‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…’I don’t know if it’s because I’m an Autumn baby or because I just never know how to dress for boiling hot weather, but I love the cold. I love the rainbow of multicoloured leaves, I love layers of snuggly jumpers, I love walks in boots and coats in the frost with the promise of something pumpkin-spiced and hot at the end. I love the dark nights and the miserable weather that forces us to stay inside and snuggle up. I love it all. I especially love Christmas.
Christmas is a real family time for us. I love choosing gifts for the people I love; wrapping them in beautiful paper with matching tags and beautiful ribbon. There is nothing nicer than decorating the tree with the scent of warm cinnamon throughout the house and a festive film on in the background. (OK, I realise this is a very romantic view of what decorating the house is like. It’s more swearing at each other, present me cursing past me for not unwrapping the lights properly and pledging that future me will not be so sloppy come January, and then eventually throwing half the decorations in the box and shouting ‘that will just have to f**king do for now!’)
The one tradition I keep up is a trip (OK, 12 trips, at least) to Bents. If you haven’t experienced the phenomenon then is Bents at Christmas I suggest you remedy that this year. It’s amazing. Their trees are nothing short of breathtaking. There is a real mix of hideously expensive and little bargain gems among the decorations and if you manage to grab a tree designer they are more than happy to give you a quick explanation of how to re-create such beauty at home.
This year they ran a competition to let a few select people have a sneaky peak at Christmas before the grand opening on Wednesday. I was lucky enough to win and took my equally-as-obsessed best friend, Sarah, with me. We were the most excited people in the universe. I could even forgive the 8.30am opening time as they provided us with a free coffee and a pastry for breakfast. To be fair, I’ll forgive anyone anything so long as they feed me.
I can say this. The trees this year are beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous. We wandered around in awe for a good ten minutes before making serious decisions about colour schemes, garlands and ribbon in our own houses.
Then, the strangest thing happened. I was ‘spotted’.
There we were, admiring the model village when a lady came over to me and said, very seriously ‘Do I know you?’
Now, fellow teachers will sympathise with me here when I saw I spent a frantic nano-second trying to place her as the parent of a child. Nope, don’t recognise her, but I did try to keep my ‘Oh you’re *insert name of perfectly delightful child in here* mum! Oh yes of course!’ smile on my face while I panicked slightly. She helped me out.
‘Are you a blogger?’
Now. This confused me even more than her potentially being the parent of a child I taught 9 years ago because I have quite literally never met anyone who knew me as a blogger. I’ve heard people talking about me in Costa (all good, thankfully) but no one has ever actually recognised me.
‘I thought so, I’m not a weirdo, I’m a blogger too!’
Anyway, once we’d blogger-introduced ourselves and realised that yes, we did actually ‘know’ each other, I walked away feeling like Kim K (only with a smaller arse and less money) or Britney (only with a bigger arse and non of head -shaving tendencies).
It’s so lovely to meet someone who recognises you for something nice you do, rather than ‘oh you put our Chelsea in detention once!’ It gives you the warm and fuzzies. That, coupled with the sneaky peak at Christmas has left me in a thoroughly festive humour today…is it too early for Mr Buble?