Christmas – Finding the Spirit

When I was a teenager I went to the cinema to see Ghost Busters, but the queue was massive so we slipped in to see Gremlins instead. It’s always been a favourite of mine even though it’s more of a Christmas horror movie than one of cheer. I felt incredibly sorry for the young girl who lost her father at Christmas, he’d died in the chimney pretending to be Father Christmas, how tragic! I imagined it would be horrid to lose someone at Christmas time. Yet, Christmas has been the season of loss for me over the years.

My Mum died on Christmas Day nine years ago this year. It was the first Christmas we were going to spend together in five years…then we had the news in November that she had incurable cancer and it would be our last Christmas. She went downhill really quickly and spent Christmas in a hospice. (Not my choice, I wanted to care for her at home, but she was moved without me knowing and it was too cruel to move her back home again.) I was still planning on spending Christmas with her though and I arrived early Christmas morning, but I knew it wasn’t going to be anything like I planned and she looked so poorly I couldn’t even let my girls in the room for more than a moment to say Merry Christmas to her. Then I sat with her while I knew she was slipping away…but she didn’t go until I left the room. I hear this so often, you can sit with your loved one all day and they will go while you are away.

Depressing story, I’m sorry, but it’s something I have to deal with every year.

My brother committed suicide a week later…Happy New Year!

Then a couple of years later we lost a cat in the week between Christmas and New Year. Poor Sunshine got sick so quickly and his lungs collapsed.

Two years ago my Father-in-law had a bad chest infection and I took him to hospital on 29th December and we had to go back on the 30th for a scan. We only made it to the foyer when he had a massive heart attack and didn’t survive. The shock really got to me and even my consultant agrees that it probably contributed to my ending up in hospital on 1st January, suddenly paralysed.

This year we have a beloved cat, Salem, with cancer. We are waiting for that moment when we know it would just be the kindest thing to put him to sleep for the last time.

Like that girl in the Gremlins I think I have every reason to hate Christmas!

But I don’t! I have young children, one who still believes in Father Christmas. And three who are excited and waiting eagerly for next week. I have a load of presents in hiding for them and if I’m honest, I’m just as excited as they are. There is nothing more magical that watching your children open their Christmas presents.

I’m also an incredibly huge fan of Christmas Dinner and all the preparation and cooking, it’s hard work but I love it. I even love sprouts and they taste great raw too, I often eat them while preparing them to boil

I love Christmas television, the corny shows, musicals, pantomimes and Christmas Movies. I love to watch them while chilling with my family, or alone in the afternoon with the heating on and the Christmas tree lights twinkling.

I love Christmas trees and decorations, the more the better! I love going out and seeing trees sparkling in the windows. We have the most amazing outside Christmas tree just down the road and it fills me with joy every time we go past.

I love Christmas songs and carols. This year me and the little man have been learning the word to the Carol of the Bells. ‘Merry merry merry merry Christmas’ We have also been to a lovely outdoor Carol concert.

I love the kids school at Christmas, this year we have two fetes to attend and Christmas concert. The kids have something exciting happening every day this week and the Christmas jumpers are ready for Friday.

I love choosing presents for people. I get jealous of people with huge families to buy for, I love buying and sending presents (not so much the wrapping though.)

I love choosing all the food we wouldn’t normally buy, and alcohol, you have to have a tipple at Christmas. Not being much of a drinker it’s a real treat, especially the Baileys.

I love Christmas parties although we don’t get to go to many these days. I still have fond memories of the parties my Mum and Nan used to hold when I was young. I’d do anything to have those days back.

I think that balances it out doesn’t it?

I still have my sad times, I will light a candle for my Mum on Christmas Day and probably share a little tear over my losses. (Like I have writing this post.) But life goes on and it’s not that bad, and Christmas isn’t going to go away so I’ll put the sadness away and enjoy it like everyone else.

School Runs and Shopping Trolleys
Debs Random Writings


  1. December 18, 2017 / 5:47 pm

    You have every reason to hate Christmas….I am so glad you have found so many reasons to love it! It is such a special time…I love all the planning and preparation and the cooking and eating. hehehe x

  2. clairesaul
    December 18, 2017 / 10:04 pm

    Raisie what a heartfelt post – thank you for sharing your balance of the negatives with the positives on #MMLinky. Have shared this link on PainPals reg feature Monday Magic – this week Inspiring Christmas Blogs for You. Claire x

  3. 999drugs
    December 19, 2017 / 8:16 am

    I'm very sorry for your losses. We all know how hard is to lose those whom we love, but it is life and as you've mentioned it goes on and it's not that bad. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May your life be filled with joy and happiness and may each new day bring you moments to cherish.

  4. December 19, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    thank you Claire, I'll be sure to check out some of the other posts x

  5. rebecca Beesley
    December 19, 2017 / 10:49 pm

    oh Anne – what a lot you've gone through. I hope you really enjoy your special time with your kids this Christmas. xxx

  6. The Daisy Pages
    December 20, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    Oh my goodness, what a heartbreaking story of your losses over Christmas. I'm so very pleased that you're now able to create some happy memories with your children x

  7. December 22, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    Oh Anne, what a brave post! You could absolutely wallow in your grief at this time of year and everyone would understand, but instead, you choose to look for the positives, of which there are many! I hope you have a peaceful Christmas, and look forward to reading more from you in the New Year x #TheMMLinky

  8. soma1773
    December 23, 2017 / 5:15 am

    I am so very sorry for all your losses, Anne. How brave of you to not wallow in the sorrow, but to find joy regardless. Wishing you a peaceful holiday season.

    -Soma xx

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A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.