Christmas Open House 2015
Ella and I make no apologies for repeating here a brief excerpt from what we wrote 12 months ago - "
Since Alice and Nicola arrived to bless our lives Christmas has been more special than it used to be. In the pre-children era that, BTW, seems like a lifetime ago, Christmas meant meeting up with other parentless friends rather than any type of family celebration.
Of course for many of our best friends Christmas still seems quite bleak. When you haven't got much spare money or any birth family Christmas can feel rather pointless. It becomes quite easy to slip into the role of an outsider looking with ill-concealed envy at other people having fun. For some the safe familiarity of a small council flat can replace looking for human interaction and for others working extra shifts can seem preferable to a chicken leg eaten on your own."
Which is why Ella and I always make the effort to have an Open House for our friends.
The arrangements for 2015 differed slightly from those of previous years. For the Christmas Lunch (1:15PM) we arranged for pre-ordered food to be delivered from a Chinese Take-Away. This greatly reduced the amount of work that Eve and I had to do and gave us the opportunity to socialise with our guests rather than slave away in the kitchen. Tea (at 6:30PM) was less formal and relied on guests remembering to provide what they had already agreed to bring.
We also didn't need to bother with the mini-bus service we had provided in previous years. Better co-ordination between our different groups of friends meant that the only places we needed to pick-up from on Friday and deliver people back to on Saturday were 3 sites on the Church Stretton, Ludlow, Cleobury Mortimer loop. This was done by our husbands Chris and Mark in 2 cars. They are total saints to do this!
Providing over-night accommodation for those that wanted it didn't work quite as well as perhaps it could have and what went right and wrong will need to be thought through. I think if people book accommodation - especially free accommodation - then they need to stick to the host and hostesses "house rules" about drinking, smoking and excessive noise.
Almost all the usual suspects were there but we also had a few "first time for a while" or "first time ever" attendees which was lovely!
There were a few people missing - Zulu, currently overseas working at the Head Office of the UK subsidiary that employs him. Mad Lad also currently working away from home (in Staines) and Peter From Upstairs who hasn't been heard from for a while and has perhaps moved away from Children's Home Ville?