Are you keeping up?
I’m not, because by rights it should be #31, because so many of WONDERFUL YOU joined in with the Renegade Edition and the Twelve Things review…and you’re SO awesome.
The most delightful, inspiring and completely humbling thing was how (when I realised that I was having a completely shitty week and needed those Ten Things to get me through) I discovered that so, so many of you had already prepared to link up. Not because you were having a bad week, but because you wanted it. You missed it not being there. And you’d taken the spirit of TToT and absorbed it, letting it sink deep into your skin and into your soul until it was almost reflexive to find your Thankfuls and write them up.
You have no idea at all how much that means to me.
Not because I made this happen. Not because of the hop, even, and all the fun and happiness and community it brings – but because when I started this, I had a feeling like I should take my shoes off and be very, very still, because it felt like it was entering into the presence of something Big and Good and Vital.
And because in taking part anyway, even though I’d told you there was a two-week break, it felt kind of like you felt the same way…
Thankfulness is powerful magic.
And magic is what I’m going to go with today.
My first utterly magical moment of Christmas was when I realised that the Downton Abbey Christmas Special was longer than I thought (sumptuous) and that I was DONE freaking out about Christmas. And I relaxed. I even managed to come home (briefly) on Christmas day, and it was alright. I was okay. Huge sighs of relief.
On Boxing Day (what we call the day after Christmas in the UK, or St Stephen’s Day (if I’m channeling Irish Husby)) I had absolutely the most magical time. My bestfriend in the world came over and we packed up Niece and Neff into the car and hit the beach. The sun shone (even a little bit warmly) and the skies were blue and it was all utterly, utterly beautiful. And this happened. A picnic. On the beach. For real.
It was a transcendent time of light and fresh air and other-worldliness as we sat, absolutely content in one another’s company, just all enjoying BEING. Niece and Neff were well behaved (and no-one threw any sand, did they…DID THEY, NEFF!) and we talked about all manner of things under the sun and absorbed the peacefulness of the distant sea as we stuffed ourselves on a simple feast of (mostly) honey and sunflower-seed bread and butter (spread with a store card, as we bought the picnic en route and no-one had a knife) and pate (spread with my bezzie’s bank card, as we didn’t want to cross-contaminate the everything).
Until you’ve sat on a picnic blanket on Boxing Day in the sunshine, with your Person, licking the butter off a plastic store card, you truly haven’t lived.
(or at least, you’ve not lived in my kind of world…)
Christine and her magical ways managed to sneakily arrange me a bona fide ‘Merrrp!’ on the nose.
It was amazing. And I did my best baby-dolphin-grin, partly because Merrrp! and partly because Christine and mostly because it was a beautiful wonderful moment.
Years ago there was a Very Special Shop in the UK, called Woolworths.
It was a chain shop, and contained within it every single thing you could nearly ever want, need or desire for your house. It was where I first discovered that I could buy music on tape or CD and bring it home and play it. It was cheap and cheerful and an absolute British Institution, of the very best kind and highest order.
And one day a few years ago, a day which genuinely had the nation reeling in shock and sorrow, it went bust. And closed. All of it!
Prior to its closing, I’d bought a mug. A bone china one, with Peter Rabbit pictures on it. It was my Special Woolworths Cup Of Tea mug. And I used it daily.
And over Christmas, clumsy being that I am, I dropped it into the dishwasher on top of another cup, and it broke.
Not just a little bit, glue-back-togetherable broke. But BROKE broke.
And I was sad.
So on the morning after Christmas, when Husby gave me the “Silly, little, not really a Christmas present, just a present present” that he’d gotten for me, and it was a brand new, not the same but completely lovely Peter Rabbit China Mug, my heart grew about ten sizes. And I realised just how hugely much I love this man, and how very wonderful he is to me.
And then MORE magic happened a few days later, when I received the most exciting and hugely wonderful parcel in the post.
Put ’em together
And it was from KRISTI
And what have you got?
It contained some of the most absolutely beautiful-wonderful-lovely-meaningful-SUPERSMASHINGGORGEOUS presents. And tiger gloves. So I can be a Tigger PROPERLY, with stripey hands.
|Two sides to every story, and to every Christmas|
|Tiger spirit. And a tiny, very happy Owl|
Bibbidy Bobbidy (Bibbidy Bobbidy)
Dancing the ritual dance and sultrily making my way past my Seven GuardVirgins (they’re all still faintly hungover from New Year) I was able to get to the Secret Rulebook and hereby invoke THE FOURTEENTH, which states, unequivocally, that if it’s five minutes past midnight and I’m late for my own hop, I can finish with a picture and a video. So there.
Happy New Year, my lovelies 🙂
Bibbidy Bobbidy BOO!