Four More Sleeps!

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So I may have told a little porkie when I said that there wouldn't be anymore Christmas themed posts before Sunday. I was intending this post to be about my last meeting at Petts Wood Senior Section (which it is), but Christmas is well and truly in the air now so the following content will be quite a bit more festive than originally anticipated.

On the 8th December I received an invitation to the Hogwarts Yule Ball which just happened to be at the hall where we meet for Rangers at the same time as our meeting. I hadn't been for a couple of weeks due to other commitments (one of the reasons that I made the difficult decision to leave), but as far as I was aware the last meeting of term was going to be Disney themed. My spidey-sense told me that they were up to something (who read that in Snape's voice?).

The invitation said that the dress code was Harry Potter themed or ball gowns, but seeing as we'd had Christmas Jumper Day at work, I figured that my Mickey and Minnie Christmas jumper would probably be acceptable. We had a brilliant start to the evening playing pass the parcel and the Rangers were sorted into houses which became the teams for the Harry Potter quiz I had planned. True to form Ravenclaw stormed ahead of Gryffindor and Hufflepuff (we didn't have enough people for four teams so I represented Slytherin). I was surprised yet happy when I got to the end of the first 20 questions and discovered that they wanted to carry on.

At the end of the evening it was time to say goodbye and I went into hyper, squeaky, only-dogs-can-hear-you mode when I was given a Hogwarts mug and a copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I can read it to my heart's content until the film comes out on Blu-ray. I also got Christmas presents from some of the girls: a bottle of wine, TWO boxes of Belgian chocolates and some hand cream. Thoroughly spoilt! 
I've still got all the money bits to finish off start the accounts over the holidays, but it was very weird handing over my set of keys. Petts Wood Senior Section has been a part of my life for over two and a half years and while I know need to leave to concentrate on myself, I am going to miss Moira and the girls so much.
On Saturday morning it was our last Rainbows meeting of the term. Again I haven't been able to come for a few weeks, but I was determined to get to this one and join in the Christmas party that they had planned. The hour was full of parcel the parcel, Chocolate Nativity and musical statues and chairs. We also celebrated the birthday of fellow Leader Mouse (AKA Amy) who turns 18 on Christmas Eve. I love working with the little ones and it's great that I have found a unit that has plenty of helpers so I don't have to commit to every week.

After Rainbows I dashed home to make a Turkey and Cranberry Ring ready for a Christmas meet up with my friends Bev, Claire and Jennifer. I don't claim to be an excellent cook, but I'm quite good at these, mainly because it doesn't matter if it looks messy. Everyone arrived at lunchtime and we enjoyed catching up for the last time this year while looking adoringly through our new workbooks and planners. I'm already looking forward to our first get together of 2017 when hopefully Katie and Louise can join us too.
I received some lovely gifts from my guests. Bev presented me with a bouquet of Chupa Chups which my mum promptly place in a "vase", Claire gave me with a bottle of Prosecco that I think we'll have to crack open on Christmas Eve Eve and Jennifer had brought a jar of homemade apple butter which smells lush. I can't wait to try it with a warm croissant, but I can imagine it being tasty with toast too.

A few weeks ago I found out that Carrie and Giovanna Fletcher were going to be in A Christmas Carol at the Lyceum Theatre. Robert Lindsay was also starring in it and seeing as I know my mum likes him I decided to see if she fancied a Christmas night out. Luckily she was totally up for a bit of festiveness, so on Monday I rushed to Orpington after work so that we could get the train up to London.

It wasn't what I expected at all, but it was absolutely amazing! The London Musical Theatre Orchestra took to the stage to present the classic Christmas tale on the 173rd anniversary of its publication supported by a wonderful cast. There were no costume or scenery changes. The story was brought to life by the incredible actors and the powerful score. I was close to tears by the end. It's a story that we all know, but I saw it in a totally different light.

It's moments like this that I cherish. Mum and I are very similar so if one of us suggests something on the spur of the moment, the other will usually be up for it. After a whirlwind of a year it was lovely to have a night out with her going to something that we both really enjoyed.

Now there are only three working days left and four more sleeps until Christmas Day and for the first time in a long time I feel so excited. This afternoon we are swapping Secret Santa gifts at work as today is the last working day before Christmas for a few people (not me!). The next time you see me on here will be on Christmas Day when I will post the first in my Twelve Days of Christmas series. If you want to get in on the action, be sure to subscribe and join in the festive fun in the comments section. But for now I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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