On Monday I met up with my Mum to go shopping for my Christmas present from Mum and Dad and have now a gorgeous new outfit waiting for Christmas day. The day was great fun, firstly because I got to spend time with my Mum but also because I was starting to feel in the "Christmassy" mood. Looking at lovely Christmas decorations, all the new gifts in shops, the food in the supermarkets, the window displays and much more. Also Mum and Dad have their tree and other decorations up already, as well as a few of our neighbours, so the idea that Christmas is coming was at the forefront of my mind.
Later that night I went to get our shopping in for the week and ended up having a nosy at some of the gift sets they had, which led to me buying a few of the things.... I had picked 4 items then noticed they were all in a 3 for 2 offer and then spotted a couple of things that I like and seeing as I "needed" (this is what Rob would call "Women's logic") two more items to get the 3 for 2, I went ahead an bought them and they've been very useful. I bought a couple of little jars with crushed rock salt and crushed peppercorns, that now sit beside the cooker for use while cooking.
Yesterday was our Luncheon group's Christmas dinner. Lunch is served every other Tuesday for some of the pensioners in our church who also bring friends along too. We usually have about 12-16 but Christmas dinner is a more popular event and yesterday we had 31. I'm not sure if it's more popular than the regular meetings because it's a full Christmas dinner for £5 or because we have had special guests each year in the form of the choir from Donard School (for special needs children). They're a fantastic choir, they all sing with such enthusiasm and get dressed up and create art to display as well, it's a fantastic show! They sang some fantastic Christmas songs and changed some words to give us some new ones e.g. The Twelve Days of Christmas had 6 mince pies, 5 jingle bells, 4 (I've forgotten this one), 3 wise men, 2 sparkling angels and a shoebox wrapped in a bow!
And as a little extra for the kids we had another special guest come and give presents to each of them.
I love this school and these children. Anytime I visit there is such a warm welcome and a great feeling of family. What's also great about Donard is usually I learn a lot more from them than they learn from me and am usually humbled quite a bit.
As Santa arrived yesterday after the children had sung, he stepped in the room and their faces all lit up with excitement, some jumped up and down on the floor, others were screaming with happiness. One boy (in the photo above) ran up to Santa looked at him and wrapped his arms around him giving him a tight hug. After Santa had left I was talking to some of the children and one girl came up to me showing me the little selection pack she had just received from Santa saying, "I really wasn't expecting any of this" and hugged the chocolates. They have such appreciation for even the smallest of things and it's reminded me to be thankful for even the smallest of gifts, the air i breathe, a pillow to rest my head on, a warm coat to wear, food to eat, and much more.
So with the kids singing, Santa visiting and the Christmas dinner I'm feeling very Christmassy now, but not so much that I'm playing Christmas music in the car yet... might just get sick of it if I start too soon. Yet as i look forward to all that will be happening in the celebrations of Christmas that I (and many others) will really appreciate the greatest gift of all and remember the birth of Jesus.