Monday 19 December 2011

Birthdays ....

An Aga

I’m sure we all know people at this time of year who have birthdays, but in the melee of festivities their actual birth-day is glossed over.  This is to remember all those who will and have been over the years missing out on a celebratory day – unless of course they’re really clever and have a half-day – in June or July on this side of the hemisphere.

Stuffed Mushrooms
I have a few great friends round this time – and one on Boxing Day – who just vanishes to warmer climes – she came from South Africa, but I knew her years before I went over there.  I simply cannot blame her for escaping!  I made hay while the sun shone for my own day in January when I lived in Johannesburg.

Fresh veggie = essentials
My uncle’s birthday was today ... and since my aunt had died he’d almost been forgotten about – friends would come down, but the rest of us many relatives were tied up with our Christmas rush.

I just decided one year to give him a surprise party .... and invited a few people that he knew, some relatives, cousins of ours, my family and a few locals ... keeping it very small and quite open ended.

Cold meat selection
(ours were in finger pieces)
Not a good time – but if everyone was told ... party time with a buffet lunch from 11.30 onwards, then I reckoned I get a few more takers ... and we did.

My honorary god-daughter D (she was born on the same day as my real god-daughter .. and they’ve remained friends – great isn’t it) aged 12 or so .. was very happy to spend a night at my house ... playing games, having a sleep-over, while I grafted and organised the food: a surprise is a surprise.

Herby bread
Derek knew D and I were going over to have lunch with him – so he was expecting us ... but the first thing on our arrival was .... “well dearest Derek – we have invited a few friends to come round for lunch”.  Help – he then wanted to rush around ... nope – D ordered him to sit down – gave him a cup of coffee ...

Devils on Horseback
... we did have to ask him to get up to turn the central heating back on ... but after that – it was fairly plain sailing.  Finger food, plenty of choice for elderly palettes, was unloaded, for simplicity and to save on washing up - paper plates, plastic cups and cutlery were laid out, Christmas baubles, decorations and tinsel were ‘decoratively’ strewn around ...

... the Aga was ready for the few things that needed heating or warming ... the platters were laid up and we were set to go ... all in about 45 minutes ... as the first guests came through the door – I’d asked some special friends of his to come early to soothe his rattled soul ... at the suddenness of party time!

Winter Garden
Langata was a typical Kenyan house ... large windows onto a stoop (balcony) overlooking the garden ... which my aunt had designed and laid out, as she’d done for the house!   Some lady!  The garden stretched out before us ... crispy and even in its wintry cover ... but beautiful in its form.

As each set of guests stepped through the door from about 11.45 onwards to about 2.30 ... my uncle’s eyes popped out ... people came and went – which was ideal ... never too many at once.

Cheese and Grapes
The Birth Day became an annual event ... and even last year after he had died and the house had been sold – the new owners invited the next door Garden Nursery people to drinks on the same day – so as it happened the tradition continued.  Melanie said to me .. it was so strange going round knowing Derek was no longer there.

My uncle was thrilled and said nobody had thrown a party for him ... he proclaimed he’d never had a birthday party .... perhaps true in that week before Christmas – so I was glad I could treat him to something special.

Gooey no bake chocolate cake
waiting to be cut into squares
He was amazed .... everyone helped clear up and sort things out ... the fridge was packed  with some delicious left-overs and he was happy in his excitement of the day ....

Happy Birthday to all who get the rough end of the stick by being born at this time of year – it’s not their fault though is it?!

Thank you for your support, friendship and wonderful comments during the year and now a very Merry Christmas to one and all ... and an exceptionally  happy 2012 in the year ahead ...

Blessings and Peace to all in the world – may we become a compassionate, caring and thoughtful race –

Please remember the Filippinos, who are very worried about their family and friends in the recent storms in Mindanao ... Perla (our carer my mother calls Cleopatra) being one of them ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories



Wonderful post Hilary, my grandson has a birthday on Chrisdtmas Eve though my daughter do try to keep it seperate it's a hard thing to accomplish.

Have a good day.

MorningAJ said...

All of my christmas season birthdays have gone by the board since I lost my parents and divorced my ex-husband. But I remember the times when I had to find interesting presents for everyone within a five week period that included Christmas. It was tricky.

Your party sounds wonderful.

senses of soul said...

my mouth start juicy

Old Kitty said...

A couple of friends, my brother, my ex - all have birthdays NOW! and it's most annoying! LOL! I'm kidding!! But you're right - their very special day tends to get lost in the Christmas melee!

I'm so happy your uncle's birthday celebrations were full of family, food and fun! And an aga! wow! An aga!

Oh the news about the Philippines was just awful - so many lives lost..! :-( I hope Perla's family are ok.

Take care

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yvonne .. I'm sure you give your grandson lots of love .. but as you say it's not easy to separate things out. You too have a good week ..

@ Anne .. you're so right - and birthdays seem to come in batches during the year. Presents are always tricky - I try and buy during the year as and when ..

Derek certainly remembered that day - as did other guests ..

@ Mohd - the food does look good doesn't it .. similar to the things I provided.

@ Old Kitty - ah! you understand .. bet Charlie does too - treats all round!

Derek loved his parties .. and looked forward to them so much .. the family has tended to have Agas .. ours was cream, my brother's is blue, and my uncle's was brown .. but red looks more cheerful! Mine is a dream!!

The news from the Philippines sounds really sad .. and I just hope her family are safe - but she says they live/d on the sea shore ... so perhaps not too promising. I feel for her at this time ..

Thanks Yvonne, Anne, Mohd and Old Kitty - good to see you all celebrating seasonal birthdays as well as the main event of Christ's Birth. Cheers - Hilary

Mike Goad said...

On the phone with my wife the other day, my invalid 87 year old mother-in-law was going on about how Karen didn't have to get her so much for her birthday. When Karen told her it was for her birthday and Christmas, she just said, "Oh, okay." and went on to talk about something else.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mike .. puts my post in its perspective doesn't it - your wife doesn't seem to stand much chance with her mother!!

Cheers - Happy Christmas .. Hilary

The Blonde Duck said...

My SIL's birthday is on Thanksgiving and she's always been bitter about it. I always feel bad for folks born at Christmas!

jabblog said...

Lovely post, Hilary. The surprise party sounds wonderful and what a lovely tradition to have started.

Our youngest daughter's birthday is four days after Christmas. One year, when she was very small, we celebrated her birthday in the summer.

Joanne said...

I like how the party continued, even once your Uncle was sadly gone. Look at the happiness his day inspired!

Wishing you wonderful holidays, Hilary, and peace and goodness in 2012.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

YES, my sister whose birthday is the first day of December. It's right after our Thanksgiving too which means we meet again for her. But, we make sure we celebrate her.

I am praying for the Filippinos.


Julie Flanders said...

Such a wonderful post, I imagined myself there for the party as I read along. What a lovely memory for you to have, and a lovely tradition.

My nephew's birthday is Dec. 26th, and I've always felt a little bad for him as it was hard to have another big party after all the festivities of Christmas Eve and Christmas. He got the short end of the stick in many ways.

I'm so glad to have met you this year, Hilary. I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a very happy 2012!

TALON said...

We have so many birthdays at this time of year (11) and my daughter was born on Christmas Eve. :)

That was lovely what you did for your uncle.

I hope you and your family have a beautiful and joyous Christmas, Hilary, and a fantastic New Year.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Blonde Duck .. it's always difficult .. she could come over here - we don't celebrate Thanksgiving?! Just difficult being born on special days .. she could chose another day to celebrate: that would solve her problem?

@ Janice .. Derek loved it .. he kept on struggling up to greet guests, only to flop back down again in surprise .. it was wonderful to see him so happy.

Ah - so your youngest had a half year party .. I think very sensible.

@ Joanne .. that was just coincidence the party continuing - but it was lovely to hear about it from Melanie. Thankfully some very happy people have bought their house and are enjoying the garden et al

Thanks for your thoughts Joanne - appreciate the peace and goodness .. that would be wonderful for 2012.

@ Teresa .. oh yes of course the day after Thanksgiving - not so easy .. very glad to hear you make sure you celebrate for her.

Thank you re the Filippinos .. I just hope Perla's family will be safe and well ..

@ Julie .. they were good days and my uncle loved the few years we were able to have them. He was a very caring compassionate man - so it was lovely to give something back to him ...

That's when Liz birthday is - the lady who vanishes to the sun! Sounds like your nephew too drew the short straw .. not much we can do though!

You too Julie .. it's so wonderful how happy we are amongst our blogging friends .. I love it = it certainly helps me a lot.

Lovely seeing you all - Blonde Duck, Janice, Joanne, Teresa and Julie .. Have a wonderful loving seasonal time ... cheers Hilary

walk2write said...

Birthdays this time of year are often overlooked. You're wonderful to have made your uncle's birthday a special event. The food pics look delightful!

Lenny Lee said...

hi miss hilary! wow its just soooo nice what you did for your uncle for his birthday and its way cool how it got to be a tradition. i think he could of liked that. its gotta be pretty hard having a birthday at christmas cause you just get one present for both. ack! for sure i wouldnt like that. im wishing for you a real happy christmas and a sunshiny new year.
...hugs from lenny

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ LTM .. many thanks - yes I think he was overlooked for many years - sad, but he was diplomat through and through ..

Sadly the food pics are from others .. something similar to those I'd have provided ..

@ Sunshine!! Hi Lenny .. how wonderful to see you - your Christmas card was much admired by the residents at the Nursing Centre .. so thank you .. now it's back here for me to enjoy - Mr Rocky Raccoon in his Christmas pine muffler!!

He did sorta loved his birthdays in his latter days .. and yes - one present - not good enough is it .. we need loads of them?!

Many thanks Lenny .. you too have a wonderful care-giving Christmas and a very sunshine 2012 ..

You most certainly light up our lives ..

Big hugs across the pond for you and one or two for your family! ..

Cheers W2W and Lenny and families .. thanks for your wonderful wishes .. here's a very happy 2012 - Hilary

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who pleads with family and friends NOT to give her birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper! Not easy to be a "Christmas" baby!!

I came over to see what beautiful pictures you've posted--and there are many--and to wish you and your mum and whomever you might spend the day with, a very happy happy Christmas!!

Much love from Ann & Jen
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

It was very thoughtful of you to throw a party for your uncle. I'm a December baby, too, and have always felt guilty for having a birthday so inconveniently close to Christmas. I'm sure your uncle very much appreciated being remembered in such a special way.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ann .. oh I can believe that - and they don't listen I'm guessing .. so birthday presents arrive in a coat of Christmas paper?!

Thanks Ann - foodie, simple photos, nothing heavy to think about at this time of year ..

Thank you for your Christmas wishes for Mum and I - Hardwick has his red Christmas hat on! I shall spend some time up at the Nursing Centre .. and then have a Christmas dinner with the family.

@ Susan .. I enjoy entertaining .. and it was fun giving him something special - people had started visiting since my aunt died .. so it sort of combined and helped everyone. December and early January babies have a hard time.

Happy Birthday for whenever your day is .. and I hope you get some treats?!

Happy Christmases and New Year Ann and Jen, and Susan .. a very merry time may you all have .. Hilary

Rosalind Adam said...

Happy Christmas to you too, Hilary, and I love that prayer - a compassionate, caring and thoughtful race would be the ultimate.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ros .. yes - the compassionate, caring and thoughtful race would be wonderful if we could press just the switch.

Have a lovely Christmas together with family and friends .. and a very happy and successful 2012 - cheers Hilary

Lola Sharp said...

What a marvelous story. I love your thoughtfulness. <3
My husband's birthday is new years day, and my good friend's birthday is Dec. 23rd. I try my best to make it separate and special for them with cake and such. (And sometimes I send her a half-year birthday card in June.)

Merry Christmas and may your 2012 be your best yet yet!


JJ said...

Hilary: A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

Frances Garrood said...

We have a plethora of birthdays at this time of year, including a son on new year's day, so I understand the problem!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lola .. well done on making their occasions special - jolly difficult with so much else going on .. but the half-year birthday is quite a good idea. Thanks for the Christmas wishes and yes 2012 being a really good one - would make a lot of difference ..

@ JJ - thanks for coming by and all the best for the season ..

@ Frances - thanks .. sounds like a few things going on .. and your son - nice present once!!! After that .. mind you a lovely way to start the New Year ..

Have great Christmases and New Years .. cheers to you Lola, JJ and Frances - thanks for visiting .. Hilary

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary. A heart warming birthday story. It is difficult for those with birthdays over Christmas.

A Merry Christmas to you Hilary and yes, we are stunned by the death and devastation in the Philippines. Won't be a very festive season for a lot of people on the planet.


Manzanita said...

Hilary, Well stated. So thoughtful of you to have a party for your Uncle. One of my son's always got the short end of the stick with birthdays, too. His birthday is tomorrow, the 21st. He always had a birthday party but it was sandwiched in with the other festivities. One good thing about Saggitarious, they are so social and love any party that comes their way. They are fun-loving and easy to please.

A Lady's Life said...

thanks Hilary and Happy Birthday to your uncle.
My Dad was also a Christmas baby so we always put the two things together Its not fair is it lol

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That was a wonderful thing you did for your uncle. And nice of the new owners to carry on the tradition.

dolorah said...

Way cool Hilary :) As a child I would have been upset to have a birthday around this time of year. Now, I'd welcome the chance to forget my birthday (I'm and October baby).

What a wonderful gift you gave your uncle.

Have a great holiday Hilary.


Carol Kilgore said...

Thank you for reading my story on Sia McKye's blog.

Scarlett Clay said...

So true! My mother's birthday was Dec. 20th and she always got passed over for holiday affairs, my aunt's is the 18th, same for her, poor thing. If I had a Dec. birthday I think I'd celebrat an 'un-birthday' sometime in the summer. :)

Many blessings to you this coming year to you and your mom. And I hope Perla's family is safe and sound...hoping for a good report on that very soon!

Happy Christmas!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Denise - many thanks .. and for the thoughts re the Philippines - it isn't good news for Perla and sadly more losses will come I think ..

@ Manzanita - thank you .. Derek certainly was thrilled. Happy Birthday to your son - it's not a good time of year for yet another celebration is it. Certainly my uncle was full of the joys of Spring and loved having visitors and was easy to please - thankfully.

@ A Lady's Life - sadly he's gone - but no doubt will be partying in contented peace elsewhere. I can understand your mother combining her husband's birthday .. so many to cook for etc.

@ Alex - thanks .. it was fortuitous the date matched 'our usual date of the 19th' last year. But it will be remembered.

@ Donna - ah you're like my Mama - an October baby .. Birthdays well they're ours .. I rather like mine - even now - but perhaps because I don't have other family to worry about and celebrate with them. Thanks re my uncle ..

@ Carol - I enjoy your take on the mystery style .. I wanted to know more!

@ Scarlett - Happy Birthday to your late mother for yesterday .. and an aunt on the 18th - those were a bit close. Yes - I agree about the un-birthday day in the summer!

Thanks re the blessings for my Mama and I ... we tick along quite happily.

Sadly it's not such good news for Perla .. I just hope the youngsters of her family are alright - but it's not very hopeful by the sounds of it .. she is doing her bit for them .. and we can only comfort her when she's with us.

A very merry Christmas and Happy New Year Denise, Manzanita, A lady's life, Alex, Donna, Carol and Scarlett .. thanks so much for visiting .. cheers Hilary

Glynis Peters said...

How lovely! My niece has a birthday today and a friend on Christmas day. It must be hard for them to grab everyone's full attention.

Hilary (and Mum),Have a Happy Christmas and Healthy 2012,
Thanks for your support during 2011. X

Diane said...

Our neighbour here has her birthday on Christmas day, that really is not fair. I think I would just change it if it were mine to the middle of the year for celebrations !!

My ex used to be 31 Dec which was great, he always had a party somewhere to go to, and then had the joy of kissing all the ladies happy New Year!!

Thanks for following Diane

Sara said...


This post is so perfect for my daughter. She has a holiday birthday and always felt cheated a bit because gifts came for both events.

Funny about birthdays, in my birth family of five, everyone was born on the same day of the month, except my mother and I. My mother was only day off, but I didn't fit the pattern, at all. My mom used to say I would have, but she took one too many bumpy roads at the end of her pregnancy with me:~)

I hope you have a very happy and peaceful new year. Enjoy your holidays!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Glynis - thank you .. Happy Birthday to your niece today .. Winter Solstice day .. days get longer! As you say it's a difficult time for birthdays - and Christmas Day ... yugh!

Thanks Glynis .. you too and see you in 2012 ..

@ Diane - another Christmas Day babe .. I agree with you ... I'd be having summer birthdays!

That's true about the 31st .. and your ex - sounds a familiar tale!

Pleasure following and chatting - looking forward to your garden growing next year and those recipes .. !!

@ Sara - it's the way of the world isn't it .. not sure what happened when my uncle was much younger ..

There does seem to be a sort of pattern .. but then we marry and the thing gets out of kilter - let alone the bumpy roads!

Having had one of your parties with the family as they were home together - enjoy your Christmas Day .. and a very peaceful 2012 ..

Thanks Glynis, Diane and Sara .. have a lovely break and happy times with family and friends and see you in 2012 ... Hilary

Anonymous said...

Hi Hilary, I wanted to stop by and say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! You've been such an awesome blogger and supporter of me and other people in the Blogosphere. Thanks and have a great week!

nutschell said...

That's nice of you to surprise your Uncle. I do love birthdays! They're such a big thing in the Philippines, right next to Christmas. BTW, thanks for mentioning the Filipinos who need help in Mindanao. Much appreciated.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Stephen .. many thanks appreciate your thoughts .. everyone does their bit - we can't do it without each other .. and I love it.

Enjoy your Christmas with the children and family ..

@ Nutshcell .. thanks so much for coming by .. I am sorry about the Philippines, especially as Perla's family is sadly involved .. we can only pray for a reasonably peaceful ride as they sort themselves out - we just don't realise how lucky we are.

We can and must just pray for all who are worse off than we are - in which ever way we understand ..

A merry Christmas and New year to you both with your families .. Hilary

Betsy Brock said...

you had me at those stuffed mushrooms! yum! :)

happy birthday to your uncle and all the other forgotten December birthdays! I have an uncle and cousin born on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Poor things!

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous post Hilary. It is so special to find a gift for someone that means the most. Your gift being the birthday party. I think if i were born near Christmas I'd do like the queen and have another birthday date some other time in the year. I wonder what it's like to be born on 29th Feb?
Delicious yummy food in your post too. I'm off to get some lunch now.
Merry Christmas

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Betsy .. great to see you - I love doing easy things .. I haven't got 'clever' craft fingers like you .. your Christmas boxes etc are just great.

Oh dear .. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - that definitely deserves a half year party I think!

Have fun with your five men .. cheers Hilary

@ Madeleine .. thanks - yes I used to do lots of small food goodies for him. He usually spent the Christmas time with another cousin - who has plenty of room. But he loved being home, and wasn't that comfortable being away ..

Oh two birthdays a year - I could do that .. good thought ... but one every 4 years would be a bit much wouldn't it ..

Hope lunch was good ..

Betsy and Madeleine .. a very merry and happy Christmas time and New Year .. lots of success in 2012 - have fun - Hilary

hyperCRYPTICal said...

What a thoughtful post Hilary and it is true that those with birthdays tend to be overlooked during the wonderful Christmas time - I think the little'ns are aware of it most.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Anna :o]

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Anna .. I'm sure the little ones will react most ... two in one go = a bit much for them and then nothing for the rest of the year.

But an older (big) one can be as chuffed as punch with his surprise party! It gives me a smile now ..

You too have a wonderful Christmas and New Year .. and a successful 2012 - cheers Hilary

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
Apologies for my late arrival in regards to your, as per usual, highly thoughtful article.
Coincidentally, I was thinking about a dear friend of mine who lives in the aptly named town of Hope, British Columbia whose birthday is on December 25th. And once again, I overlooked sending her a birthday card and only sent her a Christmas gift. I must now phone her on her birthday and even wish her a 'Merry Christmas'.
December 25th is also my dad's birthday. Yet, sadly, I do not even know if he is alive.
Anyway, here's wishing you and your loved ones, a most peaceful Christmas and a positive 2012.
Thank you for your ongoing support on my blog.
In kindness and respect, Gary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I remember feeling bad for one of my school friends because her BD was Dec 24th. She didn't seem to mind though. Looking back I suppose it was all she ever knew. Thoughtful post as usual, Hilary. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Best to you mother.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Gary .. good to see you - anytime.

Well it sounds like you have a very good excuse to pick up the phone to your birthday friend in two days time. So sad about your father - it puts things in perspective for us, who knew/know our parents.

Thank you so much for your seasonal wishes and those for 2012 .. May all your own wishes come true too in 2012 - it's a pleasure coming over to visit .. all the very best Gary - have a blessed and peaceful Christmas ... with Penny bringing some dog-cheer into your lives .. many thoughts - Hilary

@ Joylene .. well that's great if your friend had that healthy an attitude to her birthday tomorrow - perhaps because she got double the presents and got to open some earlier than everyone else?!

Thanks so much Joylene for your thoughts re my Ma .. you have a lovely time with your family and plenty of Skypeing with your new grandson ..

Cheers Gary and Joylene .. enjoy the festivities and feelings of blessedness at this time: have brilliant 2012s .. Hilary

Empty Nest Insider said...

It was so considerate of you to surprise your uncle, and It's remarkable how the new owners continue to celebrate his special day! Merry Christmas Hilary, and I hope that your mum is able to join in on the festivities with you! Julie

Sue said...

Hilary, what a beautiful post. My godson had a birthday yesterday, and as you say, birthdays at this time of year are all too often overlooked. One year we have him a birthday party and he was delighted! I love that you did this for your uncle, and that the tradition is surviving.
I'd love to own an Aga!
Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I look forward to many more interesting blog posts next year!

Unknown said...

A wonderful post, Hilary, and what a lovely tradition to start. It's so easy in the rush of Christmas to overlook the birthdays at this time of year.

Happy Christmas to you and yours. I hope you mother is able to enjoy the festivities. All best wishes for 2012. Cheers, Shirley

Ella said...

How magical
It all came together, great post filled with spirit n love!
Happy holidays to you n yours

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julie .. lovely to see you - I think it was a one off celebration and just happened to tie .. but fun to find out about. Thanks re my Mum .. sadly hardly at all - but we do our best together ..

@ Sue .. Happy Birthday godson .. that's great that you surprised him and I'm sure he was chuffed at his special godmother party! Me too - one day I'll get 'my Aga' .. and thank you for 'looking forward to more interesting posts in 2012' .. I'll put my brain in gear!

@ Shirley - many thanks .. fortunately people were happy to make time for Derek - he deserved it ...

@ Ella - thanks so much .. I thoroughly enjoyed the plans and happiness it provided ..

Merry Christmas tomorrow! Have fun tonight and I hope Santa brings some happy little helpers with him to aid with all the preparations!?!

Have lovely times with your family and friends ... with many hugs - Hilary

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

My birthday is this time of the year...and on the same day is my sister's wedding anniversary AND my husband & my wedding anniversary. Poor me...I only get one present instead of 3...BUT...lucky, lucky me, everyone makes sure it's the SIZE of three presents!! :):) The date is a ver important one in our family: my Dad's christening in 1928, my birth in 1958, my sister's wedding in 1978, my nephew's christening in 1988 and our wedding in 1992 (I wasn't going to wait until 1998!!!) so I'm happy that my day of birth is a point of so many special family celebrations!

Talking of celebrations - will you drop us a (broad) hint of your special day in January...?

And still talking of celebrations - wishing you and your Mum and all you loved ones a blessed Christmas and may 2012 be a year of joy and happiness!

Judy, South Africa

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy .. Happy Birthday 'my girl'! Hope amongst all the celebrations this year you were able to have your special day too .. mind you anniversaries - make sense south of the equator. Lots of 8s there .. I can understand you not wanting to wait til 1998! At least the clans gather for all the celebrations and you'll be sure of one big party ..

A few broad points .. a day of superstitions - next year exceptionally so; my own Saint's Day; the name of the Spring term at Oxford and Dublin Unis.. and the law term ... all tie in ... Guessed yet .. you could try the blog too!

Thanks so much for coming by .. I sincerely hope you can have a happy time with your parents and family .. and I endorse your thoughts for a blessed Christmas and a year of joy and happiness ahead ...

Hugs back Judy - you gave Mum and I one of my favourite times with her since she's been stroked and really gave us a fun afternoon .. something I shall remember and I know the staff do too ... I'm sure my mother will too - her memory is still prodigious with some gentle prodding ..

If anyone wants to read the blog post at what joy a parcel can bring .. go here:

Happy Christmas and New Year to you, your hubby and parents and of course .. not forgetting HRH Theadorable ... presents don't arrive unless she's around to do the paw padding trip to the PO ..

Happy Christmas everyone .. and Judy - thank you - cheers Hilary xoxoxox

Short Poems said...

Happy Christmas Hilary and a Joyful New Year!

Marinela x

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Marinela .. many thanks - and I do hope you and your family have a lovely time - and very happy 2012 .. cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

I love what you say, Hilary: "Blessings and Peace to all in the world – may we become a compassionate, caring and thoughtful race –"

As always, words of wisdom. I come over here to get a lift of my spirit. Your beautiful spirit, and beautiful posts, always cheer me up when I'm down.

I look forward in the New Year to our continued friendship!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

A Lady's Life said...

Merry Christmas Hilary Thanks for being my blogger friend. May you be blessed with peace health and joy today and every day from A Lady's Life

Betsy Brock said...

just popping back by to say merry, merry to you! Hope you enjoy the holiday weekend!

Jannie Funster said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, warms the heart your kindness on your uncle's birthday. I bet he was smiling with joy when he got to eat the left-overs too, a great reminder of how he was celebrated.

I was born in April -- pretty spoiled, I think!

Much love an djoy to you in this season, and always.


Retired Knitter said...

What a lovely thing to do for your Uncle's birthday! It will be remembered, I am sure, for a very long time.

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

Such a loving gesture, Hilary - to give a man a bit of attention such that he's never received before.

Thanks for all your fascinating posts in 2011, Hilary. In a unique way, you teach me all sort of interesting tidbits. My grandparents were from England so some of your teachings are like having them here to answer questions.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ann .. many thanks - I'm behind the times! going to catch up this week I hope.

Sorry to read you're a little down - it's never easy is it .. I do hope that you and Jen had a blessed and beautiful time with family and friends ..there's so much we can do to heal ourselves as we become more compassionate, caring and thoughtful as we go about our daily life.

I'm definitely not going anywhere .. so I shall thoroughly enjoy coming over to blog-comment and email occasionally and most certainly not lose touch.

Big hugs to you Ann ..

@ A Lady's Life - thank you too .. I really appreciate the thoughts you've expressed ..

@ Betsy .. thanks so much for coming over and giving us Christmas wishes .. I'd love to be with you to see those boys open their stockings - now finally filled?! Happy times Betsy ...

@ Jannie - he certainly smiled many times over the party afterwards .. he was totally bemused by it all - provided some lightness for his soul.

And D has just reminded me of another story at his house .. will probably be my next post ..

I'm approaching another number into old age .. and yes April might be better .. I have a few good friends in April - you said it .. 'pretty spoiled'!!

Jannie - I'm on my way over shortly to say a belated hi and Happy Christmas etc .. sooooooon!

@ Elaine - thank you .. he sadly has gone - but for those 7 years he remembered .. which is great to know ...

@ Amy - he certainly seemed to feel his birthday was 'dashed by' .. so it was a treat for me to do something special for him .. and he was very appreciative.

Many thanks - your comment means a lot to me .. it's wonderful to know that I can bring some of my Englishness across to you .. and you get the feel of your grandparents.

I'm teaching myself and answering my own questions .. and am absolutely delighted you can feel the same way - across those miles in Canada.

@ @ @ THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU ALL and your comments here today and those in the past ...

I'm running behind time - but I'll be over ... big hugs and have a wonderful rest of the Christmas holiday - cheers Hilary

Susan Scheid said...

How right you are about those birthdays, and how big-hearted to make sure your uncle was remembered! Loved the photo of the Aga, too!

Hope you had a happy Christmas, and best wishes for the year ahead!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. many thanks - as I rarely cook - this was one way I could satisfy my urge by giving him a party - a red aga would be nice!

I hope you and your family had a lovely time and many wishes too for a successful and happy year ahead.

Enjoy the rest of the festive week .. cheers Hilary

Patsy said...

What a lovely surprise for your uncle!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great post! My hubby is one of those almost Christmas birthdays. He remembers getting to chose one of his Christmas presents on his birthday. :( I always try and make a fuss over him on his special day.

Hope you had a lovely Christmas, Hilary.

Have a Happy New Year!

Karen Lange said...

What a wonderful birthday surprise for your Uncle! Sounds like such great fun. What a blessing you are! :)

Wishing you much happiness and blessings in the new year!

Thanks so much for your friendship,

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patsy .. it certainly was a surprise at the time! Lovely to see his face.

@ Sharon .. poor chap - and I'm glad you have his special day with him, pampering him and making sure it's his birthday and not a conglomerative affair!

@ Karen .. the most important thing was the pleasure he enjoyed with the party .. seeing friends and family.

Thanks so much for your Christmas wishes - past and happy! and then forward to successful and enjoyable 2012s for us ....

Happy times ahead .. and as Karen says - great friendships too .. cheers Hilary

The Blonde Duck said...

I hope you had a merry Christmas!

Helen Ginger said...

What a fabulous story, Hilary! Since I have a December birthday, I love what you did.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are gearing up to celebrate 2012.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Blonde Duck .. I sure did - and know you did from your blog post .. looks delicious.

@ Helen .. you can understand .. I'm lucky I'm after - coming soon!

I'm trying to catch my tail now and be prepared for 2012 .. not long to go!

Thanks for coming by .. and Happy Birthday belatedly ..

To you both .. have lovely rest of 2011s and then excellent 2012s .. cheers Hilary

MunirGhiasuddin said...

Hello ,
Thanks for stopping by. I was extremely busy through out November u untill Christmas eve.

I do remember people born in December and call them to wish a Happy Birthday. My sister in law was born on the first of January. I always call her early in the morning. Also, my husband's neice in Canada and a couple of my friends. My Dad's birthday was the same as Christmas day. I give some kind of tribute in his memory:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Munir .. I must say your post sounded as though you'd been exceptionally busy at work ..

Looks like you have your fair share of Christmastime babies .. not easy for them - and your Dad on Christmas Day .. it's a good time to remember him ...

Thanks for calling in - have a good rest of the week and a very happy 2012 .. Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, and Happy whatever else during this busy month. It all runs together for me and my family with birthdays, anniversaries, and holiday fun. It's a busy time for us. Pass some of that no-bake chocolate cake please.

Wrote By Rote

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lee .. yes they do tend to run into one ... and I forget too ..

A good cup of tea is just what I need - and if I had no-bake chocolate cake here .. I'd be in heaven!

Off for tea I go .. lovely to see you .. enjoy all the celebrations - and hope you're home now and perhaps? able to relax?! Cheers Hilary