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2. In November I began recording and watching the tv Christmas films. I love that many of them are about the Christmas spirit, family and giving to others.
3. I began my Christmas shopping on the 28th of November. I took a leisurely walk into town and spent the day browsing the shops for items that stood out as being just right for my family and friends. Buying gifts for my loved ones is one of my favourite parts of Christmas.
4. On the second of December a documentary series started on Channel 5 called Homeless at Christmas which I recorded and have watched two episodes so far. The second was about loneliness during the festive season and included; single parents who don't have, or share their children, elderly and young people who have left care (care leavers).
5. The first weekend of December I decided to write Christmas cards. I don't send many, this year I sent them to my family as I knew that we were not going to all be together on Christmas Day. I also asked if they wanted to donate items to the food bank again this year. The message I sent them in my cards went like this;
This Christmas we will have love in our hearts,
and food in our belly.
We will be surrounded by friends and family.
I ask that you spare a thought,
For those who are not as fortunate.
6. On Saturday the 5th of December, my friend and I took his niece out for the day. She is a lovely little girl who is growing up so fast. We took her out for lunch and Frankie and Benny's and then drove to Lavenham Christmas Market. We often take her to Frankie and Benny's because of the children's menu and the activity packs they give out to entertain whilst they wait for their food. At the Christmas market, there were beautiful lights strung along buildings and the scent of mulled wine in the air. The market stalls themselves I found quite disappointing, there was not much of a variety of items on sale to browse and choose from and I didn't feel they were all very Christmassy. In the end we queued up to see Father Christmas, went on a carrousel ride and drove back to mine for hot chocolate, some nibbles and to snuggle up and watch The Grinch. Earlier in the day, before my friend arrived at mine, I posted a little package to the little girl I sponsor through SOS Children's Villages. Once a year I send her a little letter about my year, a Christmas card and a small gift, often a headband or something similar.
7. Saturday the 12th of December I took Nan Christmas shopping and then went out for a meal with my friends, which I talked about here.
8. Sunday the 13th of December was my first shift at the Winter Night Shelter this year. The first shift was vey quiet, not one guest turned up. However, I also volunteered at the afternoon shift yesterday, Boxing Day, and possibly because there were no other services open due to it being the holidays, it was a little busier. The afternoon shift provides drinks and nibbles, yesterday there was a tin of Roses, some cake and cheesy snacks. Usually there is soup and rolls. We spent time talking with the guests and playing games such as Draughts, Scrabble and card games.
9. Saturday the 19th of December I went to the cinema with my Mum to watch Christmas with the Coopers whilst sipping a festive toffee nut latte from Starbucks. I think this film has become one of my favourites, I loved it! I then spent the evening wrapping Christmas presents while watching Love Actually and sipping mulled wine.
11. My last day at work before having some time off over Christmas was Wednesday the 23rd of December. Driving home from my last visit I could finally put work in a box, breathe and begin to relax. Christmas Eve I spent with my Mum and Grandad. Mum was preparing the house for Christmas Day and I was baking some festive cupcakes for my Sister. I was invited to a friends in the evening where we chatted, drank some mulled wine and watch a few films.
I woke up Christmas morning at my house, just me and the cats. I opened the two presents I had waiting, fed the cats with a few added treats and packed my overnight bag. Before heading to my parents, I went to visit an elderly neighbour for a cup of coffee. My neighbour has no family that live nearby and I have called in on Christmas day for the last two or three years as well as other times during the year. I arrived at my parents house about half 11 and sipped a snowball cocktail while I waited for my Sister to return from her boyfriends. We then spent time, taking it in turns to open our gifts. My parents then went to pick up my Nan and we spent the rest of the day sat around the kitchen table eating, talking and playing quiz games.
I decided to sleep at my parents' home so I could wake up there on Boxing Day morning. My sister and her boyfriend came over for brunch, I then got dressed and headed out to do my shift at the Night Shelter. I returned to my parents' afterwards and we sat down to watch one of the films I had bought them before heading home to spend some time with my cats and sleep in my own bed. In case you were wondering I did pop home over the two days so my cats were not left starving, they just didn't se that much of me.
12. Tomorrow my family will get together, this time with my aunts and uncles. We will sit around the table and eat, laugh and enjoy each others company. I will also collect the food that they have kindly collected to donate to the local food bank.
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and I would love to hear all about it