the sake of political correctness. It is becoming an enjoyable highlight of our Christmas calendar.

Now it's nearer to do you fancy a mulled wine some time soon. Let's speak to mrs Rubes and get some dates in ;-D

grumpyoldwoman said...

Me too, me too please! I miss doing the school thing - although I was never any good at costumes and was very glad to have a friend who worked at a different school who kindly loaned me the necessary outfits each year.

Our tree is always decorated by the kids and even though they are all older they still do it - I sometimes itch to get my hands on it and make it look good - but the day I do will be a sad one because it will mean that they have all left me. I suppose I better TRY to get in the mood - grumpety grump.

Florries mum said...

Great minds-have been talking to Mrs Rubes on exactly this topic.

picklesmum said...

T'is a wonderous tree and a splendid costume. Well done to the fairies and yourself!

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Grumps - I love the nativity costume thing. I'm not that great at it but am just happy that the overall effect looks good. Keep the kids decorating, even if they move away...get them back for the festivities.

Florries mum is quite right...we need to speak to Mrs Rubes.

Picklesmum - thanks for the do you fancy a night of mulled wine?

Jo Beaufoix said...

Love the costume. And is Cranford good? I've missed it what with Nanowrimo, but I may watch it on catch up. What do you think?

Laura McIntyre said...

You done a great job, im just glad MIL is an ex-Home Econimics teacher who can help me when my time comes around

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Jo - thanks. Cranford is good, in a gentle humour kind of way. Judi Dench is excellent as ever. I've only been watching it with one eye on the television and the other concentrating on something else, which hasn't given it the justice it deserves.

Hi Laura - thanks for the compliments, but lucky you, having the assistance on hand. I was always utterly crap at home-economics, so completely surprised myself this time around.