It started with the pompoms. Even with all the shopping and planning that goes into Christmas, I’m a sucker for “creating Christmas magic”. I blame those blogs that make everything; house, kids, bookshelves and decorations look so darn pretty and cool. So, when I spotted this little tutorial on pom-pom garlands, I thought wow, something I could actually pull off. I remembered making pompoms in school, with rings of cardboard cut from a cereal box and, unlike any of my other knitting or sewing projects, they turned out quite nice.
So, on the first of December I told the kids that yes, they were allowed discuss what they were putting in their Santa letters, that Christmas was no longer a forbidden topic of conversation and headed to a wool shop to get the makings of a pom pom garland.
I don’t know, maybe I should have driven, because when I got to the shop I was tired and irritable. When the shop assistant noticed my bike helmet, she moved from her current customer, to whom she was droning on about the gloomy weather to me, and segued straight into rain, cycling in it and taking your life into your hands, all the while knitting, I wanted to scream.
Anyway, I made it home alive, and we started raveling wool. My plan was to produce plump, roundy, fluffy snowdrops and ended up with a smaller, stringy variety, but that was OK, they bore the stamp of homemade, which was the look I was going for anyway. I dug out my Tesco gold chains and draped them along the picture rails, dotting the display with pompoms. It didn't look remotely like the tutorial, but do they ever? They looked fine and it was time to put the kettle on.
Then my husband came in, had a look and said, “You didn’t use sellotape did you? Cos that’ll take the paint off.”
So down they came, (as you can imagine, there was a “magical” atmosphere in the sitting room, what a lovely memory for the children!)to be re-hung with masking tape, where they stayed for a day before coming unstuck and dropping to the floor, snowdrop by snowdrop, chain by chain.
Anyway, trying again, at bedtime I told the kids there was a magical treat in store. I had purchased a CD of Dylan Thomas reading his poem A Child's Christmas in Wales.
Turning off the bedside lights, I told them to snuggle down and listen and stuck the CD into the player. It was immediately obvious that Dylan Thomas’ voice was not what they are used to and a nervous little boy said “Is this a ghost story?”
I lay beside him and promised that I would turn it off if the feeling of terror didn't go away, and he began, I think, to enjoy it. The response from his brothers was mixed;
“I liked that, it was really Christmassy.”
“Is it over? My leg is sore.”
(For the record, I LOVED it and would highly recommend it to anyone. It was really beautiful, just maybe better for the over tens.)
Turning off the Christmas lights on their window sill, I let them go to sleep. I had offered to leave these lights on and turn them off later, (creating Christmas magic!) but was told gently that it would probably be safer not to. The lights might over heat, they said, all nodding sensibly in their pyjamas, or keep us awake. So I said goodnight to my three little wise men, and their not quite so wise baby brother, and went downstairs. Having them safe in their beds was magic enough.