I can feel pretty ambivalent about the entire event to be frank. It is a lot of effort for one day. There is no other family here in Perth so once again it was just “us” for Christmas – although of course this year we welcomed our little ace.
I’ve been shopping and organising gifts for months, well before baby was born. Elf work is tricky stuff, most especially so finding sans children time to undertake it. Still we got there in the end… and I fell across the finishing line absolutely exhausted and questioning the entire thing – that is until I saw my kiddos smiling faces, grinning from ear to ear on Christmas morning. That made it all worth while. Those smiles reminded me why I put in so much work and effort and why I allowed myself to get so stressed. Every year I promise myself I’m not going to get so stressed about it, and I guess there have been years when I’ve managed to be more relaxed – but this year I suppose throwing an extra child into the mix combined with a dose of sleep deprivation equalled higher stress levels than I would have liked. I just feel so much pressure to create beautiful memories for my children, moments that they can look back on with smiles from ear to ear. Time will tell I suppose.
A couple of years back we started the tradition of having our Festive Feast on Christmas Eve rather than the big day itself. We feel more like eating at night than in the middle of a hot Perth summer’s day and it means that no one is stuck on the kitchen preparing when there are toys to be enjoyed. Added bonus is that there is no meal prep at all due to the loads of leftovers that usually get us through to the end of Boxing day. Good stuff. This year we had red wine caramelised onion and goats cheese tartlets, zucchini with mint and fetta quiche, gruyere and black pepper pop overs, fiesta salad, quinoa & pumpkin salad for the main meal. For desert there was baked custard, apple and blueberry pie, green jelly, chocolate of all sorts and a plum pudding. Christmas morning we had the traditional coffee, croissants and fruit salad to keep us going. My my my … so much food. Ridiculous, to me anyway – but the feast is important to my partner and inturn is therefore important to me.
Ordinarily for our evening meal we like to cover the table with tea light candles… but this year we had to enjoy our meal with them unlit due to a little two year old helper who confused Christmas with birthdays and kept blowing all the candles out! Same two year old was totally freaked out by the crackers and it took some cajoling to get him to re-enter the dining room.
The big man in red apparently paid us a visit. I told them all not to worry – and I can tell you there were moments there when they were truly worried about landing on that naughty list – all children are good at heart and no one would miss out. I don’t buy into the whole potato or lumps of coal in the sack stuff… perhaps that’s why my children feel so free to be naughty? There is only so far I can buy into the Christmas caper – and for me setting a standard that I can’t attain myself is just too much. We’re a faulty bunch in these parts, but we mean well and have hearts of gold.
Gotta say I was well and truly chuffed with all the festive making by M. and E. this year. Our little Ms. M is really getting the hang of colouring and drawing while E. made some uber cool ornaments for the tree and drew a rather menacing Mr. Claus. I adore his mean eye brows and growling expression – no wonder he felt like he did as toddler if this is how he views the jolly man.
So how was your Christmas? Merry and festive? Or like me do you find yourself at times feeling a bit ambivalent about it all?