Tag Archives: Christmas

Promises, Promises

12 Jan

IMG_0088I thought I’d tell you about two of my Christmas presents: the tourmaline necklace and emerald ring (no, it wasn’t my usual hyperbole; I really did receive a ton of gifts).

Our story begins a long time ago in a continent far, far away…the Hub was in Madagascar on business.  He was always away on business, which meant he spent half his time shopping for guilt presents for me and then only child Baby Boy.  

Browsing a huge market, he came across a stall selling precious and semi-precious stones.  He bought four for around R10 (roughly 2-3 pounds/dollars), including the tourmaline and emerald.

When he first gave them to me, he promised to have the emerald set in a ring as soon as we had some spare cash.  That was twenty-four years ago.

Life happened: we bought a house; he started his own business; we had another baby; we left South Africa; he became ill, etc., etc.  The stones languished in my jewellery box, forgotten, I thought.  I wasn’t particularly bothered; he bought the stones on a market stall – I wasn’t convinced it was even a real emerald.

Fast forward twenty-four years.  It was three weeks before Christmas.  The Hub raided my jewellery box and took the two stones to a local jeweller.  He figured that if he was getting one stone set, he might get a deal on another.  The jeweller was impressed by the emerald – rare colouring these days, apparently; and of very good quality.

The Hub was specific about the setting, because he knows I’m specific about jewellery – I don’t do big or bulky or fancy or showy.  I have a small frame and small hands and I like delicate and dainty and not too much of anything.

He went to collect them the day before Christmas Eve.  The  tourmaline necklace was perfect.  The emerald ring…not so much.  The setting was fancy; too fancy for this Hub’s wife, he knew.  He was adamant that it be re-set in time for Christmas.

It took the jeweller three weeks to get it wrong and 24 hours to get it right.  The Hub collected the ring in its new setting on Christmas Eve, packed it in a giant box to throw me off the scent, and had one spectacularly happy spouse on Christmas morning.

It took twenty-four years but the man kept a small promise he made to me.  That was the real Christmas gift.

Christmas Conversations

4 Jan

November

The Hub: What do you want for Christmas?

Tilly Bud: Nothing, really.  I could do with some new socks.  Oh, and I’ve run out of perfume.  Maltesers, of course.  A large Amazon book voucher.  And somebody better buy me the Outlander DVD or you three are going to have a miserable Christmas.  But nothing, really.  You know I don’t need much.

 

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The Week Before Christmas

Alex and I went to the local care home to join in with my church carol singing. We’re a small church but, even so, I was disappointed that he and I were the only people to show up.

Attendant: Who are you here to see?

TB: We’re here for the St Matthew’s carol singing.

Attendant: That’s tomorrow.

Christmas Eve

Here’s a conversation I never expected to have.  I was watching ‘White Christmas’ with Spud.  Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye were performing to ‘Sisters’.

TB: I can so see you and Sam doing that.

Spud: [Enthusiastically] Yeah!  I can, too.  I’ll speak to him about it.

TB: I’ve got the perfect dress you could borrow.

Spud: [Still enthusiastic].  Great!  Thanks, Ma!

*

Christmas Eve Continued

TB: Don’t let me forget the starter tomorrow.  Every year, I forget to prepare and serve the starter.  But not this year!

The Hub: I have faith in you.

 

Christmas Eve Continued Again

TB: Hub!  The dishwasher’s not working!  Argh!IMG_0095

Hub: I’ll fix it.

Three days and seven hundred handwashed-by-me dishes later:

Hub: I can’t fix it. [TB stares] Please don’t leave me.  I prefer hospital. [TB stares] But I’d rather not go to hospital. [TB stares] But we can’t afford a new dishwasher; it’s Christmas. [TB stares] Gulp.

Ten minutes later:

Hub: I bought you a new dishwasher.  It’ll be here on Tuesday.

Christmas Day

TB: Thank you, Hub, for the socks, the perfume, the Maltesers, the other sweets, the autographed photos of Cliff Richard and Chris Hemsworth, the tourmaline necklace, the emerald ring, the Outlander DVD and the twenty-seven stocking fillers.  I told you I didn’t want much; I’m glad you listened.

The Hub: You deserve it all, so sweet and undemanding as you are.

TB: [Blush]

IMG_0061

 

Christmas Day Continued

TB: Dinner!  Enjoy, my darlings.  Merry Christmas!

The Hub: Um, I don’t want to upset you but you remember how you swore you wouldn’t forget the starter this year…?

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Bank Holiday Monday

My brother was visiting from down south.

TB: Did you watch A Gert Lush Christmas? It was so funny.  [American readers, think redneck stereotypes

Bro [Who lives in the general area of the programme’s setting]: It’s really like that.

TB: Seriously?

Bro: Seriously. They had to close Cinderford CSI, you know; they couldn’t solve any crimes.  

TB [Walking right into it]: Why?

Bro: Because there were no dental records; and everyone’s got the same DNA.

 

Five Days After Christmas

TB: Hub!  The washing machine broke down!

Hub: I’m leaving you.*

*Not really; fear makes him babble.

 

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Six Days After Christmas

TB: Right, that’s my sack full of presents finally put away.  Everything was on my desk but I had to clear them to wrap Pam’s birthday present.  You know, I’ve got the feeling I’m missing something, but for the life of me, I can’t think what.

The Hub: The starters?

The Hub: Ow!

 

 

New Year

WordPress: Here’s your annual stats.

TB: Thank you, WordPress!  How did I do?

WP: 22 posts all year?  Loser!

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January 3rd

Friend Pam: Thank you for the lovely birthday presents!

TB: Presents?  It was just one present; the framed painting.

FP: No, no; you also gave me autographed photos of Cliff Richard and Chris Hemsworth.  Weird gifts, especially Cliff’s, but I loved the Chris Hemsworth one. Thank you so much!

*

And finally…less talking, more singing: here’s Alex with his friends, just before Christmas.

 

 

 

Happy Christmas!

25 Dec

Everyone is still in bed, snoring away. 

I am downstairs, listening to Christmas carols and eating homemade cold apple pie for breakfast.

I wish you all a lovely day, wherever you are; and thank you for sticking with me even though I have hardly been here.

Happy Christmas, dear readers.  xxx

The Best Laid Plans Of Mice And Buds

13 Dec
Cover of "The Muppet Christmas Carol - Ke...

Cover via Amazon

As we are now in the final week of the 101/1001 challenge, I had intended to write a celebratory post each day about the experience.  Yesterday’s post was abandoned because of migraine; today’s because of unexpected visitors.  The coming week’s itinerary includes Christmas grocery shopping, Christmas shopping for just about everyone (for various reasons we haven’t been able to do much this year), a girls’ night in, visitors, visitors and more visitors (it is Christmas, after all) and the annual screening of A Muppet Christmas Carol for the boys and me.

I have to mark the end in some way, however, so here’s a summary of what I would have written, if I’d had the time:

  • It was fun
  • It was hard work
  • I didn’t complete all of the challenges
  • But that’s okay because it was meant to be for fun, anyway
  • Which it was
  • I’m pleased with the challenges I did complete
  • My favourite task was…

…but that’s all I have time for today – there’s a mop calling me (can’t have my guests knowing how dirty I really am).

I will try very hard to wrap up the past two and a half years’ experiences in the next five days, but I can’t guarantee it.  I feel a bit of a muppet.

 

Joke 987

5 Dec
frein

frein (Photo credit: Ludie Cochrane)

The first three jokes are from Reader’s Digest.

These holiday “headlines” — concocted by the satirists at the Onion — are completely fabricated. And yet they have the ring of truth. 

• Coal Now Too Expensive to Put in Christmas Stockings 
• Study Finds Link Between Red Wine/Letting Mother Know What You Really Think 
• Accountants Pack Times Square for Fiscal New Year 
• Book Given as Gift Actually Read

*

My friend reviewed her young son’s fill-in-the-blank homework. One line: “At Christmas, we exchange gifts with ____.”

His response: “Receipts.”

*

As we were putting out cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, I accidentally dropped one. “No problem,” I said, picking it up and dusting it off before placing it back on the plate.

“You can’t do that,” argued my four-year-old.

“Don’t worry. Santa will never know.”

He shot me a look. “So he knows if I’ve been bad or good, but he doesn’t know the cookie fell on the floor?”

*

And from the archive:

*

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson went camping. After sharing a good meal and a bottle of wine, they retired to their tent for the night.  At about 3 a.m., Holmes nudged Watson and said, “Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see.”

Watson replied, “I see millions of stars.”

Holmes asked, “And what does that tell you?”

Watson replied, “Astronomically, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Theologically, it tells me that God is great and we are small and insignificant. Horologically, it tells me that it’s about 3 a.m.  Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Holmes?”

Holmes retorted, “It tells me someone stole our tent.”

*

And on a similar theme, this one is from real life.

The Hub: I fancy watching a new series coming on, Pet Detectives.

Spud: Do you know who solves the mysteries?

The Hub [walking straight into it]: No.

Spud: Sherlock Bones.

 

Christmas Decorating

4 Dec

As you can see, I have decorated my blog for Christmas.

Christmas in the post-War United States

Christmas in the post-War United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I changed some colour scheme or other so that bits are red instead of green.  It was an accident: I was looking for a way to remove empty boxes from my dashboard.  I rather like the red; don’t you?

The empty boxes are still there, of course.  I’m rubbish at this technical stuff.

I also changed my header, courtesy of the genius Aquatom, who sent me a choice of four Christmas headers out of the blue.  Thank you, Tom!

I am not going with snow this year and I am not changing the theme.  Blame the economy*.

*It doesn’t cost bloggers anything to change those things but if politicians can blame their laziness to fix things on the economy, then so can I.

 

Now That The Festive Season Is Over…

29 Dec

…I am enjoying the restive season

My middle-aged bones are not what they were.  I could once prepare for Christmas throughout the whole of December, look after a big house and a small family, host as many as twenty-two people for Christmas Dinner and four grandparents for a week, throw in a New Year’s Eve party with guests sleeping in the lounge, bakkie and their own tent in our large garden, manage the cooking, cleaning and washing, and still wear make up and a big smile at the end of it.

Now, five of us for Christmas Dinner and my legs ache, my back creaks, my tired body slept until nine this morning and make up?  Forget it.  The Hub knows what I look like with a naked face.  If he doesn’t like it, he can hobble through the door.

Roll on grandkids, when my sons can start hosting Christmas.

PS That NYE party when guests camped in our garden?  They woke on New Year’s Day to find their tent smothering them.  Our Doberman had chewed through the ropes in the night.

English: Christmas is over 2 It must have been...

English: Christmas is over 2 It must have been some kind of party in Gillingham around New Year’s Eve 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Vivinfrance's Blog

mainly poetry, also quilts, pictures, life-writing and the occasional short story.

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