It has been a rather busy few days. I went Christmas shopping on Wednesday. That was a fairly good resemblance of hell I think. It was of course pretty busy, and I had been very organised and made a list of everything I needed to get, and when possible what shop I was getting it in. Naturally everything I had planned to get was out of stock and so I then had to search around for alternatives. Then shops I had hoped would have the type of thing I wanted didn't have. And basically it was all quite crap, and I didn't end up getting anything at all that I couldn't have got in a much closer, smaller, less busy town. During the afternoon I had a headache which got worse and worse, and by the time I got home it was really quite agonising, so I had dinner and then ended up going to bed at 8:30. During the night I woke up feeling really ill, all shivery and cold, with a really nasty cold and streaming nose and just feeling crap. Ended up going back to sleep after a couple of hours, woke up in the morning not feeling any better. Got a hot water bottle and took a couple of paracetamol and went back to sleep for an hour, and woke up feeling a little bit better, and so made myself get up because I had lots to do. Went off shopping again - this time to much closer, smaller town, where I managed to find everything I wanted within about half an hour, and then spent another hour and a half pacing the streets in the cold because my mum was at my sister's house, where I am obviously not very welcome. I noticed my sister left me off our Christmas card this year - she really does have it in for me.
Shopping finished, came home, felt ill so had a couple of hours relaxing time and then cracked on with the wrapping. Wrapping is a time consuming affair because I like making presents look pretty. I like using lots of ribbons and bows and curling ribbons, and so trimming a present to make it look pretty takes at least as long as the actual wrapping. And then I decide which ribbons and labels I will be using before I wrap the present, and choose the paper accordingly, so it is all rather time consuming and complicated really! I don't bother when I am wrapping for the children, because they just rip paper off as they are children, and my dad doesn't care what his presents look like, so I don't spend that long wrapping his, although I must admit I find it really difficult to leave a present just with paper and a tag, so he sometimes ends up with a little bit of ribbon because I just can't help myself.... But my mum really loves presents to look pretty, as do I, so we both put lots of effort into wrapping our presents for each other, and so it takes hours. Plus I have to help my dad with his wrapping, because he refuses to touch a ribbon and will use completely inappropriate paper unless I stop him, so I either have to wrap and trim all of his presents for my mum as well as my own, because I think she deserves to have them looking pretty, or I do what I did yesterday and make him wrap them himself but then tell him which paper he has to use for each present and which label he has to use, and then do all the trimmings on them myself. So lots of hours wrapping. I may be ever so slightly obsessive about wrapping.
Today was surprisingly calm. Scarily calm actually for Christmas Eve in our house. Generally that is when most of the wrapping gets done, plus pretty much everything else, but I had finished my wrapping (and my dad's) last night, and my mum only had to wrap about 4 presents for my nephews today, so that didn't take long. And then she made some mince pies and sausage rolls, although not that many, and that was about it. We think we have probably forgotten to do something vital, as it was all far too laid back and relaxed - we have never had such a calm Christmas Eve before! I watched 4 films. Miracle on 34th Street (my favourite Christmas film - I watched the original yesterday and the remake today), then The Queen, then Prince Caspian, then Chocolat. And the fire was alight and the tree looked all pretty and it was nice and cosy. And had a couple of glasses of chapagne which always helps matter. Champagne goes straight to my head. I blame the bubbles, because it is much worse than any other alcohol - I am always pretty lightweight because I don't drink very often, but I feel the effects of Champagne rather quickly. Probably doesn't help that I still have a nasty cold and am therefore slightly lightheaded anyway! I have had a cold and sore throat continuously for a month now - as soon as one starts to go another one comes along and replaces it.
I should go to sleep since it is 2:15am and I have been told I have to get up at 9. Father Christmas has already been. We all came upstairs to bed, and my stocking was empty, and then I went down an hour later and it was full - how's that for proof?! I may have watched Miracle on 34th Street too many times the last couple of days..... I am not feeling too stressed about Christmas - food is always an issue, but I think because it is just me and my parents here tomorrow it is less stressful than it would be ordinarily as it will be pretty quiet. Both brothers and families are coming Boxing Day, so that might be a little chaotic, but neither are coming for the whole day, just the afternoon, so hopefully it will be ok. It is New Year that I am really dreading. I can just about cope with Christmas, despite the food situation, but New Year is hideous.
I hope that everyone has a good Christmas, or at least as stress free as possible. I leave you with a picture of my Christmas Tree......