Sian’s Christmas Club

Sian from High in the Sky has invited us to share a Christmas story in the few weeks before Christmas, here is mine for this week.

Every year this little Christmas Nativity Scene brings treasured memories for me and laughter for my son.

The nativity scene belonged to my mother and was put out every Christmas throughout our childhood. You will see that the baby Jesus is wrapped in ‘swaddling clothes’ It is a piece of cloth my mother wrapped him in many years ago.
My younger brother insisted that the baby lay in his manger every day during advent whereas my very traditional Irish mother forbid it! The child wasn’t born until Christmas morning and so the manger was to be empty until then.
So, every day the baby was put in the manger by Gerard and every day he was taken out of the manger by mother, first he was in and then he was out, and so it continued all through advent for many years until he got so bashed that his arm fell off!!
My poor mother was heart broken and wrapped him up as you see him here.
When mum died the little crib came to me.
The story of the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes gets more outrageous with every telling and now that my son tells our visitors the story I suspect that by the end of the evening the baby has no limbs at all!
Merry Christmas Gerard…Miriam x

I posted this story on November 28th 2010 so apologies if you have seen it before but as I put the little nativity scene on my kitchen windowsill over the weekend I thought I would share it again.

Thanks Sian

Fancy a cocktail at the Christmas club?

Missing Story Telling Sunday and it’s older sister A Christmas story, Sian suggested we might like to join her for three Sundays before Christmas to read one of her wonderful stories and maybe post one of our own.
Now mine is in no way amazing, in fact it’s not even a story, but one of Sian’s suggestions for starting the grey matter churning was
“At Christmas we…”

Well, at Christmas in our house we make this beautiful cocktail, in fact I have learnt that three other households around here also make Miriam’s Christmas in a glass.

Christmas story 2014

1 measure vodka
1 measure Disaronno
3 measures cranberry juice
2 measures orange juice
mix all together
shake over ice
and, if you like them, serve with maraschino cherries threaded on a small skewer.

Merry Christmas!

Thank you Sian

It’s Always Difficult

When I want to make a list of people’s names to say ‘Hello’ or ‘Thanks’ to, or even send a card to. It is inevitable that I miss someone’s name.
And I did, on my Thanksgiving heart. Apologies, of course you should be there and you are now.

Here it is again.

Thanksgiving Cloud 2

How’s the Christmas prep going? I seem to be taking three steps forward & two back this weekend! And I’ve just remembered it is time for Sian’s Christmas story. Two posts from me today then.

ZIZO Week 49

I have been zooming in and out on a tree this week. Zooming and being disappointed when I see on my screen what my eyes think they have seen.

I see this beautiful splash of colour over the fence every day.
ZIZO 1 week 49
But this is not what my eyes and mind see.

So I darkened the picture.

ZIZO 2 Week 49
But it’s still not right.

Then I cropped almost everything out to concentrate my mind on the colour of the tree.

ZIZO 3 Week 49

Still not right, and having cropped it so much it’s out of focus.

Then I remembered my friend Lisa Gordon talking about a picture of a lovely lilac (I think), she had seen while out walking but when she saw the picture on her screen it just didn’t look like what she had seen in the street. So she played with the picture until it looked like what her eyes and mind had seen.

I did something similar. I used an app called Glaze and this is how I see the tree every day.

ZIZO 4 Week 49

And this is it ‘waterlogued’

ZIZO 5 week 49

I love how your eyes can focus on something while blocking out all extraneous detail. Something the camera can’t do unless you use your long lens and a tripod and a set of steps which I don’t have handy this morning and I just remembered that it is Wednesday and time to link up with Helena. Pixel magic, I love it!

Thank you Helena for this wonderful meme. I can hardly believe we have been zooming around all over the world for a year. I wonder if you might do something similar next year?

December and Me

December and me 2014

Faith, Hope and Love

So it’s arrived then? December I mean. There was I thinking it was ages away and in the twinkling of a Christmas light it’s here.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 09.24.49

Yes of course I complain:
“Where has all the time gone?
The last year I mean, twelve months, just gone!
What on earth am I going to get you?
Where am I going to store all the food?
The fridge isn’t big enough”.

Then you join in:
“What on earth have you ordered? How many have you invited?”
And back to me like a tennis ball. “Yes we do need all that wine
and the port and if you think I can cope with ½ a bottle of Amaretto left over from last Christmas you’ll be cooking your own Christmas lunch!”

But I love it, love December, all the prep, the carols, the friends dropping in, the drinks parties, the lunches, the family coming over.
Bringing the stuff down from the loft, (Yes, all of it please) forgetting it’s all still on our bed when we head up to bed.
The photos I take, the notes that I make, the lists, the cards and the sparkling lights.
The Christmas china, the table linen and the jolly napkins I like before the day. But, white linen napkins on the day.
The red-stemmed wine glasses, sugared almonds in the red cocktail glass and the chocolates in the little wicker hamper.
The twiggy tree, the beautiful welsh black crib figures with the little bail of straw that has survived another year in the loft. We had that at our old house and we’ve been here fourteen years!
All go on the big windowsill please.
The wrapping paper, ribbons and Washi tape. Yes that’s new but red of course.
Oh! Scented candles and the wreaths and the bells and the holly leaves.
The fairy lights, unravelled all around the room. Fingers crossed and breath held. Will they work? Will they work? Will they work?
Do you remember our dad checking all the beautiful big bulbs, giving them a little twist to see if they were just loose or ‘dud’
These days it’s all LED lights and no such thing as spares.
Oh! Mums golden reindeer! I know it looses its gold bits everywhere and every day, but she loved it and now I do too.
Mums *‘Flight out of Egypt’ that we bought her, she loved it so much and the remaining four figures from the crib we had as children, I like that on my kitchen windowsill. I expect you know the story of the babe wrapped in a bandage?
I’ll find it and post it in a few days.
The shopping, the deliveries, the crush and the rush
The films and the music, the cards and the love.
And the tree, the most beautiful, most perfect tree I can find to decorate with love and memories and maybe a glass of mulled wine while I think of you and the Christmases we’ve shared.

December and me, smiling, happy, singing along with Christmas carols, writing to my blog friends, spending time with ‘here’ friends
Sending love.
Feeling loved.

Faith makes all things possible. Hope makes all things work. Love makes all things beautiful.

December and me, like November and me is Sian’s lovely idea.

*The Flight out of Egypt is a black Welsh Slate figurine depicting this scene