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Tis the Season to be Jolly...


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I should have had all this organised in the middle of the year. I tell myself every New Year that this time I am going to be ahead of the game and have Christmas sorted BEFORE December rolls around. To date, I find myself every December squaring off and marching into the shopping centre to buy gifts, decorations and food. My hubby and I give each other the Shoppers Pep Talk “Gonna do great! We’ll find everything we need and it isn’t going to be any dramas”. Five minutes into our challenge and we are twitching, shaking and strung out as we move amongst the throng of bewildered Christmas panic shoppers.

Bright lights and carols on loop slowly erode your bravado and now you will just grab at any old thing to get out of there back to the safety of home. I can explain to my sister-in-law later as to why I bought her a tube of haemorrhoid cream; “I can explain sis! It was the shop, the lights were so bright, there were so many people about and they were playing Maraih Carey Christmas album. Mariah Carey! (sobbing). The cream was just there! I didn’t know what I was doing, but, yes, I know not the most appropriate gift but you never know when you will get dangleberries…okay yep, bad choice of words there. I’m sorry. Merry Christmas to you too.”

Then there is the Christmas photo with Santa. Not an easy feat when you spend all your time educating your children about Stranger Danger and then try and encourage them to go and sit on Santa’s lap for a photo. Our 5 year old daughter will not have a bar of the Jolly Fat Man. She will stand there and stare at him, and at the thought of having to go near him she becomes possessed. We have two Santa photos with Tilly. One when she was 5 months old and the other she was 3 years old and was on his lap with Mish, who was 10 months old. In that photo you can see she is fuming. Glaring at the camera, in her right hand clutching the lollipop that the Elf gave her to sit up there with her brother, her left hand in a vice like grip on Santa’s arm. Her legs are ready to do the bolt as soon as the photo is taken. In between there has been no luck. This year if neither kid will sit on Santa’s lap for the photo, we are just going to get the photo of Santa and draw stick figures of the kids and send that out to the family.

Our Christmas tree (aka Cat’s vantage point) gets set up on December 1st. We have three trees to choose from. My favourite is the palm tree, but Tilly loves the black Christmas tree, which is probably going to be the tree for this year too despite me wanting to have a white and blue beach theme Christmas. As far as Christmas decorations go, we are pretty tame, keeping it all inside. Mike grew up in Canada and they made snow men and stapled lights to the front of their house. They had a real tree in the lounge room and every year there was a new theme. This is where I got my idea of theming our Christmas. Once all the decorations are set up then a huge wave of excitement comes over the household and the older the kids are, the more fun it is becoming. This year we are going to go to the Christmas carols by candlelight, midnight mass and most importantly show our kids the true spirit of Christmas by picking out gifts to go under the tree at the shopping center. I’m going to try my hand at something more than the Vegetarian Roast roll, this year I am going to try and roast a chicken and do up a leg of ham. I can’t make my Mum’s awesome Christmas chocolate mud cake, but am going to try little chocolate puddings with cream and butterscotch sauce. Of course I will have the fire brigade on standby.

On Christmas Eve, my hubby and I as the super organised parents sit up till early hours of the morning waging a war on wrapping paper and sticky tape as we wrap the gifts. Sometimes in our eagerness we forget what we have wrapped and when we stick the tag onto it hope that it is for the right kid. Last year Tilly was a tad surprised by her Rory the Racing Car and Mish was over the moon he scored Dora the Explorer roller skates. This year, once again we will be doing the shopping in December, but I think we are gonna pull this one off without too much stress. I have written up a to - do list and this afternoon the kids and I are going to sit down and make our own little bonbons to hang on the tree. This weekend I am going to test my skills in the kitchen and make a mini version of Christmas lunch. This year we are going to start laying down our own little family traditions and it is going to be great!



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