and so apparently are the rest of us. Today we made plans at work for a 'bring and buy' sale and tombola on 19Th December to raise money for Cancer Relief. Staff will make cakes to donate to the sale, we will also bring in gifts for the tombola. Anyone who has a gift from a contractor normally contributes this as well. Its a bit of fun during our lunch break and we get home baked cakes with morning coffee and afternoon tea.
On the 21st we will all bring some towards a brunch for all of the staff. Every year I invite everyone by email so that I don't miss anyone who is out of the office. I ask them what they want to bring but every year I get told to make a list and tell each person what to buy, they don't want to chose for themselves. Its only a little something from each person but it gives us a chance to relax and spend a bit of time all chatting together.
Plans are coming on for Christmas at home as well. Hopefully we will be far enough along with building work to clear out the tools and wood, and have a lovely tree and presents there instead. The family will all visit on Christmas Eve, for snacks and maybe some games. Christmas day will be at my parents house again ( I haven't missed once in 45 years, although it was pretty close a couple of time and i nearly spent the Christmas break in Athens airport one year. My mum will do most of the cooking despite our best efforts to help. She enjoys it and likes to have her family there together. Boxing day will be a my sisters house ( we go from house to house for the holiday - as does the cheese - if it doesn't then we end up with 3 of every thing and it doesn't get eaten until March. Three brie is okay but 3 Edams not so easy to appreciate). We will have a cold buffet which we join and leave many times during the day, after a nice walk in the morning.
We made a decision of £10 per person for gifts, handmade if possible. Last year I did a little gift basket for each person. I really enjoyed it so something similar is my game plan this year. At the moment my collection of goodies is going well.
I have made up a little spreadsheet to track all the expenditure and make sure I don't overspend but I don't think its a problem. I have meat in the freezer, my food bill is never to much because we like good food but always cooked from scratch so its never expensive really. We don't need any Christmas decorations. I have some lights from the Ikea sale, my lovely tree decorations which i used to add one each year and some holly and other greenery from the garden.
I enjoy Christmas with my family very much and appreciate the way that nothing much changes from year to year, usually the food slightly and maybe the destination of the walks. It is very comfortable, a simple but very complete pleasure.