Just a few hours left now.
I’ve learnt a lot this extraordinary, snowbound hell of a Christmas. I’ve learnt, for example, that it is possible to go Christmas shopping without a car. Yesterday Mrs Tin, Tinson1 and I headed off to Tesco armed with nothing more than a lot of Bag-for-Life bags and a grim determination, and arrived home with everything we need.
I’ve learnt that the backpack that I take to work every morning is the perfect size for fitting a turkey into. I’ve also learnt that a turkey in your backpack is a lot heavier that you’d expect.
I’ve learnt that a lot of the things we used to think we need we don’t actually need (sad story, here. Tingirl and I discussed how we could happily live without sprouts, and I said ” and also those chip-shaped things on your plate that you think are going to be chips but disappointingly turn out to be some sort of parsnip yoke”, and Tingirl said “ugh, yes, I know exactly what you mean”, and Mrs Tin sadly said “well, this is all news to me”, so I hope she realises that everything else she cooks is gorgeous).
I’ve learnt that there’s a lot less pressure when the weather is shite, that you can just say to the kids “sorry, we didn’t get to buy so-and-so”. knowing that they’ll understand.
I’ve learnt just five minutes ago that no matter how great the boots you buy and no matter how careful you are it is still possible to land violently on your back when walking down a hill.
And I’ve been reminded that traditions built with your children will never die out, no matter how old they get. Tinson1 and I went to the pub this morning, as we have done every year since he was eight, to wrap presents from him to his mum and his younger brother and sister. We will leave out a can of Guinness, a mince pie and a carrot by the chimney tonight, though the kids know full well that it is me who has to get through them all. And we will all gather in Tingirl’s room just before they all go to bed, and I will read “The Night Before Christmas”, and we will all chant the last line “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night”, just as we have don every year since we became a family instead of just a couple.
For all those reasons, today is my Christmas. Tomorrow is just a day of eating and drinking, but today is a day in which I have built traditions and memories that I hope they will never forget.
And to you, all my dear blogging friends, I offer you this. I sometimes look up a website called amazingjokes.com, and occasionally they don’t tell a joke, they do stuff like reporting silliest answers ever given on an insurance form or something like that. Months ago they printed a list of answers given by small children when asked what love is. My very favourite was by a 4-year old girl called Tracy who said “love is what makes you smile when you’re tired” (and I’ve kept that in my head so many times over the last few months), but the reason I mention it now is because some 7-year old called Bobby (may he live in happiness forever), said:
“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”
Have a lovely day tomorrow, all my friends.
Lots of love