We arose at a leisurely seven o'clock and ate breakfast together in the kitchen before adjourning to the lounge for presents. This seems to have become a tradition, even Grace accepts that we have breakfast before presents. Everyone seemed pleased with their loot. Grace got a big box of lego, a heart shaped box set covered in sparkles, dvds galore and sundry pieces of tat from father christmas. The bindis in particular were a big hit. Along with the girlie books of stickers he must have got from the $2 shop near Preston market.
I gave G a cool rock book that he has already read (damn) and Grace and I got cd/dvd that wasn't the one he really wanted because that one isn't out on dvd yet except as a zillion cd/dvd box set for more than I thought was reasonable. Maybe I should have, but oh well. I on the other hand totally scored with one of the books that I have been looking at wistfully but probably wouldn't buy myself. Very exciting. Did you know that according to this book, all eucalyptus indigenous to the Melbourne area have cream to white flowers? Except that another book I have on loan, plants of the Merri Merri says that the variety I have planted can have pink flowers. Hmm, a thought that was with me all day and prompted a few discussions about planting indigenous gardens and whether it was tokenistic, futile or a good thing to do in a latte sipping way. Or indeed a plant based form of racism. We obviously over think things a bit, my family.
Before heading to my dad's for lunch G did a load of washing and I dipped some peppermint flavoured sugar in chocolate and we gathered up yet more loot and loaded up the car. On the way I couldn't help noticing all the agapanthas in flower in the dividing strip in Heidleberg. All I could think was weeds, pretty weeds. Sadly there are plants I like to grow in the garden that are also classed as weeds, so not a great thing to be thinking about when trying to be merry.
Luckily it was very jolly at dad's. We mingled and snacked on all sorts of tasty things before feasting on ham and chicken (our family doesn't really like turkey) with vegetables and gravy followed by mum's pudding with spicy brandy sauce and lashings of cream. Yum. Yum. Then there was presents and once again the children scored. It was less crazy than last year and the toys have been much enjoyed. Grace loves her Barbie with the horse and her flipper set, or as she calls them, the duck feet . There was lots of sugar around and lots of excited children who crashed and ended up on the big white couch watching telly.
By the time we got home, Grace was asleep in the car covered in chocolate. She'd had a ham sandwich before we left so there was no need for dinner. It was awesome having my sister Betty, Cam and the girls around. Felt like a much more natural Christmas to me. t was also awesome having Dad and Nina host Christmas and pretty much do everything. Thanks heaps!
Next year it would be nice to: Get the shopping, cleaning and making completed before the week before Christmas so there was more time for visiting, baking and gentle domesticity, have a list of gifts worked out earlier so I don't panic at the end, loosen up a bit and realise that there will always be enough. Our needs are pretty simple really and I should avoid getting love and care confused with stuff
Other great things about Christmas this year: Christmas eve in the park with neighbours and guitars in the slowing light, having all the presents wrapped and ready to go before Christmas eve, Boxing day. How I love boxing day. I spent the whole day in my pyjamas playing with Grace's lego. Excellent.
How was your Christmas? I have loved reading and peeking into some other family Christmases this year. So thank you for that.
Hi, there's a little moment of calm here while G and Grace have popped up to the shops for some last minute bits and pieces. Finally, I feel a bit organised. After a frenzied dash to norflands yesterday feeling panicky that I didn't have everything and some last minute sewing, the gifts are done. And I think they've all turned out pretty well.
So yeah, my anxiety about stuff not being enough probably prompted my dash to the shops, but I'm cutting myself some slack here. I'm a tightarse most of the year and going just a little over my budget is OK. Last night I sat up with a movie and wrapped, so most of that is ready. I'm going to start making dinner soon, it's nearly 11.00am but we're planning on a very early dinner of nori rolls and chicken drummettes tonight, followed by a play in the park. With the cousins! Grace is so excited to be taking the cousins to dinner in the park to see her friends.
Yikes, they're back. OK must go. Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating, and all the best to those who aren't. See you all on the other side. xoxJ
We went and had dinner with my sister Betty and her family at mum's tonight. Fish and chips. Gosh, how the girls have grown since we saw them in August. Grace was very excited but hesitated and sat on my knee for a few moments. Then they were off. Racing around and being cousins. Grace talks about Ruby-Lee and Maeve and them being her cousins very regularly. More than I'd expected considering that we really don't do a whole heap of phone contact in between visits. Ruby-Lee apparently talks about Grace a lot too. They obviously feel something about their relationship that transcends distance. Which thrills me in a way that's hard to explain.
I liked catching up too. It feels like the holidays have begun properly now. I've had a little resurgence of Christmas anxiety and I've spent two days cleaning the house. It was pretty dirty and unpleasant. I have this fantasy of a minibus of camp elves arriving with brushes, brooms and magic cleaning potions and totally sparkle cleaning the house while I relax with a coffee and a biscuit, but well that wouldn't get it done so I just got busy. We now have clean, but slightly streaky windows and clean sheets. All the main shelves have been dusted and de cluttered. The child's room has been rescued from the layers of end of term detritus and general slack arsed, let's just clear a pathway to her bed approach to cleaning.Three boxes of magazines and things we no longer need went back to the opshop. Some of the cupboards have been sorted, my sewing area is tidy, spider webs have been knocked down and the front porch hosed out.
I've done a big supermarket shop. The garden could do with some work, there's manure and mulch to spread, weeds to pull and seedlings to thin. However G resowed some lawn a while ago and has been cutting the grass nearly every second day this month and it's the best it's ever been. And we've tidied up the little outside sitting area. So yeah, I think we can call it done. Especially as I do still have some gifts to make and I guess given that it's only two days until the big one. I hadn't planned on leaving it to the last minute so I'd better get cracking with that. And some baking, if you can call making white christmas baking. And hopefully we'll see the cousins again tomorrow or the day after. Then of course there will be the big, but hopefully fairly relaxed Christmas followed by a boxing day of extreme idleness. In a lovely clean house.
I'm on holidays! Until the new year! Breathe out. Still a bit tired, but nothing some rest and relaxation won't fix.
My sister and her family are coming home for Christmas. The excitement countdown has begun.
Grace bought home her end of year report on Tuesday. We are so pleased and proud of her. Not only is she reading, writing, speaking and listening at a high level, but she scored an excellent for effort and class behavior. Her other results are great too. She might be one of the youngest in her class but she's certainly right into school.
And talking about reading, how cool is it watching your child grow into an independent reader? One night Gerard is reading The Enchanted Forest aloud to Grace. The next night she reads me a good few paragraphs first. Mostly Gerard reads and Grace and I listen. Oh, and how I'm enjoying going visiting up the Faraway tree again. Except for Dame Slap.
Christmas chalk drawings on the community art wall this morning. How I love that this art wall has become part of the scene.
I'm picking berries from the bushes I planted winter before last. Sure, they are threatening to take over the garden, but I think if I tip prune them and spread some manure around, we might get a couple of punnets every couple of days for a while. Yum.
I am thinking of going to Savers and Rathdowne Remnants tomorrow. Grace might come too. Just because.
Christmas shopping pretty much done. Lots of easy craft and some cooking left to do. Nothing too hard. Next week should be pretty cruisey.
Gerard brought the calendars home today - oh my. I didn't think I had taken enough calendar worthy pictures this year and I always grumble inside about the cost of getting them printed. But once again, I'm very happy. Love the really simple layout and quality of the Michaels' calendar. This is the fourth year (?) I've done them and they feel a bit like a tradition.
Dinner in the park in spite of the weather. Actually a fair bit of time at the neighbour's place with lots of kids waiting for a gap in the weather, but it was good to see the kids in gumboots racing around the park in the long wet green grass. At the edges of the park, the grass is so long in places that the kids could hide in there.
I can hear bats outside. How I love watching them glide and swoop across the sky.