Memories of Family Christmasses

Beautiful-Christmas-decorMy earliest Christmas memories involve a white tricycle and a budgie.  I think I was 4!  I’d received the budgie for my 4th birthday from my nan and it was the 1st year for my mum, dad, brother Fred & me in our new flat.  I don’t actually remember much before we moved to the  flat, so it was obviously not the best living  in 2 rooms at my grandmother’s house, where we all shared a bedroom!

My first Christmas memory then,  is the White tricycle & the budgie, Tommy,  sitting on the handlebars on Christmas morning.  I remember being dressed in a new red, winter coat with a white fur collar & a white muff on a string round my neck (It was always a new coat for Christmas :))

Dad carried the tricycle down the 7 flights of stairs and I discovered that I was expected to ride it all the way to nan’s house.  Suffice to say I didn’t! Don’t think I actually rode it much at all 😉

It was a traditional day that was to continue until I reached my teens & had boyfriends.

After we had opened our gifts at home Dad, my brother & I would all don our best clothes and go off to nan’s to exchange presents with other members of the family whilst mum tidied the lounge & prepared dinner.  Dad would then go to the pub (I joined him once I was old enough) but I was usually back off home to mum to help get Christmas lunch ready.

Lunch was always around 2:30 and then it was a lazy afternoon of TV & snacks and of course we always watched The Queen’s Message!

Tea was always at nan’s and always consisted of tinned salmon & ham with salad & was followed by Mince Pies, Christmas Cake & Aunt Rose’s yummy trifle.  Oh and copius cups of tea – no alcohol until the party later when everyone else turned up & the tea-table (a huge billiards table closed up for the purpose) was cleared & dragged by about 5-6 men to the corner of the room to be loaded up with bottles of beer, spirits & glasses.

Once I was a teenager, I had the pleasure of choosing all the music with uncle George and we would spent the weeks leading up to Christmas recording from his 78rpm records onto the reel to reel tape recorder ready for the party on Christmas night.

The adults would go to the pub after tea whilst the children were expected to play nicely, the older teenagers watching over them,  until the adults returned ready to party.

I remember many years of being carried home by my dad until I was old enough to stay awake all evening.

I remember my granddad or rather ‘step’ granddad (known as uncle Tom) drank brown ale, my nan drank whiskey & orange (it’s where I got my liking for whiskey) and my mum drank gin & tonic (hate gin ….yuck yuck yuck!)

They were the good old days, but then I suppose my grandchildren will remember Christmases with their nannies & granddads as ‘the good old days when they are my age (not to be spoken aloud).  But they seem to have a different kind of Christmas each year so there is no tradition building for them to remember.

I just hope they have a happy Christmas, just as I used to with all my family, and that they have some beautiful memories to hang on to.

Happy Christmas everyone.

The Wonder of Christmas

52695_441677179228158_1557653790_oHow do you keep the magic going for your kids at Christmas?

Do they really believe in Santa?

My kids did until about 8 or 9 I think – will have to ask my daughter.  I do know that we tried to keep the magic going for as long as possible.  In fact there was the year we bought a garden slide & got a friend to dress up in a Santa suit & slide down it whilst I woke the kids up and showed them out the window of their bedrooms!  My daughter looked & then went back to sleep and my son panicked saying he mustn’t wake up because Santa would take his toys away!  They believed though 😉

We never used to put labels on their presents because they were from Santa, and the big presents, like bikes, were never wrapped of course!

We would even go so far as to remove labels from other people’s gifts sometimes to make things more authentic on Christmas morning.  Or we would say that nanny & granddad had asked Santa to bring a particular toy and that’s why it said it was from them.

When a child is small, why do people bother putting their name on the present? The child doesn’t really care where the toy came from, just that it’s for them.  Is it for the child or for the parents? “This is for your child from me – look how much I spent on them” is what a label says to me.  It also says ‘I will expect a ‘thank you’ from you on their behalf”.  I don’t expect a ‘thank you’ because when Santa sends a toy to a child, he is thanking them for being good so why should they thank the giver?

Am I being very picky here? Am I a bit too cynical? Why have I just put labels on the gifts I’ve bought for my grandchildren and said: “from nanny & granddad”!?!  Oh I feel like a hypocrite now!

When do kids stop believing? And why do they keep up the pretence when they don’t believe anymore?

Is it because it’s the parents who really want to believe in Santa?  Are we all trying to get back the magic from our childhood?

What do you think?  I know I’d love to, but at my age that’s going to be a bit difficult.  Even more so now that mum & dad are gone, my kids are all grown and left the nest.  I make the most of the magic we can make for my grandkids.  Watching them on Christmas morning gives me such a great feeling.  Who cares about labels? They’re never read anyway!  Might take mine off now 😉

HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE

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Let’s say it’s 6.15pm and you’re going home (alone of course),

…after an unusually hard day on the job. You’re really tired, upset and frustrated. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles (8kms) from the hospital nearest your home. Unfortunately you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy that taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself..!!

NOW HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE..

Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.

However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously.A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest.

A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating.

The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.

Smelly Trainers

To freshen up smelly trainers, Get a fabric softener sheet, you know, the ones you bought to use in a tumble dryer, but keep forgetting to put in. Cut it in half & place into each trainer.  Leave overnight & get up to sweet-smelling trainers 🙂

Guest Post: Aromatherapy Oils – Eucalyptus by Lisa Linton

As the weather changes and colds and coughs set in, this is a handy oil to have in your holistic toolbox.   Eucalyptus oil is the generic name for steam distilled oil from the leaf of the Eucalyptus tree, a genus of the plant family Myrtaceae.  It is native to Australia but is cultivated worldwide.

The oil has antiseptic qualities and is used in pharmaceutical preparations to relieve the symptoms of colds and flu, and is often added to cough sweets, lozenges etc.  The oil has antibacterial effects on pathogenic bacteria in the respiratory tract, and therefore a steam inhalation containing eucalyptus brings effective relief to sufferers of bronchitis, it may also help control mucus hypersecretion and asthma via anti-inflammatory cytokine inhibition, and can help stimulate the immune system by effects on the phagocytic ability of human monocyte derived microphages.  The oil is also often added to personal hygiene products for its antimicrobial properties and can be applied to wounds to prevent infection.  More as a summer than winter use, it can also be used along with citronella as an insect repellent.

Ways to use it

A brilliant way to use it is in an oil burner, to relieve congestion and to help stop the spread of colds.

Cold sufferers may benefit from preparing a steam inhalation with about 5 drops in a facial steamer.  Those who don’t have one could use a big bowl of warm water, with an old fashioned towel over the head to keep the steam in – but be careful not to burn yourself on the water!

It is also a great way to treat arthritic joints, adding 4 drops of it to a blend in a carrier oil, warm the blend slightly in the hands, and rub it into the affected joint, cover with cling film then wrap hot towels over the joint to bring relief.  Other oils you could add to the blend include juniper and lemon.

Warnings and Contraindications – while eucalyptus oil is one of the essential remedies in our household, it isn’t good for everyone in all situations – please note the following:

  1. DILUTE – Something Different Eucalyptus Oil is 100% essential oil and as such is best not used neat on the skin.  We have a selection of carrier oils which can be used to blend the oil, or add 5 drops to water in an oil burner in the room to help ease congestion.  We have a great selection of oil burners for this purpose .
  2. NOT CHILD SAFE – Other than when used in oil burners, (which should be out of a child’s reach anyway!) Eucalyptus oil is unsafe for children.  It should be stored securely out of their reach. When taken by mouth or applied to the skin, it can cause serious breathing problems and even terminal liver failure in high doses. Trace amounts of eucalyptus may be used in aromatherapy products for children over two years of age, but only when prescribed by a qualified aromatherapist – otherwise it should not be used by anyone under twelve.
  3. DON’T USE IN PREGNANCY The majority of essential oils should be avoided in pregnancy, including eucalyptus oil, except when under the care of a qualified aromatherapist.
  4.  SURGERY – Because eucalyptus oil can interfere with blood sugar levels, it may cause an unsafe drop or rise in blood glucose after a surgical procedure. This concern is particularly serious for people who have diabetes. Stop using eucalyptus oil at least two weeks prior to any surgical procedure, including tooth extractions.
  5. SPECIFIC CONDITIONS: Eucalyptus oil is not suitable for people suffering from inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and the bile ducts; or for those with serious liver diseases.

‘Lisa Linton is a Reiki Master, Vibrational Healer and Massage Therapist and is the Marketing Manager for Something Different Wholesale Ltd, http://www.somethingdifferentwholesale.co.uk

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