A Christmas Festival

Here we are halfway through the Festive Season once again.  Blink and it’s over.

Last year this time I was still in hospital struggling with my cancer treatment, knowing I would in all likelyhood get through it but nevertheless felt as though my life was at an end and I would never realise my dreams and get to that Bucket list.

I spent a lot of time thinking about life and what my priorities were.  Thinking about those who are important to me and regretting petty squabbles with those I hold dear to my heart.

I still haven’t realised any of my dreams or tackled that Bucket list but that is another topic for discussion.

I no longer hold grudges as life is too short.  It is not worth carrying hurt with you.

I ended my marriage quite a few years ago and I remember the first Christmas after.  Sad I was not with my Children, but I had made a decision which I have no regrets about.  I didn’t want to put my Children in a position where they would have to chose one parent over the other or them feeling guilty about not being with the other parent.  It was not a choice I wanted them to make.  So I stepped back and gladly let their Dad have Christmas.

The reality is that we do not need “Christmas” in order to have a good time with our children.  I still do Christmas with my Children but just not on the 25th December and we usually try to celebrate “MY” Christmas on the 5th December which is when the Dutch celebrate theirs.  My boyfriend is Dutch and it was one way of bringing our two families and traditions together in my new life too.

There are many broken families out there where only one parent shares in the joy of this festive season.  And many single parents are left at home alone, heart broken.

I am blessed to have very dear friends who I now spend Christmas with and consider them all part of my extended family.  We celebrate with many different family traditions, great food, great wine and great conversation.

Each year I get to have my own Christmas Festival starting with Christmas with my Children in early December and culminating with Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner with very close friends whose friendship I value most.

From someone who is truly blessed, I wish you all a Blessed Christmas too and hope all your dreams and wishes are realised in the coming year.

Merry Christmas all!

Image result for christmas dinner

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History in the making – The Death of an Icon

This last week has been full of so many memorable occasions, some good and some bad.

The week started off with my sons Valedictory service on Monday night.  And his subsequent guest status at the launch of the Official Nelson Mandela Opus on Tuesday. (Read my 2 previous posts)

Wednesday saw the end of our school year (yippee – no more school run for 6 weeks and I get to sleep past 4am)

Thursday – well let me start my story off from here……

Thursday was memorable for more than one thing and has certainly been a memorable one for people all over the world.

We had our staff End-Of-Year lunch function on Thursday afternoon at a place called Gilroys out near Muldersdrift.  We each had to bring a R50 (about $5) gender neutral gift.  So after ordering our first round of drinks, we assembled all the gifts on a table.  Each person had to pick a gift from the table and open it.  If you didn’t like your gift, you could swop it with anyone else’s gift within 30 seconds.  So this provided quite a bit of entertainment.  Some of the more popular gifts were:

The most popular gift which was swopped out many a time

Another popular gift – emergency kit consisting of clown nose, bowtie and hanky

And a notepad that provided hours of entertainment

Once the gifts were all opened, we had to move to another table under cover as it looked like it was going to rain.  Someone then started off a game – It had to do with the notebook above.   A basic picture was drawn and the notepad was passed around and we each had to add to it.  This provided loads of giggles all round and was a load of fun.

The before picture

The after picture

Then it started to rain – hard!.  There was another group of people sitting near us under cover – they were obviously also having their end of year function and their group were all still arriving.  There was a little bit of a walk from the carpark to the venue so they were all rather soaked by the time they got to their tables.  Of course by now we were in a rather festive spirit and decided to have a “Wet T-shirt shirt/blouse competition”.  We quickly drew up some numbers on the back of the menu’s that were left laying around and we started scoring their guests as they arrived.

Scoring at it’s best!

After this, it was time for a late lunch which was awesome.  There is nothing better than a pub lunch.  By this time the other group sitting behind us had had rather far too much too drink and were very rowdy so we asked to be moved to another area.

The rest of the afternoon was spent just having good fun and being entertained with a few jokes by our host (Owner of the bar who looks just like Father Christmas).

Most of our group left late afternoon and a few of use were left lingering over some coffee and chatting for a few hours.  It was a very pleasant afternoon.

I eventually got home around 7.30pm in the evening.  Little did I know the day would offer more surprises.

I spent the rest of the evening relaxing and chatting to a few friends via social media.  Eventually to bed.  I had just dozed off when my phone went DING.   It was late – just gone midnight and I thought it strange that someone was messaging me at this time of night.

So curiosity got the better of me and I had a look at who it was.  It was Son no 3 who was currently staying over at a friends house.  The message read was as follows:

And this is how I found out that the Father of our Nation, Nelson Mandela had died.  It came as a huge shock.  My son was upset – his icon had died and he had not had the opportunity to meet him as yet.

I quickly nudged dead hubby who had been fast asleep for ages.  He woke with a fright and was very shocked by the news.  Hubby is the COO of the stadium where the memorial service is to be held at so he spent the rest of the night on the phone with various people putting plans into action.

I don’t think anyone got much sleep on Thursday night.  We all knew this moment would arrive and we were all prepared, but little did we know it would come as a shock regardless.

Lanthie Ransom

Absent Family and Friends

Christmas is a joyous time and brings so many families and friends together one way or another. Filled with joy and laughter and the screams of young children running around playing. 


But sometimes due to circumstances beyond our control, we are not able to be with those we love and cherish and this post is dedicated to all those families and friends who are not able to share in this joyous occasion together.
My second eldest son was not able to join us this year for a second year in a row. He lives in Dubai and he was not able to get away from work to spend the time with us and as much as we wanted to, it was not possible for us to join him in Dubai either.
It goes unsaid that I love all my children with all my heart. It pains me to not have all my sons with me during this time. I accept that we will not all be able to be together in years to come and they will all make new lives with their own families and friends one day. 
I usually find myself taking loads of pictures over Christmas for my photo album – filled with memories of times gone by. I couldn’t take any pictures this year. Somehow it was admitting that I would be making memories without my son – not something I want to do willingly. So it is hard, really hard to enjoy the season and even harder to explain this.   I am a sensible woman and I know I am being silly and stupid, yet it makes perfect sense to me. It is like a puzzle with a missing piece or a jersey with an extra arm.  My life is just not complete.   I also know I am not alone and there are so many of you who have friends or family who could not be with you during this season either.
Unlike so many other people, I have so much to be grateful for.  I am surrounded by people I love and that love me and for that I am truly thankful.
The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family. 
By Tomas Jefferson