We made it. Or not, actually. Having given up on a "real' tree and come up with our own home-made interpretations over the last few years, we hovered on the brink of having no tree at all and a very low key Christmas, until, that is, John walked in with a stuggy little specimen from the local market and I relented. Baubles, tinsel, shine - the die was cast. He even managed to repair the large hole in the hearth which appeared after an "uh-oh" from the little fellah as he dislodged a piece of the marble fireplace, precipitating a mini-earthquake in the cellar. It seems the hearth had been kept in place by a stack of 19th century builder's rubble which, bizarrely, included a collection of cockle shells. So the low-key indoor picnic I had planned turned into a full-blown Christmas, including some very last minute cake making and gift wrapping, and a traditional lunch fitted in between visits to the hospital*. Everyone stepped up to the mark on the day and you could hardly see the joins. I got the coloured pencils I asked for, the little one vroom-vroomed his micro scooter around the house, and after much to-ing and fro-ing we finished the day with a glass of whiskey and some first class ginger shortbread.
And now I'm heading for a complete BBC 1 slush-fest in front of the fire. I hope your post Christmas interlude is also suitably indulgent.
* Still in hospital, hopefully a corner turned in spite of delirium and weakness.