Friday, 12 December 2008

Christmas (iii) - Getting into the Christmas Spirit

I have just spent a few days with my daughter. She lives in Stratford upon Avon and it is always a pleasure to go there, mostly because I am able to spend time with my girl and her little girl but also because Stratford is such a lovely place to visit.

However part of the reason for going this time was to finish Christmas shopping and to see my grand-daughter in her first school play - she was a snowflake!

The evening I arrived we went to the school for the "Christmas Fayre". All sorts of things going on and the children having loads of fun, extracting cash out of parents for face painting, transfers, secret Santa presents etc. It was ex SIL's weekend to have little girl and they were already there when we arrived. We spent about 45 minutes with them then left them to it and made our way home, fortunately just around the corner.

The next two days were spent quite leisurely and with no rushing about I got most of my shopping finished. There was plenty of Christmas atmosphere in the town, it is beautifully decorated and the lights are wonderful. There were the usual buskers as well. One, a young lad possibly about 14, was playing a banjo and was very good. We wondered if his mum knew what he was doing and decided that she would guess on Christmas morning!

Another was a one man band and his dog. We spotted them as we were making our way to another part of the town and looked for them on the way back. By then they had gathered quite a crowd. The man was playing Christmas songs and carols and occasionally at the end of a "verse/line" would lean towards the dog who then barked. Then he said "over to you Bessie" and the dog sat up, raised her head and howled a few bars. It was very entertaining.

On Monday morning we went to buy a Christmas tree, set it in place and got the lights on it. When my grand-daughter arrived home from school we put on some Christmas music and all three of us decorated the tree. Lovely.

Tuesday was school play day. My daughter had not been able to get me a ticket as, predictably, they are hard to come by. Disappointing but not a problem - I intended to do some ironing for her while she was gone. I had just switched on the iron when the phone rang. There was room and she was holding my seat! Switched iron off, donned coat and boots and raced along to the school arriving just as the children were filing into the hall. Phew!

They performed "The Little Fir Tree". It was lovely. All the children had a part, the older ones having had to learn a line. One little girl had tears in her eyes and sobbed through hers! I did have a tissue handy (for me). Did I mention that my grand-daughter was a snowflake. She and all the other snowflakes were dressed in white (obviously), the sunbeams were in yellow and the raindrops in blue. It was charming. All the children did well but of course most of my attention was on the reception year and GD in particular. I love to see those little ones, all a bit uncertain as to exactly what is going on and watching one another in order to make the right moves. I was so thrilled to have seen it. The second performance was on Wednesday evening and ex SIL would be going to that one.

For me those few days set the Christmas scene. It is what it is all about. Forget the parties with music so loud you have to shout to be heard. I've done all of that in my youth anyway, without the shouting!

So, now at home, I'm getting back into the preparations. Have to finish decorating the house as DD and GD will be with us, as well as wrapping presents and icing cakes.

In the words of the song "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas"


Maggie May said...

It is lovely when the children are in the school plays, isn't it? I have been to see one of my granddaughters who was in the chorus of stars and on Monday I go to see the youngest who is also in the chorus of stars. So I have two little stats!
If there are not enough tickets to go round, I can always go in and stand at the back as I am a member of staff. Comes in handy sometimes!
I am getting into the Christmas swing now. Have not felt like it until this week!

Fern said...

I would love to have seen those little snowflakes, they sound so cute.
I have visited Stratford but never at Christmas, I bet it's gorgeous.

Pam said...

The play sounded lovely and I'm not surprised you had a tissue handy. It's great that your DD and GD will be with you for Christmas too. I wish I could see my mum Christmas Day but we'll spend a good portion of the day on the phone.
Good luck with the preparations!
Pam X

Ladybird World Mother said...

I absolutely get all of this! So glad you got to see your little grand daughter as a snow flake... how amazing it must be to have your child's child up there... cant wait. But will have to, obviously!
Lovely post. Thank you!

Mean Mom said...

Watching the children's school plays used to be my favourite part of Christmas. I always had to have a tissue handy, too.

We had a good walk around Stratford in the summer, partly along the canal. It's a lovely place, but I would like to do the same walk early one morning, when there are no people around. I couldn't take any photos, because there were too many people!

Winifred said...

Sounds like you've had a lovely time. This is a great time for children.

I'm going to my grand daughter's play "Whoopsy Daisy Angel" next week and like you I'll take the hankies!

One of these days I'll get to Stratford.

That Asda advert "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" is really catchy, my husband and daughter are driving me mad singing it. I used to like that song.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Maggie - enjoy your little stars performances - that will certainly get you into the swing of it all.

A x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Fern - there's something special about the little ones, always cute.

Stratford's Christmas lights are gorgeous.

A x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Pam - I loved it all. Hope your preparations go smoothly as well - sorry you will be missing your mum.

A x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

LWM - it was wonderful sitting next to my daughter and watching her little girl. Thank you for your lovely comment.

A x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Mean Mom - always have loved going to the children's performances - daughter was Mary one year in the nativity!

Stratford is a great place - at the moment undergoing some fairly major work on the theatre and the Bancroft Gardens. Hopefully the gardens at least will be finished in the coming year - it's all a bit of a mess at the moment.

A x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Winifred - I'm sure you will enjoy the play - there are usually some funny moments too aren't there.

I feel the same way about THAT SONG.

A x

Jay said...

Aw ... I used to love the school plays! It must have been emotional watching your little GD in her snowflake role!

I love the story of the busking dog - The Princess will bark to order too, and some of her deaf-blind clients with some residual hearing just LOVE to hear her.

Gill - That British Woman said...

It's always lovely to see the little ones perform.....glad you had a good time,

Gill in Canada

Anonymous said...

Very cool, I love it! Keep blogging!
Welcome to China! Your personal trip advisor for China Tour . Discounted China Flight & China Hotel, Save up to 60%. Visit now! Your Portal to China Travel

Debs said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time, very organized too.

Gill - That British Woman said...

Just to let you know, my bread sauce and stuffing recipes will be posted on Thursday, I have other stuff planned on Monday through Wednesday.....

Gill in Canada

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Jay - I love to see dogs that respond so well to their humans - great aren't they.

Gill - thanks for comment and also for forthcoming recipes.

Binger - thank you.

Debs - So far, so good!

A x