I'm a big softie who likesto keep family traditions

I don't know what my parents did differently with me than my other two sisters, but I'm by far the biggest softie of all of us.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 16th December 2016, 6:01 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 9:19 am
Cheryl loves continuing family traditions
Cheryl loves continuing family traditions

I’m the one who tries and usually fails to put things right, causing havoc in the process, but my intentions are always right.

I’m the one who, for the past 34 years, has wanted every family tradition from my childhood to stay the same even though I’m now a fully-grown adult.

A perfect example is the saga that always happens when we go and buy our Christmas tree.

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Me and my dad used to row because the Christmas tree, in my opinion, was never big enough.

I used to feel this way even though he would almost always have to chop the top off!

When my husband Matt and I moved in together many, many years ago and went to get our own crimbo tree, we would usually have some sort of argument.

This was because his idea of what constituted a lovely Christmas tree and mine were always very different.

This year, however, it was all very harmonious. There was no arguing and it was all very normal. Quite unsettling.

We went and got our Christmas tree in Catherington, where the travelling fair community have been for years.

In fact I remember going there with my parents when we used to live in Horndean during my childhood.

I also remember having rows about what Christmas trees we ended up buying at the very same site.

This time Matt and I both spotted the same tree instantly and, without any deliberation, snapped it up.

Quite a contrast to last year, when we visited five different places before we settled on a tree we both liked.

Once we’d got it home, we then spent Sunday evening decorating it and the rest of our home.

We listened (as always) to Christmas music on a loop until almost every inch of our house was covered in lights.

Nobody had a tantrum and we didn’t argue about a thing.

It was all rather normal, dare I say mature.

Perhaps I’m growing up. I shudder at the thought...


Myself, my mum and half of the Horndean and Clanfield community attended the carol service in Horndean on Tuesday evening.

I didn’t even know it was happening until the guys who run the very popular Oh-So’s café in Horndean told me about it that morning during my regular cappuccino run.

It was such a great evening and I thoroughly enjoyed singing my little heart out – and so did my mum, who was the only person I could convince to come with me.

The Blendworth Band were there and there were readings and prayers in between the carols.

I think it’s so important that communities continue to come together in the spirit of Christmas and join in events like these.

It was truly lovely.


I was humbled to read about the burger van by the fountain in Commercial Road, Portsmouth that is opening on Christmas Day morning to provide breakfast for the homeless, or for those people who are lonely and don’t have anybody to see on the big day.

It really touched me and I urge you to tell as many people as possible who might need it what these guys are doing.

They’re opening the van between 8am and 11am and providing free breakfast baps and hot drinks.

What a lovely and totally selfless deed.

I’m also very confident that it will be well-received by some of the city’s most vulnerable people on a day when most of us will be with our loved ones, in the warm, unwrapping presents.