Friday 15 December 2017

December #TBCSmiles 40 Months.

It's December! And Christmas is almost here. And if you are like us, you will have done very little preparation. Christmas can be very hard and there is more on that in the second half of this post. I am going to be taking some time off the blog though, starting with my first weekend off in 3 months - so hopefully we'll have a tree up by Sunday.

This month we had lots of suitably festive smiles shared on the #TBCSmiles hashtag. Visits with Santa, Christmas trees, festive baking, Christmas jumpers and so many youngsters with their first real taste of snow. We also had a few princesses and even a King. You can find all of the photos by searching the hashtag on Instagram, but here are a few of those that really made us grin this month.

Anyone is welcome to join in, these smiles were shared with us thanks to:

A real favourite, which is truly full of joy, but didn't fit well into the collage, is this one from misiu_on_mange. Simple pleasures, such huge smiles...

We had lots of our own smiles here at The Brick Castle too. I shan't pretend this time of year is easy, but we have managed to find the energy to be busy and we've made many great memories.

We've reviewed tons of Manchester Christmas theatre including The Bear, A Christmas Carol and The Siege Of Christmas. We visited Digital Kids Show and Winter Wonderland, plus celebrated 18th and 20th birthdays in style - including a late night drink on the town with 3 of the big kids.

We've had fun, we had a great month and felt really Christmassy, but we don't have our tree yet and you'll notice my partner missing from some of the events we've been to, because he couldn't manage it. Christmas is a time when we are very aware of who we have lost. We all miss Elspeth terribly.

Three of our big adult children have now moved out, but will be coming to stay and visit over Christmas and it'll be impossible to ignore the fact that Elspeth isn't coming home for Christmas too, but she should be.

If you are facing Christmas without someone you loved, you can do it, you are already doing it. Focus on what really matters and you will find it is so much easier than fretting over every little thing. As I said last month, this is just sparkle. You can make your own sparkle and it's so much better quality than anything you can buy. It may seem impossible, but worrying about it is harder than doing it and usually takes up more time. Your Christmas can still bring smiles and memories to be treasured and that is allowed. Strap on that tinsel-covered fin and keep swimming,

If you are going to be on your own this Christmas then you are not alone and if you'd rather be with other people then you can be. You can ask for help or offer help to hundreds of charities and organisations such as Crisis At Christmas, The Trussell Trust and The Salvation Army and you can even volunteer to help at The Cats Protection League. No-one needs to be by themselves on Christmas Day. Don't be shy to ask, it's what they are there for.

If you are struggling to face Christmas then please, please don't become a statistic. There are so many reasons why you should stay. Please talk to someone. The Samaritans are on hand 24 hours a day. If you are a young person or are worried about another young person, you may feel more comfortable talking to Papyrus or Childline.

From all of us here at The Brick Castle

May your Christmas be the best that it can be xxx


  1. I love all these smiles, so many wonderful ones form around the country and especially your wonderful family. Lots of love and hugs x

    1. Thanks Susan x They are gorgeous and yes! Not only from the UK either - amazing who joins in sometimes :)


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