The Christmas build-up has started in earnest this weekend. Yesterday was Lily's school Christmas Fair. I organised and ran the craft tables: it's been a bit of a 'second job' these past few weeks what with all the prep work involved but it's been what I would call 'busy-fun'.
Today we had our first official Christmas Engagement: a small pre-christmas gathering for some festive drinks at a friend's house. The abode in question belongs to an old friend of ours, affectionately known as Phil Hair (the name came about as we have three good friends all called Phil and this particular Phil is a hairdresser). But it's not only hair he has a way with. No, come December he turns his flat into the most amazing grotto. This is a man not afraid of multi-coloured tree lights and paper-chains. All of the decorations are vintage; some from as far back as the 40's and 50's. There's a fair amount of ones from the 60's and 70's too; some of which felt so very familiar. It's A Wonderful Life played on the TV and Christmas Tunes provided the background music. You couldn't fail to feel festive.
It's great to have a friend who goes through such effort each year (we're talking 2 - 3 days set up here). The kids loved it: it's far better than a trip to the local 'festive spectacular' in the shopping centre. We practically billed it to them as a 'fun afternoon out', and they weren't disappointed. Being the only children at the gathering wasn't a problem for them. They lapped up the festive ambience along with what they would call a 'good spread'; nibbles in the form of crisps, peanuts, mince pies and chocolate mini rolls. I think we all could have stayed in that snug, comforting, nostalgic environment late into the evening. I left with a warm festive feel-good glow, though feeling a little inadequate in the Christmas decorations department.