Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Knit and Natter Friday.

I am rather ashamed of myself. There was hardly any knitting left to do on the black/white cardigan for Toddler J but I have only just done it and it still needs sewing up and buttons adding. I think I was  somewhat reluctant to do it because I don’t like the yarn, which is an important lesson for me. I bought the yarn, a whole pack of 10 balls, because it was being sold off at a bargain price. I wonder why!! Note to self , do not buy whole packs of bargain yarn and don’t start a project with yarn you don’t like. There are four balls left, enough for another jumper, but I have packed it up and it shall go to a charity shop this weekend.

There has been some other knitting but that it for sharing tomorrow on Scrap Happy Day.

Christmas preparations are well in hand, cards have been written and posted. Mr M&S delivery person has delivered the hampers I choose for the family for Christmas presents this year. Which leads me on nicely to a conversation I had with Mr Humbug E this week. It goes something like this.

Me “I love getting ready for Christmas”.

Mr Humbug E ” It’s all commercialism and the shops are full of c**p”.

Me ” So how does that affect us getting ready for Christmas?”

Long story short we talked about what we liked about Christmas when we were children.

Mr Humbug” Christmas was ok till the boys wanted plimsolls for £100!”

Short altercation while I reminded him of the stories he told about the Christmases he had as a child , which included Mr Humbug Senior choosing Christmas Eve to varnish their cork floor.

My Mum bless her worked herself into the ground for Christmas, homemade everything to eat, homemade decorations, homemade Christmas stockings for goodness sake, made each year from wrapping paper. I guess I carried on with the homemade everything for our children.

So then we started to think about what we had really enjoyed the most about Christmas and it boiled down to

Christmas Carols.

Board Games with the whole family.

Fruit and Nuts to nibble.

Christmas stockings.

A winter walk.

Simples to quote a meerkat. It was then but a short leap to deciding to make Christmas stocking up for each other. I had a rummage through the cupboards and came up with two of the three stockings I had made for our sons. I think I gave Mr J his for Master Harry years ago.

Now undoubtably  they have seen better days but they are 30+ years old, but they are still stockings. So my only problem is what to fill one of them with for Mr Humbug, apart  from the obvious.

Board Games we have, carols we can listen too or I could sing ( maybe not). Walk and nibbles easy peasy.

I expect he will still moan but it should be fun. Not the moaning, that’s just tedious, the stocking etc.

So I wonder what aspect of Christmas did you enjoy the most as a child? And what would you put in a stocking for a Mr Humbug type of person?

I’ll be back tomorrow to show what I have been knitting …..

Be Happy,




Comments on: "Knit and Natter Friday." (42)

  1. LOL. But Mr Humbug is right, there is too much commercialism. I’m reading your posts backwards (I think I must have Chinese genes 😉 ) and it’s interesting to see the origins of your stockings 🙂

  2. First for Mr. E Humbug….how about a little flashlight, a silver coin, a candy bar, a pair of Christmas socks, maybe some new aftershave? Our Christmas is low on presents, and high on togetherness and music. 🙂

  3. deemallon said:

    I’m like rainbow junkie — love decorating the tree. The more colors and ornaments the better. Since I had kids, Ive make a huge variety of cookies every year and host Christmas Eve dinner. This year the boys will be home and that’s the main treat. Fewer cookies. Still an eight foot tall tree (maybe the last year for that size?) I often make mice out of felt but don’t seem inclined to do that year. As a kid I loved decorating sugar cookies with different color icing. My mother was an art teacher and let us use paint brushes for the task!

  4. One of the things I’ve always enjoyed is hanging the decorations on the tree. Putting the tree away mind you is quite another matter these days!! Never one for a colour coordinated tree. Lots of brightly coloured decorations with memories that’s what I like. Not sure re Mr E. Pad and pencil? I normally gave my children a colouring book or pad and pencil.

  5. Sorry but am feeling a bit brain dead after this new hard drive gave up the ghost last weekend, and our local wifi provider decided to take today off. So everything was off. ACK. 🤨 You did a lovely about face with Mr. Humbug, talking about childhood memories. Just now am coming up empty meself!

  6. The family, that’s the most important part! We loved hearing stories from my Dad and Uncle where they only got a sweatshirt, an orange and tinkertoys for Christmas. But one year they got a wagon and there just happened to be two wagons in the box! It was a Christmas Miracle. LOL

    • Lovely stories from your Dad and Uncle. One of the treats at Christmas actually happened after the Christmas festivities. My brother was allowed to have his train set in the lounge. It occupied a large green board and so took up a lot of space. We both enjoyed playing with it.

  7. As a child I loved the build up to Christmas with the Advent wreath, Advent candles, making presents, baking the Christmas cake…over the last 12 months my OH and I have decided to have weekends away in lieu of presents, we’re not big spenders at Christmas and if there’s something we want we tend to buy it, this way we’re making memories instead.

  8. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    I love the Christmas socks and i am sure you will find something appropriate to put in them. I am also impressed you are so organised
    Cards are made but not written yet!! Hopefully this weekend i will make a start.

  9. I loved reading all the comments as well as your post Cathy – it seems like the humguggers and retired celebrants are tied. 🙂 I’m having an ‘on’ Christmas, it happens every other year, and have been working towards it since July – which is my mid winter . Everything with a few minor exceptions, is hand made. I totally ignore the shops and commercialisation of Christmas and retreat into my own little world that I created when my kids were little and which they now love to continue. As it’s (supposed) to be mid summer here we plan walks on the beach and simple meals with good wine and fizzy water and lots of carol singing about letting it snow and jingling bells etc. Mostly we treasure having ten whole days to be together and play in my work room, laugh, talk, walk and let the world go by.

  10. I love that you turned a testy interaction about the holidays into meaningful discussion of what you really liked about Christmas as children. I think I may try that with my small family. We’re all adults and, frankly, kind of over Christmas. We all have adequate money so we buy what we want and don’t need a thing, so gift giving makes little sense. But we do get together and enjoy that very much. I like the idea of a long walk, if the weather in New York allows it. I like baking Christmas cookies. And I did like Christmas stockings–maybe my crowd should re-institute that tradition. I wish I knew Mr. Humbug so I could guess what he’d like in his stocking–maybe a Swiss Army knife with all kinds of weird gizmos?

    • I think you know Mr Humbug very well indeed- he has two swiss army knives which he adores and looses regularly, I could do with a homing device on them.

      We went out shopping this morning as we had some errands which needed doing, including button buying. Anyway Mr Humbug came home saying how much he had enjoyed looking and choosing things for a stocking. Well knock me down with a feather!

  11. We are the opposite here. Mr T is all giddy for the holidays, but not the traffic! And I just wait till it blows over. (it gets longer every year with Christmas in July) We have a tiny tree for our Group Home gal in her room. And this year we bought her a new stocking to fill.
    But the rest of us don’t have funds for big celebrations of any kind.
    My first 4 kids were spoiled, and then 21 kids later, (11 still at home, 3 in Heaven) we use every $ for necessities. I have a time crunch (more as each year I age) so we purchase a few ready made food treats from the stores to celebrate with.
    Our group home gal goes home to elderly siblings who spoil her! (she’s 63)
    Its quiet here with our little family that no one invites or dares visit due to their disabilities. Sad really, their loss! We sing a lot of Carols and Hymns! Board games are a must- except for that one person who tends to always win- LOL! Now its my 14 yr old son.

    Oh my didn’t mean to go on and on!

    As for yarn- even when I make my donated scarves, I can not crochet any with yarn I dislike!! After turning 60 that “someday” pile of iffy yarn was donated! My one requirement from here on is only use yarn colors I love. (unless its a gift/request, but they will have to wait longer for it :o) Oh my I’m fussy now! LOL! One daughter waited 2 years for nursery curtains because I hated the fabric she chose! Didn’t help it was 2 fabric panels plus 2 fabrics I did not like. LOL! No there was no baby yet. And it was done in the nick of time!

    • I am sure that your family appreciates everything you do do, after all they are loved and cared for, a few edible treats, games and singing and time spent together is what really counts.

  12. I can only suggest some fairly regular visitors to my own childhood Christmas stockings: a tangerine, a mouth organ, a mini Mars Bar, a book, a pair of hand-knitted mittens, a packet of barley sugars, 3 new hankies and a pocket draughts set. The mouth organ was memorable, but a one-off due to the appalling noise I made with it…

    • I shall give the mouth organ a miss I think! Hankies, yes I used to have them in my stocking and Mr E does use hankies, good idea. He has already asked for a tangerine. A pocket draughts set would be good too . Especially as draughts is the one game I usually can win.

  13. Oh yippee it’s Friday and Knit and Natter over at Cathy’s place!
    I chuckled so much reading this post. Having met Mr E I can clearly imagine your conversation – it reminds me of the ‘Black Friday’ convo i had with him! I think “c**p” featured in that one as well!
    Such a good idea to fine tune what is really important to both of you.

    As you know – nowadays I fall into the Humbug category so I’m right there with Mr E.
    When my kids were little I made EVERYTHING too.
    My children still have their homemade stockings that they use for their children.
    I even grew helichrisum and chinese lanterns to dry and make Christmas tree decorations. I handmade my own Christmas cards for 15 years. We collected and painted pine cones, we made snow scenes out of washing powder in scallop shells, we made our own ‘tree’ out of branches gathered on woodland walks.
    I cooked and hosted elaborate meals and parties all over the festive period. I wrapped presents in extraordinary ways eg. a football was made into Saturn for one of the boys. Wine bottles were turned into people in dinner jackets and ballgowns. I went for it big time!
    Then divorce happened – I struggled on for a few years to keep up the ‘fun’, but the bubble had burst for me and now I do very little and it feels good to have stepped out of the arena.
    I have been there – I did love it, it was stressful and exhausting but I’m glad i did it.
    And now it works for me to only enter the fray every other year – this year is my year off and I am hoping for a week of peaceful solitude walking, art, craft and crochet.

    Now, Mr. E’s stocking fillers would have to include a gadget or two – humbugs of course – and something else yummy to eat and drink oooh and maybe some compost accelerator! 😉

    • I’m exhausted just reading this Daffodil – I’ve got to have a little lie down now.

    • We were good Mum’s weren’t we? I even made my own Christmas crackers one year, with gifts to suit each person and tailored made jokes! I was never much good at wrapping presents, but I did make the gift tags from last years cards.
      Compost accelerator is a good idea, I like that a lot. Gadgets, he loves them and I dislike them intensely, I shall try to rise to the challenge of finding a good one.

  14. Cathy I like your modest list of requirements to make Christmas happy but mine might be somewhat different.
    Christmas Carols in this house – courtesy of youngest daughter – are by Slade, Wizard and Wham, followed by Mr. Tialys moaning about crap Christmas songs.
    Board Games are a recipe for disaster as both daughters and Mr. T. are fiercely competitive and it always ends in an argument.
    ‘Fruit and nuts to nibble’ – what? – where are the bumper tins of Quality Street and the Terrys chocolate orange?
    Christmas stockings – I’ll concede that one.
    Winter Walk – I had one with the dogs this morning – as I do every morning – and I’m soaking wet and so are the dogs.

    Do I sound like Mrs. Humbug?

    My biggest wish for Christmas this year is that Mr. Tialys and Mlle Tialys the Elder are able to make it home in the face of rail strikes (U.K. and France) Air Traffic Controllers (French, who else?), Yellow Vest disruptions (France) and whatever else they like to throw at people who are trying to get home to spend time with their families which, of course, is the very best thing of all.

    Anyway, apart from wanting Mr. T. home for his company, I’m running out of cut logs for the log burner and I’m scared of the chainsaw and the Christmas tree is still netted out on the terrace and it’s a big one so I’m not sure I can manage to bring it in and install it on my own – plus it’s soaking wet.

    p.s. I love your vintage stockings 🙂

    • Hmmm, sounds like M. Tialys might be wise to stay where he is: that’s quite a list of jobs 😉 I dearly love a bit of chainsaw action myself, and if I were a little closer I’d lend a hand.

    • I gave up real trees when the getting and putting it up became yet another chore for me. Now Mr E has to go in the attic and fetch it down. I still have the decorating to do, but I like that, and tradition is that c**p Christmas songs have to play so I can jig around to them.
      I gave up Terry’s chocolate oranges when they closed the factory in York and made them in Denmark or wherever they make them. I am a one woman protestor. Quality Street , oh yes., but we didn’t have those as children. Chocolate coins and a chocolate Santa in a stocking Yes. I have already been told that Mr E prefers a bar of Lidl’s cheapest milk chocolate. Huey!
      I sincerely hope Mr T and the rest of the family make it home for Christmas, I used to have the same concerns when Mr W worked in Germany/ Belgium/ Norway/ Holland… not nice for families.

  15. lol I can totally understand Mr Humbug E. Christmas, these days, IS way too commercialised, and shops start way too early every year, so by the time 25th comes around we’re fed up to our back teeth with all the advertising. Saying that . . . I do like xmas for the excuse to handcraft pressies and, since we don’t celebrate birthdays, it’s really the one time in the year when we treat everyone.
    The Husband loves all the food preparation, and is already working out the menu which is just as well, since I hate the food side of xmas.
    If I was filling a stocking for the Husband, I’d probably head to the DIY shop and buy a few packets of screws,etc, then to the garden centre for some packets of seeds . . . to the supermarket for some little jars of spices/herbs . . . and finish off with a pair of socks because I’ve heard the saying that “When you no longer believe, Father Christmas brings socks” lol.

    • Those are excellent ideas Claire. Mr E loves the nuts and bolts aisles, and seeds. I do all the cooking, But I certainly would love herbs and spices. I have been trying to think what might be an equivalent to an Annual which I used to love receiving at Christmas.

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