December dawned bright and early in Mudville, as the not so hushed voices of excited Mudlets speculated as to which sort of Advent calendar would be waiting downstairs and whether or not mummy would have the time to put up the decorations that day, whilst they were at school. It is traditional in our house, for the main body of decorations and streamers to go up on the first of the month but I had made much about finding the time amidst all the other jobs I had to do and so the girls weren’t entirely sure what the house would look like when they got home. For those of you wondering about the tree, we prefer the real kind and so that is usually bought on or around the 12th of the month which seems to be the optimum time to allow for its’ survival up to the 12th night.
Back to the morning though and the relative peace was further disturbed by the incessant barking of a neighbours’ dog, the reverberating boom of which drove the last vestiges of sleep from poor Mud and then the general hullabaloo was increased by the delighted chatter of the girls, as they found Lego Advent calendars waiting for them in the lounge. As with all things Lego, the Advent calendars seem to be regarded as pricey by many people but we find that the contents and playability factor, certainly for our girls, well worth the cost and, as it happens, we had managed to get both Little Mudlets’ Friends Lego Advent and Middle Mudlets’ Starwars Advent at a discounted price. Anyway, we know from last year, that the pieces and mini figures will be played with time and again. It’s also fun to watch the Lego scene develop, as more and more micro sets are revealed, built and placed onto the scenery which is integral to the box itself.
With the girls finally delivered into the care of the school, I set to work. My first priority was to clean and decorate the lounge, as this is where the sleigh lives during December. Those of you who have read my other posts on the Christmas traditions of our home, may well recall that a few years ago, Mud started a tradition which the young Mudlets love. Small, additional gifts are wrapped and put into the little decorative sleigh, with each child receiving a gift for December 1st, Christmas Eve and each weekend between the two. This year that works out at 5 small presents each. So it was essential that the sleigh was in place (with Santa) before the girls arrived home.
It never ceases to amaze me how long it takes to decorate our home. I started at 9 am and finished at 5.30pm which meant that it took me 6.5 hours in total (taking into account around 2 hours of non-decorating time) and that was just to decorate 3 rooms. To be fair, I would have finished an hour earlier had I not had to go buy some selotape from the shop in the next village, as the roll I know we have had disappeared and I couldn’t find it anywhere, despite searching for half an hour. I suspect it’s buried in a Mudlet bedroom, though I have no clue which one.
And so it is that Mudville is looking festive again, with tinsel and lights, Santas and reindeer, streamers and paper chains adorning the lounge, kitchen and dining room. The Lego house that Mud built is sitting on a piece of shimmering silver/white lace, looking for all the world like a heavy frost which, in turn, looks slightly odd against the flowers and vegetables in the Lego garden but who cares? Twinkling LED lights have been placed into the house giving a fabulous impression of Christmas lights from a tree …. possibly even the Lego Christmas tree from last years Friends Lego Calendar which Little Mudlet has supplied for the Lego house lounge.
You know, as I glance around the lounge and peer into the kitchen, I can see all the decorations that Mud and I have accumulated over the last 12 years, all sparkly and glistening and yet it isn’t the tinsel, streamers or glitter festooned ornaments that take my eye, nor is Santa or the gift laden sleigh. No, it’s the simplest of all the decorations, the ones I will cherish for as long as I can, carefully stowing them away at the very top of one of the boxes to prevent them from being crushed ……. they are the bright, colourful and occasionally shimmering strips of paper which the Mudlets made into paper chains last year, that catch my eye, simple in design, yet so effective and so evocative of a simpler, less commercial Christmas, made with such care and displayed with great pride.