How customs change over the years. When we were children we used to go round the village carol singing. When we had finished singing the carol we would recite the rhyme
'Christmas is coming,
The goose is getting fat.
Please put a penny in the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny then a ha'penny will do
If you haven't got a ha'penny then God Bless You!
Then we would knock on the door in the hope of a coin or two or a sweet each.
These days children don't seem to go round carol singing in small groups any more - sad, but with all the traffic about then perhaps it is as well. Carol singers in our village, if they come at all, would come in a large choir.
Luckily some customs do continue and I love it all. What I do not like is leaving everything to the last minute, so I like to plan the whole thing and tick things off my list - and this I am doing.
Today it was the day for buying my Christmas plants to cheer the house up. We are very lucky here that we have a huge wholesale/retail place where the plants are first class quality. The farmer and I went together this afternoon. It is a lovely journey of around ten miles or so, through pretty countryside. Once there we bought two holly wreaths (for two graves we keep up at Christmas), an azalea plant in full bloom (which is now cheering up my kitchen window sill), two cyclamen in full flower, a poinsettia, and a bowl of deep pink hyacinths just coming into bud.
Driving through our little town there are twinkling lights everywhere. Decorating the house here is a job for Christmas Eve. My next job is to write out my Christmas menus and make sure everything that can be bought in advance is bought and in the freezers.
I love the whole thing about Christmas and shall keep it up as long as I am able, although today's visit to the Physiotherapist has meant that this evening I am finding it difficult to walk after her half hour's work on my ankle and my knee. Hopefully today's suffering will mean tomorrow I shall be skipping like a two year old - well perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration! But it is our last exercise class before Christmas and we are off for afternoon tea afterwards.