#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

 

#1411 Guess… who?

The day after Christmas is usually spent –

nursing a sore head.

nursing a swollen tummy

nursing a tired body –

and as such not much happens.Β 

Around here anyway.

There are new presents to play with and find homes for, a lot of cleaning, breathing out a sigh of relief that Christmas is over, yet simultaneously feeling sad that Christmas is a whole 364 days away…

It’s a well-intentioned catch-up and family day.

And what better family way to end the day than with an…

Old-fashioned game.

Guess which one?!?!

‘Santa’ got this as one of baby girl’s few presents. I LOVED this growing up and as she’s at an age where she’s getting a lot out of board games like this one.

I sat opposite her while Hubbie helped her work out the best questions to ask to eliminate the most people, and we got to work –

slamming the faces DOWN.

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The best bit? The times I won, she was so rapt, thinking that by me guessing correctly she had won.

LOL LOL LOL.

The end of night scoreboard? 2-2.

πŸ˜‰

#1410 Different tree, same love

The tree we used to put presents underneath when I was growing up was much bigger.

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It was a lot bigger than this tree. After I got married and moved out my parents downgraded to a smaller one, what with having no more kids in the house.

Despite the size, the love is still the same.

If anything, it has grown. Love has grown. Family has grown. Memories have grown. I am so grateful to have spent the day with loved ones, doing the best thing possible I can think of…

Which is sitting around a table in my parents backyard, with those that I love, relaxing in the shade and sun, music coming out of the garage stereo as we add to our memory bank and just chill and talk and eat and chill and drink and chill.

And talk.

And love.

Merry Christmas. β€πŸŽ„

#1406 The Christmas carols

My first intention for tonight was to head on down to the local carols in the park for some festive cheer and fun.

‘Twas not to be. Hubbie was tired from work and not ‘feeling it.’

We settled in for a night of carols on TV instead – if I couldn’t have them in person I had to have them someway, right?

“Don’t they do those on Christmas Eve?” Hubbie asked me.

Automatically I responded –

“Channel 7 do Carols in the Domain the Saturday before Christmas, in Sydney… Channel 9 do Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Eve from Melbourne.”

BAM! Just like that. All Christmas worded-up and everything.

Well I have been watching them all my life, I SHOULD KNOW.

Knowing the Wiggles were on in the first part of the night, we all sat down while baby girl asked repeatedly when they were going to be on.

She totally made up for it when they did arrive on screen, and she danced along to them while we watched her, revelling in her happiness and joy.

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There wasn’t a lot of quiet in our house tonight. We weren’t all seriously watching the carols and singing along with our flashlight features turned on on our phones… we were talking over one another, tuning in and out to songs on telly, singing along to some and talking about our goals for next year and just having the best time together.

We didn’t need no community park concert. We were all we needed.

And then I looked outside and – YES! – our new solar Christmas light was working!

It looked magical πŸ™‚

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My memories of Christmas carols stem way back. Growing up on Christmas Eve I’d sit in the lounge room with my Dad as they played, and Mum would come in and out, busy in her preparations for a big family Christmas lunch the next day. We would then wait up ’til midnight and exchange presents, wishing each other a Merry Christmas, and go to bed excited and buzzing that Christmas was finally here.

They are the best memories.

Well we made some of our own tonight. And though the night actually started out pretty average and flat… as soon as the carols started, something magical occurred in our lounge room.

It was, Christmas magic. β™₯

#1389 The Tunes!

“TUNE!”

It’s what Hubbie yells when a great song comes on the radio.

But today it was me getting excited by the music. We had just been Christmas shopping, and our efforts had been great… we got a lot of stuff including baby girl’s pressies, which was timely seeing as she was at school and had NO IDEA.

On a high from being so Christmas productive, I was happy to hear a song come on the radio, and I immediately turned it up.

“Best movie ending ever,” I said to Hubbie excitedly. “How great is the climax? He comes back after being rejected from the dance company, rejected by her Dad, and he rebels against it ALL, takes her hand, on-stage, and brings the house down as they start to dance.”

“Then the bosses realises,” I still rambled, “‘hey, the holiday-ers actually like this stuff,’ and her Dad goes ‘oh I was wrong about him,’ and it is just sooooo satisfying!”

What movie am I talking about? You should know by now.

Time of my Life, from the ‘Dirty Dancing’ soundtrack.

As if that wasn’t enough to get me happy… as soon as it ended, another great song.

I turned the volume up really high. The max I usually have it on is about 16, maybe 17 or 18 if I’m really excited and driving down the freeway on a hot night with the windows open.

And that’s still loud.

Today I turned it up to 20.Β Hubbie thought the speakers might burst.

But you know, all great songs MUST be played really loud. Like this one:

INXS’ Don’t Change. I absolutely love this song. I love the cyclical 80s film clip. I love the way Michael Hutchence dances. I love the band’s youthfulness and open disregard for structure and rules. I love the time it encapsulates, but most of all I love how it’s just a really awesome song and has some great words which you should learn and sing along to too…

“Resolution of happiness

Things have been dark for too long

Don’t change for you

Don’t change a thing for me…”

#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 

 

#1363 The free coffee that got me festive

Firstly.

I don’t need much to get me into the Christmas spirit.

I love me some Yule, y’all.

Secondly.

I will wait pretty damn long for a coffee. I love it a bit too much, and therefore will happily hang out, at various lengths, to get it.

The barista today didn’t agree. That is, that I should wait.

When I arrived at the shopping centre cafe, the line was decent, there were about 7 people waiting, and only one person manning the place. He was making the caffeine happen, and judging by his solo-ness , also making the ordering happen…

Only he wasn’t. He was as I said, only the lonely. Numero uno.

He looked over amidst his coffee-making several times to apologise for not coming over to take my order… then on the third occasion that he met my eye, he came over, fished out a coffee card from a nearby container which had all the spots stamped out, and said to me –

“here, you shouldn’t have to pay for your coffee.”

I was a bit stunned, and laughed, but took it. I wasn’t even angry or anything! I was happily waiting to be served, but this guy wouldn’t have it.

I had to have it, free.

Five minutes later and I was walking off with my cappuccino warming my hands.

But that was only the beginning you see. The coffee was only starting to course through my veins.

😜

I was in Myer and looking through the Christmas gifting section… thinking of who to buy for, what I could get, looking for some inspo, all that jazz…

And while sipping on my delightful free coffee, looking at all the amusing things around me…

Something happened.

Mariah Carey “All I want for Christmas is you” happened.

😯

In case you don’t know… I LOVE CHRISTMAS SONGS.

Sure I was looking at Christmas stuff, but there was no definitive Christmas soundtrack in the department store. Up until then it had just been a random collection of pop stuff.

But then, Mariah.

I had to breathe deeply when the next song followed:

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

(Oh God it really is).

And then the clincher…

Wham’s Last Christmas.

🀯

Inside, my body was doing something like this:

But on the outside, I was showing this:

Seriously, I was sooo buzzing, and just wanted to break out into song.

“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart

But the very next day, you gave it away…”

All because of a little well-timed coffee and Christmas music.

πŸ˜‰πŸŽ„πŸŽ