Midweek Magic – Christmas Inspiring Blogs for You!

Christmas Blogs for You

The festive season always starts for me with the traditional carol service held by my old school in the local parish church.  We old boys and girls gather in a local hostelry before and enjoy some Christmas nibbles and beverages before heading over to join in with Silent Night and listen to the young choir carolling.  There is something magical about the candle lit church and the smell of mulled wine and spice in the air.  With every year it becomes slightly harder to get myself there, slightly less predictable to know if I will be physically able to make it or if fatigue and pain will have laid me out.  I made it last week!  Never mind that the old neck decided to spasm or that by the end of the service my ear was nearly touching my shoulder, forget the howling wind and heavy rain outside the doors, it was time for Christmas to begin.

Christmas lights

 

The blog posts that I have found have actually been sitting on this page for a week now, but other events overtook – some planned, others not so much.  You might have noticed a little political debate surrounding the UK in recent months and a small matter of a General Election, but much more important in this house was the Christmas drinks event that fell on the same date.  Several months back, definitely before the date was stolen for the election, the young engineer and his business partner booked a new bar in Convent Garden for their second Christmas party.  You may recall that the lovely girl did some work experience with her big brother over the summer, but she was shocked to receive an invite to said party……we all received them, a dead give away that they came from the business partner and not the young engineer.  He would not want parents and grandparents arriving and getting carried away with the festivities!  Or so he says….

The family suffered a huge loss on the morning of the 12th December as our old dog took a turn for the worse and had to be taken to the vet for the last time.  He has been my constant companion since chronic illness struck and I am heartbroken…..another post for another day.  A trip to London that evening was not something any of us wanted – it was windy and raining, and Mum and I needed waterproof mascara for other reasons.  The whole country was waiting with baited breath as the election exit polls started to emerge and we were looking for our parking spot in a Covent Garden car park.  The weather was playing havoc with my pain – my back and leg nerve pain was screaming at me and my shoulders felt like something was grating away the bone each time I moved my arms.  Naturally the wine bar was in an old building and the young engineer had booked the basement bar – the barman was convinced that he was going to have to carry this middle aged woman down the stairs, whilst hubby suggested an inflatable slide like they use on aircraft.  But I shut them all up and slowly (I like to think of it being dignified!) I made my way down the stairs as my Dad waited at the bottom to catch me. No, that did not fill me with confidence.

Party pineapple

A good time was had by all and yours truly managed the whole evening without shedding a tear – even when my boy gave me a hug.  Please note – this is a very rare occurrence!!!  The music was loud and sent magnificent vibrations through my titanium spine and spinal cord stimulator – I still can’t decide whether it was a pleasant or horrendous feeling – the food was great and the cocktails were exorbitant (price!).  We met the rest of the Risk Ledger team, which has increased to 8 this year and were amused to hear what our boy is like as a boss.   We, the parents and grandparents, did a good job at being the embarrassing family – we are all quite loud, sociable and will chat to anyone and are very different to the young engineer!  I think that several of his friends/employees were surprised that hubby and I aren’t tech geeks -no he doesn’t get it from us.  It would have been very easy to stay at home for so many reasons, but I am  glad to have pushed through the pain and the grief to have been able to come away a very proud mum – just don’t tell him that I said that!!

Claire & Daniel

My pick of inspiring blogs are all festive themed – some of them full of cheer, others about coping with this time of year as it is not great for us all.  So grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy!

https://ourfavouritejar.home.blog/2019/12/05/a-christmas-extravaganza-at-waddesdon-manor/

https://www.achronicvoice.com/2019/12/06/holiday-checklists/

https://coffeeandfairylights.com/christmas-gift-guide-for-fibro/

https://kimyoung.ca/reduce-your-holiday-stress/

https://www.theblessedmamaof4.com/christmas-paintbrush-ornaments/

https://www.ajourneythroughthefog.co.uk/2018/11/for-many-people-the-festive-season-is-not-a-time-of-celebration/

https://trippingthroughtreacle.com/chronic-illness-christmas-ghosts/

https://managingchronic.com/home-life/2019-holiday-gift-guide-chronic-illness/

https://beinganne.com/2019/12/review-christmas-in-lantern-square-snowfall-in-lantern-square-by-helen-rolfe-hjrolfe-orionbooks-newrelease-romance-series-lanternsquare/

https://anhistorianabouttown.com/history-of-christmas-markets/

Please make a blogger’s day and comment, like and share posts!

Have a great weekend,

Claire x

Monday Magic – Christmas blogs for you!

The tree is up, new lights adorn the outside of the house and the Christmas cards are written.  The young engineer returned home and found glitter and sparkle adorning the house – much to his disgust….Mr Grinch!!  but then he has the cheek to criticise the lights in our hallway – too bright, too harsh – and presented me with a box of soft white lights to use instead.  Not a “I’ll change them for you, Mum” but rather a “put these up – they’ll look nicer”.  Needless to say the lights have not been changed.

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Not my house…..but on our estate

This weekend brought the return of the middle child – the politics student – home from university for Christmas.  An enormous suitcase returned on the coach with him and I have a sneaky feeling that his entire wardrobe is in there ready for the washing machine.  I wonder how quickly the clothes will make their way downstairs and into said washer?  Hopefully before the smell invades the rest of the house!

Hubby and I have worked our strategy for the Christmas shopping – early, local trips that don’t last too long and then home to collapse for the rest of the day.  I think that he will find himself doing more of the wrapping this year!  A couple of achievements have been that we managed my old school carol service last week and a family meal out last night with our kids, the eldest’s other half, mum and dad, and my brother and nephew.

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What is my eldest doing to make his cousin’s face glow like that?!

The preparations for Christmas can be stressful – the food, family dynamics, shopping, expense, parties, having enough hours in the day. If you read my post yesterday – a letter to my chronic illness – you may have some understanding that this stress can be so much worse when paired with health problems, physical and mental.  Amongst the posts this week are several offering suggestions to help cope with stress, to plan and to make checklists.  There is a fab post of creepy Christmas legends, some wonderful magical moments and some lovely Christmas poems.

Christmas blogs pin.png

So grab an eggnog or some mulled wine, sit back and with a week to go enjoy some great Christmas posts.

https://www.navigatingthestorms.com/fun-things/holidays/stressed-out-for-christmas-excited-planning-helps/

https://www.brainlesionandme.com/christmas-analogy-for-spoonies/

https://www.achronicvoice.com/2017/12/17/holiday-checklists-spoonies-supporters/

https://www.awalkandalark.com/merry-christmas-blogging-friends/

https://fancypaperblog.com/2017/12/09/ten-ways-christmas-is-lovelier-than-last-year/

https://safemindspace.home.blog/2018/12/15/creepy-christmas-legends-and-customs/

https://debs-world.com/2018/12/16/my-25-day-countdown-to-a-happy-christmas-2/

https://justmuddlingthroughlife.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/christmas-stresses/

https://susielindau.com/2018/12/13/recapture-the-magic-of-christmas/

https://pamelajessen.com/2018/12/16/seasonal-poetry/

Please like, comment and share!

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic -Inspiring Blogs for You!

How are your Christmas preparations going?  Are you the type of very organised person who has already bought and wrapped the gifts?  Or maybe you are more like our household…..

Vienna pin

 

The lovely girl has just returned from Vienna where she and class mates enjoyed a trip to the Christmas markets and the historic city.  When I asked her if she bought anything the answer was an incredulous”no”…. why on earth would you think to buy any gifts in a Christmas market?  But she did have a fantastic time, returned exhausted and is now full of cold!  Despite now earning money, Christmas shopping will pass the young engineer by completely until I get a panicked call on the 23rd or 24th December asking for ideas for everyone and “also, mum, do you have any wrapping paper?”.  Our politics student isn’t due home until next week and has several pieces of coursework to hand in by the end of term – I believe it is known as pulling all nighters or as lastminute.com!  He has always been the best at organising Christmas shopping but with his current lack of finances……..

Vienna
Vienna taken by the lovely girl

Then are the Christmas cards to write and post.  “Kids do you want some cards to send to friends/customers/family? Maybe you could help me write some” “Mum, why would I want to do that?” “No one sends cards to each other!!” – you get the picture, although they did work out that sending cards to customers on their newspaper rounds could result in Christmas tips.  So we in the PainPals household are not evenly slightly prepared, although hubby and I did purchase some new lights last week and counted the vast number of houses already well adorned on our trip up to London on Saturday night.

 

shallow focus photography of yellow star lanterns
Photo by 嘉淇 徐 on Pexels.com

This trip to Westminster was my big achievement of the week as hubby and I went to see the very talented Katie Melua in concert, supported by the Georgian Gory women’s choir.  Together they made sounds that were almost too pure to be human voices – absolutely stunning!  Yours truly made a new friend in the form of an elderly lady as we found our wheelchairs parked up close and definitely in each other’s personal space.  She couldn’t understand why the choir weren’t singing something more “jolly” for Christmas – I did try to explain that Katie Melua sings a particular type of popular music and the choir back her!  Her ticket had been booked by a well meaning son and she had no idea what she was coming to see, but we had a giggle!

I have been gathering some more Christmas related blog posts for you over the week and hope that you will find something here to enjoy!

http://www.thisautoimmunelife.com/2018/12/05/gingerbread-hot-cocoa-mix/

https://zebrapit.com/2018/12/03/support-spoonie-businesses-this-holiday/

https://rachaelstray.com/christmas-wreath-making-workshop-ad/

https://trippingthroughtreacle.com/tips-for-a-frugal-and-ethical-christmas/

https://brookeclarke.com/fashion/what-to-wear-for-your-christmas-party/

http://caseythecollegeceliac.blogspot.com/2018/12/33-gluten-free-christmas-cookie-recipes-for-holidays.html/

https://invisiblyme.com/2018/12/02/giftguide2018/

https://www.theworldseesnormal.com/the-world-sees-normal/2018/11/24/the-holiday-season/

https://wheelescapades.com/2018/11/25/festivities-and-kindness/

https://christmascountdown.co.uk/4-ultimate-christmas-pudding-recipes/

https://reclaiminghope.blog/2018/11/30/adjusting-expectations-when-things-dont-turn-out-as-you-planned-5-tips/

https://ruralgreystar.com/christmas-gift-ideas/

christmas cookies
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Please comment, like and share posts for these fab bloggers.

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

It is December and many households have begun the month with the opening of Advent calendars.  Gone are the calendars of my childhood where a picture of an angel or a sleigh nestled behind a cardboard door, to be replaced with calendars filled with chocolates, beauty gifts and some even alcoholic delicacies.  For the first time in years I am the only one in the house with a calendar and mine contains pamper gifts, perfect for a chronic spoonie who is in need of a bit of “me time”.  To the embarrassment of the adult kids, I am posting pictures of the lovely little bottles of niceness on Instagram each day!

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! (2)

This week hubby and I had a double cause for excitement on a night out into London.  It was a Christmas/thank you drinks evening hosted by the young IT engineer and his business partner in the 5cc bar situated in the grade II listed Singer sewing machine building in the City, London.  As “the parents” it felt rather surreal!  Our boy turned into a man in front of our eyes as he and his partner spoke with the investors, clients and share holders for their new tech enterprise.  Whilst the young engineer lacks in confidence in his ability to speak with people yet speaks “computer” as a native tongue, his partner compliments him beautifully with a personable, confident, easy manner and effortless, articulate way at speaking with and putting others at ease.  Hopefully their combined ideas, IT acumen and youthful ambition will be a winning combination for a successful venture – just don’t ask me to explain what they are actually doing!!  We were very proud parents – who actually didn’t put a foot in it, at least not too deeply, and were actually described as “cool”.

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Flaming Singer Zombie cocktails bought for hubby and me….by our son!

 

This was our very first venture out on the train with my wheelchair!  We have tended to drive into London since my mobility had decreased and pain increased, but the thought of driving into the City at rush hour and then seeking out a disabled parking bay was not appealing.   We travelled on the Thameslink line, which is a newer line and as such has modern trains with designated accessible carriages, and I appreciate that this makes travelling easier than it might be on older lines.  But I can’t fault the assistance that we were given by rail staff – someone was waiting on the platform with ramps to see me onto the train and he phoned ahead so that another staff member was waiting on the platform for us at our destination.  Our journey was comfortable and relaxed, taking a fraction of the time that driving through rush hour London would have…..we will take the train again!

 

Sticking with our December theme, the blogs that I shall share leading up to Christmas will be as wide a variety of winter festival posts that I can find.  They won’t all be about the joys of the season, as for some it is a difficult time, but I hope to bring you some great reading!  Enjoy.

https://pinkfortitude.com/best-gifts/

https://www.chronicmom.com/2018/11/15-thoughtful-christmas-gifts-for-friends-and-family-with-chronic-illness.html/

https://trend-able.com/holiday-survival/

http://www.sewhistorically.com/old-fashioned-christmas-wreath-from-scratch/  

https://piggybankprinciples.com/cheap-easy-diy-christmas-decorations/  

https://joyfullyunexpected.com/toddler-gift-guide-15-toys-under-15/

http://preppyemptynester.blogspot.com/2018/11/a-sentimental-gift-idea.html

https://www.smallworldspreschool.com/christmas-sensory-activities-for-preschoolers/

https://grammysgrid.com/is-it-ok-for-kids-to-believe-in-santa/

https://www.ajourneythroughthefog.co.uk/2018/11/for-many-people-the-festive-season-is-not-a-time-of-celebration/

http://www.sewhistorically.com/victorian-christmas-gifts-for-the-home/

https://www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au/25-day-countdown-to-happy-christmas/

https://itoldyouiwassick.info/2018/11/23/perfect-gift-chronic-illness-spoonies/

https://awandafulthing.com/2016/11/28/day-1-hershey-kiss-christmas-cookies/

Please share, like and comment on your favourite posts.

Have a great week,

Claire x