Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Friday 16 December – brief light snow – top of 3°

Great excitement – at 9.00am it was 1° and we had some brief light snow – although by the time it reached the ground it had melted.  So, now we are waiting for longer periods of heavier snow!

Just before lunch, Janet headed off to her farewell from the Piggott School, where she worked until she went on Maternity Leave, and we minded Ella!! We had a wonderful afternoon – gave Ella her lunch, played with her and had lots of cuddles and didn’t get up to too much mischief!

Saturday 17 December – overcast, showers – top of 1°

Adrian had to scrape the ice from the car before we could head off to Janet & Adrian’s friends, Hilary, Andy, Emily and Oliver’s house at Wokingham, for breakfast and to purchase our Christmas tree.  We had a lovely breakfast of hot croissants with various types of jams, juice, tea/coffee.

All nine of us then piled into two cars and headed off to Ashridge Manor Farm to purchase our Christmas tree.  This took some time to choose the perfect tree and as the staff were not too busy, they helped – the criteria was that it had to be approximately as tall as Adrian, not too sparse, reasonably fat and of course, the perfect shape.  Eventually, we found the perfect tree!  It is 200cm tall and is a Nordman Fir Tree. Two of the staff put our tree through a wrapping machine to wrap all the branches together in netting, for easy transport home, on the roof of Hilary and Andy’s car.  Sandy bought some mistletoe to hang over the doorway into the lounge-room.

Andy and Oli carried the tree upstairs and Adrian put it in a special holder that he had ready for the tree, the wrapping was cut off and voila! our tree was standing perfectly in the bay window at Janet and Adrian’s place.  We thought it was so nice that Emily and Oliver came with their parents to help us choose a tree and bring it home.

After the four of them left, we decorated the tree with tinsel and lights and all of Janet and Adrian’s special ornaments that they have been given over the past four Christmases.

At 3.00pm, some of Janet & Adrian’s friends started arriving for our Christmas Tree Party.   This has become a tradition since the first Christmas that Janet and Adrian were in the UK, when Hilary and Andy took them to buy a tree and suggested that they invite their friends to a Christmas Tree Party and ask each of them to bring an ornament. Emily and Oliver came to the party with their parents too and Emily gave Janet and Adrian a lovely arrangement of Holly and Ivy that she had made.

So, we had all the carols happening:

Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas tree…

It’s Christmas time, Mistletoe and Wine…..

The Holly and the Ivy…..

We had a lovely afternoon and evening, catching up with Janet & Adrian’s friends, who we had met on our previous visits.

We took lots of photos (see gallery).

Sunday 18 December – Cool, overcast, hail, sleet – top of 5°

Janet, Adrian and Ella went to church in the morning, but unfortunately we didn’t go as Sandy had a migraine.

In the afternoon, Janet and two of us went shopping for a Christmas turkey and ham – we are almost ready for Christmas!

In the evening, the two of us went to St Mary’s church at Maidenhead for their Carol Service – Janet was singing in the choir.  We enjoyed the carols and stayed to have a hot drink (we could have had mulled wine) and a warm fruit mince pie and a catch up with some of Janet’s friends.

We are getting used to rugging up in our jackets, gloves, scarf etc to go outside but we are still comfortable in light clothing indoors because of the central heating.

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