It seems, and I am no expert on this, that the Germans make a much bigger deal about Christmas Eve than they do Christmas Day.
If I have it right it is very much a day of family and one where the Christmas tree seems to feature highly. Again, if I have it right, the Christmas tree seems to come to life on Christmas Eve with the lights only being lit on Christmas Eve and then the whole family gathering around it to open their presents.
It is an alien concept to me as I am so very English, but I have to say it is one that I really do like.
Despite having made the decision that I wanted to spend most of Christmas very much on my own just relaxing (Yeah I know I am a Grinch) I could not possibly pass up the chance of visiting my dear sister in Christ Natalie’s family yesterday and spending Christmas Eve with them all.
It is something that I have very quickly grown to look forward to and something that I absolutely enjoy and yesterday was no exception to this.
Sadly John couldn’t be with us as he had to work and I really missed him but even so I was very glad that he was prepared to go to work yesterday. He works in a caring profession and I was comforted knowing that he would be there for folk who perhaps have no-one else at this time of year.
Another good thing about yesterday was that I got to cook. Now cooking is something that I really enjoy doing but that, since I live alone and am not very well, I seldom really get to do very much nowadays – especially not a full Christmas dinner.
So to have a chance to cook properly again really was such a blessing and one that was made even more special by the fact that each one of John and Natalie’s four children helped in the cooking and the setting of the table etc.
We had Turkey with stuffing, Potatoes, Brussels with bacon bits, Carrots, Bread dumplings, Red Cabbage, Christmas Bubble and Squeak, and Honey roasted parsnips. LOL we were so full after it all and had to delay desert for a while.
Christiana and her daughter Leeana (from the church we now attend) also came over and had dinner and spent the afternoon and it really was such a blessing to share in it all.
After dinner we relaxed and chatted and then in the evening we played a game of Monopoly together and it really was so enjoyable.
As for my mental health, the voices were at me again unfortunately but not really that badly and certainly not enough to take away from the enjoyment of the day.
As we sat round the Kitchen table eating our Christmas dinner and chatting the voices were at me about what it was like to be in a family setting again and how this is no longer part of my life. For me in respect of how the voices interact with me that is a very big part of them. They focus on something and turn it against me or do their best to make it a negative. Even and especially when actually it is a positive.
So rubbing in the fact that I am no longer able to enjoy such family events is something that they really liked to focus on. But there was no way I was going to let them win and destroy such a wonderful time for me.
Getting home late yesterday evening I was then joined by Matt and Trish who had decided they were going to have a sleep over at my place last night so that we could open out presents together this morning and having them here last night was again a very real blessing as it meant I didn’t have to come home to an empty house.
Even so I couldn’t stay up with them for very long as I was absolutely shattered emotionally, mentally and physically and so retired to my bed fairly soon after they arrived.
I slept all through the night until early this morning which is absolutely wonderful but does give an indication as to just how wiped out I really was by the end of the day.
This morning I woke up fairly early and have already lit the fire in the living room, made a cup of coffee and prepared everything for when Matt and Trish wake up.
That’s they English way of doing things I guess. Instead of Christmas Eve being the main focus of Christmas and presents being open on Christmas Eve, we all wait eagerly for Christmas morning and get them then. Actually I imagine that is close to what is going to happen at John and Natalie’s today since the kids only got one present yesterday as John would not be home from work until today.
Many a Christmas morning has seen parents being dragged out of their slumber at some way too early hour by excited children wanting to open their presents and it is sometimes hard for the parents, I think, when the and are quite happy to have a lie in and then open their presents. Hm I wonder if Matthew and Trish can hear the television that I have turned on and “accidentally” left blaring away at full volume in the lounge. I hope I don’t “accidentally” wake them.
Darn kids! Either they wake far too early when they are little or far too late when they are big. LOL Hm could it be that I was the one who woke far too early?
OK I need to go take some meds and to rest a little in a comfortable arm-chair. My leg is ballooned again as a result of yesterday and I ache in places that I never knew I had places. BUT even so it was well worth it and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Whatever your Christmas Day consists of today I hope and pray that you have a wonderful and blessed day.
Love the Grinch.