I used to be quite good at Christmas.  Amusing myself by styling my wrapping and decorations, planning a traditional yet seasonally appropriate menu, baking and decorating and making well in advance.  Then when I had children, there was less time to think, plan and enjoy fussing with such things.  Priorities changed, and I was more interested in creating memories for my son of the magic of Christmas.  I would love to do more and actually feel disappointed that I haven’t as I realise with shock that there is less than a week until Christmas.  Just because I had organised the tree, cards, wrapping and bought most of the gifts ahead of time, I smugly rested on my laurels.  Until now, realising that I have no free days before Christmas (that is, I’m either working or looking after the children) I realise what I haven’t done. 

Despite the advice of the carefully laid-out action plans of the lifestyle magazines, I have failed to do ANY Christmas baking or think about what we might need to buy for the day’s meals.  I have not obtained gifts for my father or brother.  There’s still bits and pieces to be wrapped that I always end up doing sneakily once their intended recipients are already in the house.  I haven’t organised a much-needed haircut for goodness sake!  And as for the shawl I’m knitting my mother, I just can’t seem to get time to work on it.  Since returning to work, I feel that my life is a complete shambles.

But, ’tis not the season to dwell on the negatives.  Good things I have done:

  • took Rex to see Santa.  Yes, it was in a local shopping centre, but there was a spark of magic even there as he shyly sat next to the red and white-clad man and shared a whispered conversation.
  • enjoyed using hand-printed paper and recycled* ribbon to wrap gifts for dear friends.  And allowing Rex to dispense and place the stickytape, even though this was bound to be slower and less neat than I would normally tolerate. (*note use of ribbon and bells salvaged from a certain Easter confectionery item).
  • made time before bedtime to sit on the couch with Rex with the Christmas tree lights on and talk about, at his repeated request, Christmas when I was little. Strangely he seems to fixate on the fact that I did not save any of the lollies I received as a child to share with him.
  • remembered to buy glace cherries.  Not sure what for, but Christmas isn’t Christmas without them.
  • caught up with a few lovely friends.  Morning tea at our place, and a lovely lunch here.
  • ordered new candles (the proper type) for my German candle pyramid, a Christmas favourite for the last few years since a friend who lived in Berlin at the time sent it to us.  (My attempts in the past to substitute candles did not work, evidenced by the charred edges of the wooden windmill.)
  • actually sent out the Christmas cards
  • bought a new outfit for me from here.  And earrings from this lovely lady.  (…well, not sure if this counts as a good thing …)

And still to do:

  • convince myself that it is OK to purchase gifts for my father and brother at the supermarket
  • wrap up a stand-by gift for my mum
  • just get to and wrap up everything else I have got lying in wait
  • try and finish my granny twinkle garland
  • plan an antipasto Christmas day lunch to consume with prosecco, and leave the turkey for Boxing Day at my parents’ place.
  • contribute to our annual Oxfam gift at work, where instead of buying gifts for workmates, we all put in for a goat or such-like.
  • listen to Christmas music on the radio
  • enjoy the sunshine