Christmas on the Quinta this year was very quiet but really nice too.
Christmas for me is always bitter sweet – I love cosy warm feeling of all the lights, the gathering of friends and family, sharing food and gifts and just general fun celebrations, but for me in recent years, by Christmas day I am kind of already done with it.
With shops in the UK stocking Christmas things from summer, millions of parties to rush around to, Christmas shopping, card sending then for us 3 different family dinners to have, usually 3 days in a row, it’s bloody exhausting and sometimes too much for me and also for my boys. That and the commercialism which also since having young children I have dreaded each year as kind and loving family and friends give the kids lots of new things to fill our house with.
This sounds so so ungrateful, which I totally am not, in fact I do enjoy receiving presents and get that false feeling of pleasure when the boys or even I open our presents – but there is only so much stuff you need! Last year we asked for experiences instead of things which worked well – my mum bought us a family holiday to Centre Parcs for Feb last year and we went on a day trip with my sister and her family too.
So anyway when it came to our first Christmas here in Portugal and first one away from The Lakes, EVER, it was very quiet and different, but in a peaceful sort of way.
My mum and her partner were staying near us but we had a quiet few days enjoying each others company on the Quinta, putting a 14ft trampoline up, watching films, playing games and we had our first fully Veggie dinner which was lovely too.
Then on New Years eve we should have gone to a local bonfire party but decided at the last minute the boys were too tired and instead cuddled up in front of the wood burner and watched a film, all 4 of us together. Bliss 🙂
Our winter days were slow back in The Lakes but here they are even slower. We enjoy blue skies most days so wrap up and go outside – pick and nibble oranges, jump on the trampoline, go for a stroll, I do some work in the local library (which is cosy and has lovely helpful people), Garf does some gardening, we drive to the water font to fill up our water bottles, bake nice things, do housework, cuddle up and watch films and it’s just perfect for now. I do miss people at home but I’m also enjoying the special family time we are getting together and the privacy and anonymous life we didn’t get as much living in the hotel in Ambleside.