Festive greetings to you all!

17

Joe with Christmas treeSo, this Christmas thing… it's happening!

The lights, tree fluffing, and greenery draping have taken place… and incredibly early at our house this year – thanks to my sweet cheeks of a daughter!

It really is my intention to calmly saunter my way nonchalantly with small sashays of my sparkly-clad hips into Christmas, pausing momentarily to admire my perfectly decorated and present-laden tree, whilst sipping a glass full of sparkles.

Which will, of course, ensure the afore mentioned hips are well and truly shimmying !!! HA! And which movie have I been watching?! However intention is a good thing and all good things start with intention!


Reality may (will) of course be somewhat different, tho I truly hope that by the time you read this I shall be somewhat nearer my dream of organisation.

So… what's been occurring for us all… I hope you've all been well, last week was quite lovely for me. I was asked some time ago to be a guest speaker at a meeting of a group of parents with special needs children. I was just giving over the details of Up on Downs (the brilliant Hertfordshire based support group who have supported my family) when she said "Actually Claire! It's really YOU that I wanted to ask to speak"!

Ok, so I know that I speak – lots for my job! – but to be asked to share my story as Tom's mum, our life and journey thus far, was quite a different thing. I agreed, of course as you do, five months before the actual date.

Though when the day loomed… I thought… aaaargh and loads of 'what if's' flooded into my head. I definitely didn't want to offend anyone who may be coping with considerably more than we are with Tom, or for that matter offend anyone by presuming they are in a more challenging situation than we are. I'm so aware all of us are completely different in all we do and how we deal with it…

However, as I flew out of the house, I instinctively grabbed two pictures off the wall, two favourites of mine. They showed who we all are as a family unit. I'm glad I did, as it made sure Tom was real (if that makes sense).

My nerves turned out to be unfounded as it was a lovely intimate gathering of Mums. After I finished my chat, we all chatted (even more!) and shared stories – of course we all had a common bond. I felt so thrilled when later that evening I received a message from a friend, who had in turn received a message from her friend who I had met earlier, saying she had found my talk emotional and inspirational. The word inspirational was such a joy to read.

Jan, the lady who organises these meetings, sent me an email suggesting I had the ability to life coach or inspire if I needed a change from QVC!!! Well, just in case you're reading QVC, I love my job…not looking to move!! But gosh what a lovely email, and now on my fridge to remind me that, in some tiny way, I helped.

Talking of helping, I also ran a charity event, where I raised a sum of money for Up on Downs. How lucky I am to be in a position to do this?! I feel very grateful that I can give back to a great group who have supported us through our life so far with Tom. They are now there for new parents who need care and help in those early days.

I follow some incredible people on Twitter who write some beautiful, heart-warming blogs and do so very much to raise awareness, dispel the myths and quite simply spread the joy! I know these blogs offer such comfort to many in similar situations.

The unstoppable pace of life I have previously discussed with you continues… relentlessly!

Maddie has had tap exams and presentation days, at least no pantomime runs and chaperoning as yet (unlike Jilly Halliday who is racing madly around like a taxi, I don't envy her!).

Maddie is definitely working through a few difficulties with her friendships at the moment…it's a hard situation to deal with as I'm so aware that how she learns things is setting her up for her future life and relationships. I'm trying to do and say the right things… but it's hard to see her experiencing tough things at such a weeny age.

Joe, my Boy Scout has survived a night hike… aaaargh! His poor little legs were aching and he came home and immediately went to bed, a good three hour rest was required. Though I don't think the sleeping in a tent bit has particularly helped him as he's coughing like a goodun. I'm really hoping we don't repeat last year where we were all soooooo ill for sooooo long!

Tom's inventionTom meanwhile is collecting merits from school left , right and centre – and one for his technology product we developed together… Richard Jackson… what do u think?

A spade for children like Tom with a footprint leverage, fleece inner soles, adjustable handle bars, and soft grip handles. Tho Madd's skipping rope had to suffice for our model!!!! His tech teacher was impressed… so was I!! Watch this space…

Dan is working over and above capacity, though it seems a trifle odd that people want their gardens doing for Christmas… Decorating/carpet laying /curtain making? Yes I can see those trades must go mad at this time of year… but landscaping?!

I am most certainly not complaining though as these children of mine have a delightful list they've written for Father Christmas… Ranging from "cool clothes" (Tom) "mobile phone with internet access"… Hmmm (Joe) to "a baby girl dolly" (Maddie). As the years are flying by I shall indulge in any sweet request for little girl stuff, even though it may be a fleeting moment. JUST to hold back the advancing years.

Christmas for us will be Mummy and her man joining us on Christmas Eve and awakening with us on the big day. Then we shall be off to Dan's sister's for the feast, (she is currently renting a fab house… I think the Queen mother grew up there!!)

We shall walk the amazing grounds with all our four-legged-lovelies in preparation for indulgence! Once we can move after all the food we will lounge around by the massive open fire on her big squashy sofas. NO hostess with the mostest for me this year, yippee! I shall be a… guest! How wonderful.

New Year will be welcomed in for us at our family cottage in North Yorkshire, with some best friends and their boys. Suffice to say there will be fun all round! And a good dose of laughter too, I am certain of that.

I truly hope for all of you and your precious people that it is a Christmas to remember for the most loveliest reasons and that we all have an opportunity to relax and enjoy each other. Let's remember what Christmas is really all about and gear ourselves up for a year ahead which will bring peace and contentment in abundance.

My thrill at seeing your responses to my blogs never lessens, so, with anticipation…

I'll say farewell…for now! and will look forward to finding out from you , all of your Christmas fun and frolics…

With my love,
as always,

Claire xxx

Oh, and HAPPY HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!!! X

17 Comments

  1. rebecca waker December 11, 2013 at 6:39 pm -  Reply

    You mentioned the christmas promo the other day and how you hadn’t seen the bit of you walking up the BIG house. Well have no fear, it was on lots the week before. Infact my favourite bit is you being driven up in the car and then getting out to walk to the house. It gives me a warm glow everytime. Cheers.

  2. Gwen Tugwell December 12, 2013 at 10:43 am -  Reply

    Hello Claire,
    So lovely to hear from you, as always another lovely blog, and again what a very busy girl you have been. How very proud Dan and your lovely Mum must have been when you gave your talk, as you say speaking on QVC is one thing but to speak in public is quite another so very well done you!
    Enjoy every moment of the Festive Season with your gorgeous family, I hope all of your wishes come true, and I look forward to hearing all about it in the New Year.
    Happy Christmas and New Year,
    Very Best Wishes,
    GWEN
    X

  3. Nicky Barbour December 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire,
    What a wonderful blog, always lovely to read what you and your lovely
    Family have been up to. This is the very first time I have ever left a comment.
    The children are growing so fast and you are
    So busy running about with them to their various activities, running a home
    and working.
    My children are Harry 19 and Charlotte 15 and life is still as busy as ever,
    You never stop being a mum, it’s one if the hardest jobs in the world but also
    One if the most rewarding.
    I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy and
    Healthy New Year.
    Lots of Christmas love
    Nicky xxx

  4. Louise M Donnelly December 12, 2013 at 5:45 pm -  Reply

    I started reading your blog, Claire…..as a rap song! Just a few words – it’s usually dangerous when I say that – to wish you a peaceful and enjoyable holiday period, with your family. Congratulations to Tom; he seems to be an innately determined and intelligent young guy. From my experience, if you have a complaint which CAN hold you back, determination is essential to ensuring that it doesn’t. You must be so proud of all of your children.
    All the best for 2014. Take care.
    Louise.

  5. Mary Morphy December 13, 2013 at 5:04 am -  Reply

    Hi Claire. Typing this at 4.30am….not sleeping due to illness…I have been poorly on and off with chest infections, laryngitis and a debilitating cough for tree months..awaiting xRay results and appointment with my COPD specialist but worrying too….isn’t it strange how our minds are alive when body needs and wants sleep. Ginja Ninja..remember her, my 13 soon to be 14 Year old flame haired cricketer found out yesterday that she didn’t make the county cricket u15 winter squad,,,30 girls trialed only 15 chosen having played county cricket since the age of 11. She is gutted, upset etc and despite my best efforts to do the encouraging speech of use this as a positive..learn from the feedback we hope to get, you have done so well don’t give up and don’t ever think in life you are not good enough, her sadness breaks my heart. Yes she will continue to play cricket in bundles for the clubs she plays for and be successful and she has been encouraged to try next year but for a teen with hormones and such high expectations of her self its hard to see. Yes I know its only cricket but its her passion. On a lighter note house inside and out was decorated last weekend in November and despite tree trauma..the stand and on my very heavy artificial tree broke…my tree is 25 years old and was bought with stone mobey my grandad left me when get died..he died at Xmas time so I thought a tree woukd be very appropriate. Its still magnificent to this day but too heavy for the bases you can buy so with great modifications using corregated card and gaffer tape the tree is standing in a customised metal base tied to the radiator sparkling and twinkling in our bay window…string invisible and thankfully radiator still attached to the wall! QVC provided new lighting this year although husband has asked the question do we need more..the answer is always YES…I have a garland of pine, lights, bluing and butterflies going up the stairs and the nativity scene which sits beautifully on my landing window is surrounded by the Bethlehem lights tsv. I also bought the 5ft blossom tree in blue which is outside the frobt door and looks stunning..beautiful compliments the blue and white lights in my bush and icicles hanging from my canopy!
    Presents bought and wrapped..a first for me so early but being off work means i can wrap up in my own time and not rushing. My 16 year old son has asked for a tablet..not the paracetamol kind..he’s got a hudl from tesco as I used my vouchers in a store offer and Chloe has the Lego emporium to add to her collection. It looks like Harrods..she is so patient and isn’t phased by the 3000+ bits!!!.
    My dad died in Sept this year so difficult one for us all..I am hostess this year to my mum, mum in law, two sister s and two nephews. So after a late lunch and a post dinner walk along the seafront nosily peeking into everyone’s lit rooms it will be back home for table tennis and Scrabble. Hope your Xmas is sparkly, happy and healthy. Maryxx

  6. Vivienne Wallis December 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    As usual a fun packed at times funny and thrilling blog, love it. You are certainly a very busy lady not surprising with a growing family, I remember those times fondly as my children grew up, now 46 and 43, so wanting to please them especially at this time of year. I am pleased to report that I am now ready for the Festivities to begin, all presents wrapped, cards sent to those relatives and friends who I am unable to visit and give warm festive wishes to in person. Looking forward this coming week to a few girlie lunches, Carol Services, catching up with friends, mince pies and coffee, and most of all spending Christmas with my daughter Maria, 3 grandchildren and the dogs. I wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas Claire.
    Much love and respect Vivienne xxx

  7. Morag Winchester December 16, 2013 at 11:43 am -  Reply

    HI Claire. As usual your blogs are full of humour, energy and inspiration. How you manage to fit everything in to your busy life goodness only knows, but it is fantastic to hear about it. We all feel that we know the presenters on QVC, even if we don’t really, but I have so much enjoyed watching you over the year and reading about your fantastic family. Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. Love Morag xx

  8. Claire Sutton December 17, 2013 at 11:18 am -  Reply

    Rebecca,
    I STILL haven’t spotted it.. Though my little sparly shoes certainly are proof… Not the best foot attire in 6 inches of snow, fake or otherwise!!!
    Hope your Christmas is wonderful , lots of love,
    Claire xx

  9. Claire Sutton December 17, 2013 at 11:22 am -  Reply

    Hi Gwen,
    Sitting being blow dried for my Chaz dean show later!! Oh how swish!! Thankyou for all the times you other to write to me, I love it.. Were all revving up now, Tom and joe out this weekend delivering cards for the scouts, so that will excite tom, he’s adding daily to his after Christmas wish list!!!!
    Have a super festive time Gwen,
    My love,
    Claire xx

  10. Beth December 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog – I am so glad that your talk went well. I was almost surprised that you felt nervous but you must have had so much going around in your head and also, knowing that every word you said was vital. I am delighted to hear it went well and your efforts are really helping others. Good for youXXX.
    You sound such a caring Mum, I am only an Aunty but I know how precious children are and your thoughts about Maddie are the same I have for my nieces. We want to wrap them up in cotton wool but we can’t – you are there to guide her and be there, she’s got a great mum in you!
    Also really pleased to hear that Joe and Tom are doing really well and achieving fun and success.
    You all take care and have a happy and restful Christmas,
    Beth XXX.

  11. Claire Sutton December 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm -  Reply

    Louise,
    I laughed about the rap bit!! And Thankyou for such lovely words, so much, it’s a real treat to read.I hope you too have a lovely and peaceful Christmas .
    Lots of love from Claire x

  12. Steven December 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    Just wanted to say hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas. I’m working Monday Tuesday but off til the 8th Jan after that – cant wait x

  13. Paula Joy Williams December 21, 2013 at 11:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    Through our experiences of having a disabled child or sibling we can help so many families ~ the benefit system, schooling and trying to find them a work placement when they leave school. Jonathan who is blind lost his job of 20 years in the summer and we have found it difficult to get him a new work placement. He is on the work programme which I have to take him to it’s a government scheme and the computers don’t have speech on them which is basic nowadays. I feel for Maddie dealing with friendship issues I think girls always have problems. Have a lovely Christmas Paula

  14. Lucy Dorling December 23, 2013 at 2:24 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire,
    Great blog as always, I read every one but don’t usually post. 2013 has been a very difficult year for me so I am not looking forward to the Christmas festivities like I usually am. For once I am looking forward to the New Year instead with hope that things will improve. I hope you and your family have a fab Christmas and thank you for being such wonderful company over the many hours I have tuned in to watch.
    Many thanks
    Lucy xxxx

  15. susan December 23, 2013 at 9:34 pm -  Reply

    Happy Christmas Claire! I hope you all have a lovely Christmas this year. It was awful forso many last year with illness and I remember your sad pics! Better luck this year. I am so pleased your talk went well. Lovely of you to offer some of your learnings and experiences and not surprised they have helped others. Hope you got my last reply to last blog. See you in the New Year! Lots of love, Susan x

  16. lynsey Mcgregor December 27, 2013 at 2:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire,
    Have a lovely New year, I think you are so adorable one of the BEST I love to watch your shows.
    just Fabulous Darling!!!! xx

  17. Claire Sharp January 1, 2014 at 7:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    Claire here. We met a couple of years ago at the BCC show when my friend Debbie was one of the models. I spent some time sitting between you and Simon Wilson – he’s a great character isn’t he!? If you remember he was very upset that I was using my Lulu Guinness poodle handbag without a Butler and Wilson accessory in sight! I’ve been meaning to get in touch for a while and I’ve been following all your news, but I wasn’t sure if you’d remember me…
    When I read about Maddie having friendship troubles, I thought I ought to let you know about some excellent children’s books. They are written by that very same friend, Debbie, and they are all about helping children to understand and deal with their feelings. Just search for Amy and the Feelings Basket on Amazon. I know lots of people that have found them helpful when chatting through situations with their children.
    I hope that might be of some help to you and wishing you a wonderful and fulfilling 2014.
    Love Claire. x

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