Saturday, 12 December 2009


Well, looking after three small children certainly helps to keep your mind off symptom-spotting.

Last night we went through my box of cookie cutters and sorted out all the Christmas ones. We also brought in last year's Christmas tree from the garden and Niece #2 watered it, then walked several times through the water she'd spilt in the process, each time coming to me to get her feet dried.

Meanwhile, Niece #3 was having great fun climbing up and down the stairs. I always knew when she was off, because my dad has a little song he's sung with all his children and grandchildren that goes "Upstairs we go, upstairs we go..." (or "Downstairs...", depending which way you're heading), and every time she headed for the stairs, she started to sing it. She doesn't say many words yet, but the tune was definitely recognisable.

We're going to make biscuits and mince pies this morning, then decorate the (rather manky-looking, now I look at it) Christmas tree and put the crib set out.

Niece #1 was somewhat horrified last night when I brought her downstairs again after I'd put them all to bed. There were carol singers outside, and they knocked at the door, so while DH opened the door I went to see if Niece #1 was still awake. Finding that she was, I brought her downstairs, and to her great bemusement took her to the open front door, where several people were standing in a semicircle singing Christmas carols while another was holding out a big basket of chocolates in her direction.

As I took her back upstairs, I said, "Wasn't that exciting?"

She gave me a rather disapproving look and replied, "I'd better put this chocolate by my bed for the morning. I've already brushed my teeth, you know."

I'm obviously designed to be the fun aunt rather than the sensible mother...


  1. Hahaha I absolutely loved this post ... your nieces sound so fun! I love how Niece #! admonished you post-carol singing. =)

    So what is the deal with your tree? I have heard about using a live tree more than once and this has always interested me, but I wasn't really sure how the logistics work.

  2. The last two Christmases we've bought a tree in a pot, in the hope that we could keep it alive until the following year.

    The first one was completely dead by the end of the summer, but we kept the second one in a different part of the garden and it actually grew quite well until about a month ago. The last month has been so wet and miserable that I don't think anything could have thrived, and although the new growth still looks quite good, the original branches are pretty threadbare.

    There are two ways of buying a tree with roots - one is to dig up one that was grown in the ground and replant it in a pot, and the other is to grow it in the pot in the first place.

    A tree grown in the pot is slightly more expensive, but that's because it's more likely to survive, since in digging up a tree you can damage its roots, and the root system may not fit perfectly in your chosen pot.

    We'll definitely be getting a fresh tree next year - I'm just hoping this one survives till Twelfth Night.