#1422 ‘Twas the ‘second’ night before Christmas…

What? She must have her dates wrong you say.

No siree.

It really is the night before Christmas… for those of Orthodox faith.

It’s an interesting thing to celebrate two Christmases throughout your life. It’s a privilege now awarded to baby girl as she joins in the doubled up of festivities.

Growing up, although the primary Christmas we celebrated was on the traditional Westernised date of December 25th, due to my Mum’s background and heritage we were always aware of at the very least, if we weren’t helping our relatives celebrate the Orthodox Christmas day of January 7th.

Seeing as Hubbie’s family is also of Orthodox faith, this acknowledgement and acceptance has grown and continued. All of my life, family and friends around me have celebrated this day… I have been to countless Christmas parties and participated in token Orthodox traditions, drank and ate and been merry on this holiest of days.

Which nationalities celebrate this day you might ask? Well there are Macedonians, Serbians, Polish, Russian, and Greek, to name a few…

I think it’s important to respect and value other traditions, even those that we may not be privy to or understand in the fullest.

Just as living in Australia, I believe that Australian customs should be respected and appreciated by all those who choose to call this country their home, so too do I believe the reverse should be norm: Aussies should respect the traditions and heritage of those with customs and holidays from far off our shores.

Including a different Christmas.

Sometimes I hear a bit of ignorance. One side might discount the other, calling theirs the ‘real Christmas.’

I think this is a bit sad. I don’t think we should be arguing over religion and politics and trying to up our own stance by discounting the other.

Why can’t we all respect each other’s traditions while still enjoying our own?

THIS GOES BOTH WAYS.

Baby girl went to bed tonight excited. She was asking if Santa would come again… I told her he only makes one stop a year, but that there would still be PRESENTS.

We did the majority of presents on the Westernised Christmas day, but I have an inkling she will get something. πŸ˜‰

A second Christmas for a kid? That’s like a second birthday!

She, and we, are fortunate to have double the Christmases, every year. β™₯

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

 

#1409 Anticipation for Santa

It’s so much fun looking forward to Christmas day with a 6 year-old.

Everything is so dramatic, and so passionate.

Because as soon as December arrived, it was –

“Oh, how many days until Christmas? That’s too long!”

And today it was the complete opposite –

“YEAH! SANTA IS COMING TONIGHT! I CAN’T WAIT TO OPEN MY PRESENTS!”

(With a lot of jumping up and down and diving into the couch for added effect).

I don’t know how baby girl (and we) lasted the past month with her questions about Christmas and how far it was… but we made it.

Tonight we sprinkled sparkly oats on our lawn to guide the reindeers to our house.

And then as night fell we took a quick drive around the neighbourhood, gasping and pointing at anything shiny and reflective in the night.

There are some seriously cool light displays out there.

Tonight, it’s the traditional spread for Santa and his red-nosed reindeer.

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I don’t suppose I’ll be the only parent tonight downing milk, chomping on carrots and sneaking in gingerbread? (I say as I wipe away my milk moustache… πŸ˜‰ )

Merry Christmas Eve all πŸ™‚

#1401 Writing Christmas Cards

“Why do I write Christmas cards?”

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It’s a question I sometimes ask myself. Maybe you yourself have wondered why you do it, or more likely, thought about how writing cards is so old-fashioned, and so out-dated, right?

The process for me starts like this.

I need the right pen. Not a cheapie either. I need one that’s a good few dollars and is ‘medium’ only please.

I sit. I sit in silence, and I think of what to write for everyone that year. I will write the same thing for all my family and friends, but still I try to alter it, if only a little, year after year.

I try to write and send them as close as possible to the start of December, but let’s face it that doesn’t happen often. If I know I’ll see someone around that time, I’ll only write their card and hand it to them in person… otherwise I end up sending the majority of them, through post.

Like today.

Secondly, why I write…

Digital is so much easier. Instant. You can forward any Christmas animation onto your contacts, chuck your name on the end and voila!

Christmas greetings done.

I don’t care much for that.

That’s not to say I don’t like getting those messages… but there is something sacred and special about putting pen to paper…

writing a heartfelt message…

writing out all the addresses…

affixing stamps and other Christmas-y stickers on the back to seal the envelopes…

and then putting them all in the bright red post box.

I LOVE IT.

I don’t do it because I expect any in return. Nooo. If I were doing it for that reason I would only be sending out 5, as opposed to 30.

No. It’s not about the receiving.

It’s all about the giving.

There’s something so special about going to your mail box and finding your name on a festive envelope. Knowing you have been wished a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year inside it.

The system of writing the cards also gets me in the Christmas spirit. As time consuming as it sometimes can be, I think this is so much part of my tradition, that if I weren’t to do it, it would feel a lot less like Christmas.

And today, with almost all cards sent, I feel like the countdown to Christmas has really begun.

I can feel it.

I have been sending out wishes, after all. πŸ˜‰

So many people say to me – “I don’t do Christmas cards.”

That’s okay. I don’t expect you to.

But I do them. I do Christmas cards, and whether you give me one or not, makes no difference.

It is a part of my nature… whether it’s because I love Christmas, I love writing, or I love the old-fashioned form of sending and receiving via snail mail…

All in all, it’s a beautiful tradition, that I hope never dies out. If I can I’ll keep it running.

And I hope in a few days time there will be people all over the place, smiling as they open the festive envelopes I sent them.

Because that’s why I do it. To spread the Christmas cheer πŸ™‚

I β™₯ Christmas.

#1386 KK by the river, 2019 edition

When the day started off by walking on a wall, we just knew it was going to be amazing.

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Special. Different even. And it sure was.

ALL of us getting together around a table, girls and partners and kids, and there was not one person missing? Not one that didn’t pull out due to injury/sickness/over-commitment/boredom?

Why I never.

NOT ONE.

These things only happen like once a decade peeps. Hence theΒ special. πŸ˜‰

It was our annual KK catch-up pre-Christmas festivities, and it came nice and early on the first day of December, and the first day of summer (though summer was nowhere to be seen…)

Did we care? Nooo.

We were nice and snug and sheltered.

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And then there was the item of presents.

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GOODY!

The kids chased ducks outside and threw sticks and leaves into the Yarra outside to ‘help’ them float, and us adults chilled and bonded and watched our guys bond too.

Awww. Don’t you just love it when your guys make friends. They don’t admit it but they enjoy it too πŸ˜‰

And so, a pretty perfect day was had. I love being with my gals but it’s even more amazing when we come together as couples and family units and spend our Sunday lunch together, our common tie and reason for uniting being the pubescent group who went to high school together and promised that one day our kids would play with each other while our guys would make friends too, all those years ago.Β  β™₯

And now I have new writing implements so there… (make sure you do KK with people that ‘know’ you, then they won’t get your presents wrong EVER).

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The only downfall with doing KK soooo early?

The debate I’ll be having with my 6 year-old until Christmas day… because baby girl got presents too. Times 4 today.

“I wanna open my presents!”

“No, you have to wait until Christmas! It’s called patience.”

“But I can’t wait!”

“You have to wait!”

“How long until Christmas?”

“24 more days…”

Help me, please.Β 

 

#1378 Squeezing in the tree on Saturday night

Today was my off day, my break from doing something, anything.

Actually it was imposed upon me. I didn’t choose to catch a cold just before December. But alas Rudolph nose, flemmy throat and snots galore are here to give me festive cheer.

Let’s not forget the bouts of weakness interspersed with aches and pains. Nooo.Β 

I would have much rather been entertaining family and friends… but shit happens.

I was, and still am, out for the count.

But I got inspired, for a moment. Hubble was going crazy moving pots and plants outside, and then moving furniture inside the house…

So I asked him to take some big bags out for me from under the stairs…

And we put up the Christmas tree! πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ€ΆπŸŽ

Yes, on the 23rd of November, thank you very much.

Baby girl then told me that her school bestie already had put up her tree, and I was like “shame on us for taking so long!”

πŸ˜‰

Before anyone has a heart attack… it’s JUST the tree. The bare basics. I have all our Christmas bags and decorations in corners of the room to tend to throughout the week.

Because this is, a process. A journey. I like to take my time, put the baubles up with care, hang decorations from the ceiling, and light up the walls wherever I go… to Buble, Mariah and Sia contemporarily caroling in the background. 🎢

It is an experience to be enjoyed.

I don’t do it early, just because I want to. I do it because I’m usually really busy in the first week of December. And having done the same last year and put up the tree in late November, I felt so in front, and so organised with Christmas… that now it’s a thing.

Once the tree was up however, I was on the couch passed out again. Just as well I do this slowly…

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#1368 Sleep socks

I love my sleep socks.

What the hell are sleep socks?

Well, they are socks specifically for the purpose of sleeping in them. Think fluffy, long, super comfy and too thick to wear with regular shoes…

But I don’t really sleep with them.

Sure I end up in bed with them on MANY a night… but during the night all too often I find myself kicking them off in my dreams.

I wear them all around the house on cold nights. Think of them as my Winter accompaniment…

Only we are in Melbourne peeps, and we all know Winter can happen, even on December 25th…

Or November 13th. Like today.

It has been soooo cold lately. Tonight I was feeling chilly and worn out, and just as the heater went on (I know, it’s Spring – hangs head in shame) so too did my sleep socks.

I have like, 6 pairs. Super fluffy ones for those Antarctic nights in Winter… a couple of basic ones in different colours that are kind of like, mid-range in warmth but still totally do the job… and then I have my long ones.

My long spotty sleep socks.

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This is me with my feet up as baby girl falls asleep. These socks are specifically for when it is colder than normal, but not that freezing that I need to throw on a Winter coat or anything.

Hence, tonight.

I bloody love my sleep socks. And living where I do, I can be assured they come in handy, ALL year round.

 

#1068 ‘Til we see Yule next time

Finally, the Christmas tree and decorations are packed away.

I sound relieved. I am.

As much as I love Christmas, once a week after January rolls around, I am keen to put the festivities, back in their box.

I started packing up earlier this week, but due to social engagements and work and random holiday stuff, the boxes have been sitting around the house, just waiting for Hubbie to put them underneath the stairs.

Why don’t I put them under the stairs you ask? Why there are bugs, ew. And I needed some other stuff out of there, so…

We nailed the Christmas star to its coffin tonight, and everything is all tidy again, and I feel free.

No more Christmas ’til mid-November December, right?

Well…

Baby girl has hugged several Christmas lights, decorations and bears as they have gone into their Christmas hibernation places.

She said tonight “Mum… do you wanna put on some Christmas music?”

And when she ate dinner tonight, it had to be from her Christmas plate (like the last 5 months have been).

Someone isn’t keen to say goodbye just yet. πŸ˜‰

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Photo by Chelsea Francis on Unsplash