Friday, December 4, 2009

The absence of alternatives ...

...clears the mind marvellously
Henry Kissinger

I have been sitting here staring at this empty page now for nearly half an hour (if you don't count diverting myself by popping off to read your blogs!). It's time to write.  After two weeks of plagued children, night and day,  clear mind or not - I need just five minutes alone with no one wanting anything. Beaker thankfully understood this as soon as he walked in from the look of sheer desperation on my face and quickly retired to his apartments for the evening. So far so good for sending all three to school tomorrow with a clean bill of health. Et moi? Just need a good footing along the forest paths alone to recharge the ol'  batteries and I'll be back to my affable self.

In the mean time, Christmas has arrived at La Rivière. Still, it just doesn't feel like Christmas. Is it because I'm taking it slower this year? Less rushing. More simplicity? Being mindful and calmly going about my Christmas shopping online so I can buy handmade as well as making my own? Is it because the Messies have been poorly? Whywhywhy???

I mean, were you to drop by La Rivière, on first observation you would think the opposite! The TREE finally arrived (photos next Monday for the Vintage Christmas party at Joan's) so we have been gleefully decorating the whole house! The kids pumped up the Christmas carols and I have gone hoarse singing 'Wombling Christmas' (Pokemon's fave),  'Santa Baby'  (Libellule's fave) and 'Silent Night' (Chickpea's fave). Don't worry - no need to call child welfare - I supplied all three with earplugs. Having said that, they were singing louder than I! So what's not right? Lemme get my list out. Now let's see...

1. Christmas Tree with that lovely pine needley smell: Check
(Beaker chooses 2.5m tree in accordance with instructions. Ange wops off 30cm of the wonky trunk that makes said tree dangerously lopsided in pot and takes with it two rungs of bottom branches..  Make that a 2.2m tree! Still - No Souci)

2. Joyful decorating and carol singing: Check.

3. Pokemon has eaten nearly all the chocolates from his advent calendar and it's only day 3: Check!
(Only one advent calendar in the house as I have been planning on making a 'très chouette hyper design' one with big pockets now for at least 3 months but never got it finished in time. MiL felt sorry for youngest so he got the Spiderman special from Carrefour! I agree, it's better than nothing - to his mind at least)

4. 6 Christmas carol CDs installed in car: Check

(No I do NOT dress my kids up as angels - the little devils ;-) were enjoying themselves wearing the decorations I was hanging in the hall! Pokemon letting himself be dressed as an angel was a photo opportunity I couldn't miss...)

Christmas time has always been a magical and joyous time for me. I remember it being magical as a child. I'm sure that mine find it magical... That's IT! No other adult around me - apart from in Blogland, is talking about Christmas! The JOY of Christmas doesn't exist yet in the grown up world I live in here... We are talking about Christmas fêtes for school and the corresponding preparations. We are talking about the drag of 'Christmas shopping.' But more people are excited about their ski holiday in February or the New Year's Eve celebrations than the upcoming Christmas ones...

Well TANT PIS! THIS is the FIRST year that I'm getting Christmas in my own house ever since it's actually mattered and I'm going to make the most of it. It will be simple! Yes! But ever so Merry! Christmas music, which you hear very little of around France has become mandatory at la Rivière!   (Note to self: Google the dates for the British Carols by candle light evening, must be soon.) 

The fresh mistletoe is going up over the front door as from tomorrow so gare à vous anybody who crosses the threshold under my sparkly mistletoey lights... ;-) Who's next?

The mulled wine is going on as soon as I find a decent recipe on the internet, or from any of you who would be kind enough to let me benefit from your excellent experiences - Lulu are you there??? (Note to self: Google mulled wine recipe ...)

Tonight at the dinner table Libellule who's 8, mentioned that we must leave some hay and a carrot for the reindeer as well as chocolate bikkies for Père Noël. Pokemon (nearly 6) agreed! Chickpea (10) looked at me with big round eyes, alarmed! Chickpea knows about Santa... "How in Rudolph's name are you going to pull that one off Mum???" I could read in her eyes.  Bit by bit I'm going to let her in the really fun secrets about 'making' Christmas for littlest ones. A bit like the time she helped me write a note in tiny writing FROM the tooth fairy to Libellule when I forgot to place 'the pressie' under her pillow in exchange for the wee tooth...

Hey! I already spent a happy hour on my roof a few weeks ago collecting moss (no rolling stones up there) for my christmas display and crêche so it could be fun climbing back up to leave a whole pile of hay there far enough away from the chimney for it to be safe... Then again - that may be taking Christmas decorating too far. And I had promised myself to keep it simple this year! That is, until the kids pounced upen the boxes of decorations. I even purposefully downscaled my wreath!

Quite clearly, Mr Kissinger, I obviously have no alternative but to sow the Christmas spirit around the French countryside!  Now, if it was just warm enough to leave the car windows down so I could bring some festive music to these sleepy country towns...

Rose hip hip hooray!!!


  1. Hey Ange
    You have so much enthusiasm. Maybe it will rub off on me. I haven't even thought about xmas yet. Perhaps I should get you over here to put some decorations on the roof of my apartment building... a santa sleigh perhaps??? hehe... The moon photos would look great with that in profile!! haha

    So what do you mean Chickpea 'knows' about Santa? I'm not sure Santa wants his little elves to 'know' about him.. hahaha Santa told me himself that he is looking forward to pulling up on your roof and the reindeer are pretty excited about all that hay and carrots and promise not to spit the leftovers down the chimney [atleast not until Santa gets out of it!]

    Have fun xx Julie

  2. Well, thank goodness for blogland if you aren't getting that Christmas feeling where you live!! The mulled wine should also fix that. Your wreath is a winner. Love it!

  3. You're a one-woman Christmas cheer-germ you are! Your wreath is the nicest I've seen. Can you send me some rosehips please! Amanda xx

  4. Ange, you and your family seem to be overflowing with Christmas spirit, I reckon you've got enough going to spread far and wide amongst the less enthusiastic. Love your gorgeous minimalist wreath! Now do be careful climbing around on your roof, that could be a wee tad above and beyond the call of elf duty.

  5. It sounds as though you have the perfect attitude for Christmas and everything's in order, what more can you ask for and sometimes we have to set the tone ourselves to get things moving. ;-) I adore your wreath, it's perfect and if you find that mulled wine recipe please do post it, we don't have it here in the States and I'd love to try it.
    PS. Thanks for the English comment advertisement on my blog, loved my revisit!

  6. Sounds like you have been a busy girl, pleased to hear that everyone is well again.

    Love the wreath, it is fab. As far as the mulled wine is concerned here is a link to a recipe that we use:



    ps I too love Christmas carols and had them turned up loudly in the shop as I was closed when some prospective customers arrived, today I will be better behaved....

  7. Beautiful wreath, I'm going to copy that idea. I'm afraid that I can't remember a specific mulled wine recipe, let me know if you find a good one

  8. What a delight this post has been Ange - the Christmas Grinch went into overdrive last night here & spread his Christmas misery far & wide. So just to get my own back, the Christmas CD's are going on early this year - oh he'll hate that!! You rock girl!
    Millie ^_^

  9. I love Mulled wine it remainds me of our sking hoildays ( he! he!)..Like you I enjoy the whole Christams experience & as a mum its our job to make christmas magical & joyous for our families, so keep up the good work :)
    "merry christmas" & the wreath is beautiful !!!
    ho ! ho ! cate

  10. I'm intrigued by the idea of using moss for the creche display. I'm not feeling overly inspired to decorate the house this year, but if I could work moss into the arrangement...hmmm....

  11. you have moss on your roof? I am so envious

  12. You need to spend more time on your roof maybe nursemyra ;-) I can recommend it as good therapy. You are on top of the world, surrounded, in my case, by greenery. And peace. No one thinks of looking for me up there at all ...
    Mlle heart - try the moss. Set out a plank or piece of card and lay it out in either one big sheet (if you can find it like that) or in lots of little balls as it grows... my kids love using moss to decorate.

  13. love love LOVE your rose hip wreath!!! How festive and simple at the same time~

    I am feeling much the same as you are this holiday season. It isn't quite festive but I am going to throw myself into it this weeks in hopes of really bringing it home now that I have returned from my trip.

    Have a lovely week my friend,

  14. It was a joy to read your blog. You cheered up my day no end. We're like minded in many ways.
    Enjoy the season.
    I'm so looking forward to Petit Papa Noel visiting too.


Can't think of a famous quote that says 'communication makes the world go round' so you 'll just have to get my clumsy way of putting it instead ;-) Your comments are precious. Thanks for dropping by!