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"
1 week ago