The First Christmas

At this time of year I am always happy, I love Christmas. Why? Because my Grandma and Mum always loved Christmas and made a big thing of it. Always a special time, fun, happiness, singing Christmas Carols around Grandad's Piano. When I was 14 I was offered a treat - a small glass of Harvey's Bristol Cream and to this day, much to my husband's amusement I still have a little tipple from the blue bottle. Yes I know there are many other sherries to try but that's not the point - it was and always will be my tradition to have a schooner of Harveys.

This year, I'll be raising a toast with my glass to my Grandma who bless her, was so excited she passed away on Christmas day last year. This has been a year of firsts, the first birthday without her, her anniversary, my birthday (she always sang happy birthday to me) and my first time of going up to the North West of England on our family visit and not popping in for her special Oven bottom muffins with bacon & a mug of steaming Yorkshire tea.

The build up to Christmas has been different for my Mum this year, she and Grandma usually begin their preparations and excitement as early as August...their little shopping trips for ideas, stocking fillers and looking for 'that bargain'. I've been fortunate being in London a lot has allowed Mum to visit and spend time with the girls, especially around those 'First' dates. Mum and Grandma spent a lot of time together (nearly every day) and so for her there is a big hole in her life. I've tried to fill it with the girls and she has spent more time making new friends and building a new life for herself which Grandma would have wanted. This Christmas she has been very organised and is going on holiday with a friend to experience a totally new Christmas.

We will be having an over the top Christmas in France continuing my traditions, building new ones and enjoying Maisy's first Christmas. Yes this is another First Christmas for us. A first as a family of 5! It will be a very happy one.

so Merry Christmas everyone from me xxx

That's a lovely post Suzanne. We didn't have many family traditions when I was growing up, so Matt, Hollie, Christian and I are enjoying making up our own. Now we always have mulled wine and mince pies every Christmas Eve, Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs with Champagne for breakfast on the 25th and we always make our own Christmas Crackers, putting a small personal gift inside, the kids love it.

This is a "first" Christmas for us too, our first one in France!

Happy Christmas to you and your family, your Grandma will be smiling down on you xx

Lovely, Suzanne. You warmed my heart with your post. WE haven't sold our English house yet so have decided to have a last[ever?] English Christmas with our 3 lovely daughters - next year, will be our first French one!

28 June. A truly excellent day for a birthday. All the best peeps born on that auspicious day :)

My elder daughter has her birthday on 28 June, so that the year is split exactly (give or take an inch) in two. She lives for the two celebrations. June 29 is the beginning of her Christmas preparations. The other, Daryl, keeps a watch on others' plans but never makes her own!

Here are the two, with Ceri the Christmas planner closest, last year (note discarded packaging in log basket!) last Christmas day. After finishing the Wii dance session she started planning birthday and Christmas 2012 immediately. My mother never saw either, she would have adored them.

That is lovely, Suz. You have me in tears (in a nice way). This will be my third Christmas without my Mum. Hope you all have a great Christmas! xx