I won’t pretend I wasn’t secretly glad to see the end of 2014. For those who caught up with my recent youtube video (if not, see here…) you will know that I managed to get every bug under the sun over the festive period.
Let me tell you, being sick on Christmas Day certainly sucks all the fun out of it. The only positive I have found is that I didn’t manage to over-eat as I didn’t actually eat!
Despite the many illnesses I was rocking, the kids had a really lovely Christmas. On Christmas Eve we visited the South Lakes Animal Wildlife Park where we got to see some baby Jaguars, feed Santa’s reindeer and wear the kids out completely which was a great bonus. Christmas Day it was nice just being the four of us for the day itself before enjoying time with our families.
We are pretty much back to normal now, with work, school and nursery resuming and last weekend we took down all our decorations and put the house back as it was. I don’t know about you, but I always think the house looks so empty once you’ve removed the festive dressing…spacious, yes, but colder too somehow.
Once we had boxed everything up again, we were left with the simple question of how to dispose of our real Christmas tree. Despite the drama of trying to find a stand which would hold the tree up (James’ idea of a bucket full of sand and stones was a complete disaster) and the kids obsession with redecorating the tree every afternoon leaving me wondering whether there would be any needles left on the thing come Christmas morning, it actually fared rather well.
The obvious choice would have been to leave it out and hope that the Council picked it up when they did the rounds emptying the garden bins, but we’ve never been the kind of family who went in for simple. Instead, we decided to strap our tree to the top of the car and drive 30 minutes or so down to Formby Beach, where the National Trust plant the trees to help stop the sand dunes eroding.
We got some very funny looks when we pulled into Formby car park and couldn’t see another tree in sight. We had almost entered into panic mode with each of us blaming the other for making the whole thing up when we discovered where we needed to leave it. I’m fairly sure Eli is holding on to the tree rather than helping James here.
Once we’d said goodbye to our tree we headed out onto the beach for a bit of fresh air. It was so cold and windy that we didn’t last longer than 20 minutes; but it was that beautiful sort of fresh air which leaves you rosy-cheeked and looking forward to a good afternoon nap.
We timed our visit perfectly as well and got to see the sun setting over the dunes which has to be one of the most magical sights.
Visiting Formby was one of the first things we did when we moved here in January last year and it was nice to be able to revisit and reflect on the year that we’ve had and how things have changed.
Best of all, of course, is that by donating our tree we are helping to preserve the environment which left us all feeling very warm-hearted; even if we had to try and repeatedly persuade Eli that we weren’t going to send the tree out to sea along with all his homemade decorations!