Fans of Julia Williams will be thrilled to know that she has a brand new book out. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was published as an eBook and in paperback on the 3rd November by Avon. I am delighted to be taking part in this blog tour for which Julia has written a guest post. First though, here’s what the book is about.
Christmas with the family. Cosy, relaxing…and a total nightmare?
Driving home for Christmas, Beth has everything she wants. The kids and the house, the career and the husband. So why is it that when the New Year comes, she can’t stop thinking about her old college boyfriend?
Her husband Daniel is tasked with bringing a struggling school up to scratch, but when family life catches up to him, can he be a good father and a good teacher at the same time?
Beth’s sister Lou has just been dumped…again. Single and childless, she can’t help but be jealous of her sibling’s success. But is the grass really always greener?
It’s a Wonderful Life is a heart-warming novel about the lives that could have been, and what happens when you start to question the choices you made…
Getting in the festive mood
Let’s get one thing straight: I am not one of those people who starts posting the number of sleeps till Christmas in August. Call me old fashioned, but I can’t think about Winter until…well, Winter. I love the Autumn, with its falling leaves, and golden colours, and I’m just not prepared to think about Christmas till Autumn is done.
Having said that, there are lots of things that get me in the mood for festive season. Firstly, though I hate shopping the rest of the year, I do love Christmas shopping. There is something really satisfying about chasing down the perfect gift for someone you love. And thanks to the internet, these days you can do it without enduring the hurly-burly that is Christmas shopping…
…Having said that, I do like last minute scouring round the shops, when people are mainly cheerful with the thought of the holidays round the corner, and the air is filled with the sound of cheesy Christmas songs. No matter how many times I hear it, Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas time brings a smile to myself.
My second means of starting to feel festive is entertaining. I do really enjoy pre Christmas drinks with friends, complete with mulled wine and mince pies. And since I bought my husband a fire pit last Christmas, we can also get that really cosy feeling of sitting out by the fire and not freezing to death. Perfect!
But really, it’s not till closer to the day that I really start getting in the mood.
Christmas probably starts in our house when we put the decorations up. Usually around the second week of December (which is way too early for me, but I’ve been long overruled on that one!) When the children were small they put the decs wonkily on the tree, and we sneakily straightened them when they went to bed. Nowadays we leave them in charge, and with two now at university decorating is not allowed to begin till they’re both home (suits me). They usually spend half the time decorating themselves with tinsel, while listening to a Christmas album, before the tree gets covered in baubles.
Every year I like to add a new decoration or two if I can so they’re an eclectic mix of: cheesy and naff (cheap and cheerful baubles); cute (things the kids made when they were little ); off the wall (A tooth-shaped dentist called Dave in honour of my husband); or charming (this year’s addition is a tiny little wooden bell from a German rellie). And once they’re on the tree, I really start to feel ready for the festive onslaught…
… a feeling which increases as we start the food shopping. Back in the day when the children were small, my husband paid scant attention to this, but now he gets very enthusiastic. Some might say overenthusiastic. His children perhaps, when he brings back huge bags of goodies from Sainsbury’s which would probably last us through a nuclear winter. But hey, ho, his heart is in the right place, and one things for sure, we’ll never starve…
And finally my favourite thing of all is decorating the table, and putting presents under the tree. I love wrapping the presents slightly less, but over the years have developed a strategy of wrapping in advance. This does mean long complicated lists and sudden dashes to get extra small things to make sure everyone has the same number of presents under the tree, but it’s worth it to see the fun everyone has trying to work out what Santa’s bought them this year…
It’s still a way off before I am going to get in the mood, but writing this actually has got me started early this year. So I’m off to light the fire pit, and heat up the mulled wine… You?
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-