And then amid it all there was Christmas! One moment we were taking an "end of school year" breath at the bike park and then the next, it was Christmas Eve. The celebrations came up on me so fast this year that try as I did, I never quite managed to get on top of it all but by the morning of Christmas Eve I decided that for this year, where we were at was absolutely fine. It didn’t matter that I was still staring at a sealed box of Christmas cards, having never got around to writing them let alone sending - for those that usually receive one, please don’t hold it against me. And it won’t matter that those Christmas gifts I have wrapped up behind me right now never made it to the post office three weeks ago for their timely arrival across the oceans over 17,000 kilometres away. They will make it into the postal system over the next few days and I can’t see any reason whatsoever for why they can’t become a Happy New Year gift instead. And then there’s the gifts I had intended to send interstate - family gifts, individual gifts, Birthday gifts - boxes full of wrapped parcels. A couple of those boxes are destined for these two families just a couple of borders away who are so so special to us and I know those Mumma’s check in here from time to time so if you gals are reading this, then please know those boxes of love are on their way!
By default I began a new tradition this year and it’s one I’m really rather fond of. You see I actually got too tired on the night before Christmas to complete the wrapping of just a couple of extra goodies for my babes. We had stayed up late the night before to marvel at the Christmas light displays in the next door suburb (sometimes daylight savings you are really not that convenient!) and had then spent the sweltering hot day that followed swimming in my Mum’s pool. That night, the night of Christmas Eve, we celebrated with an Argentinean feast next door at our neighbours and after wondering back home we sprinkled our magic reindeer dust around the garden and set out the snacks and refreshments for those magical visitors we hoped would come during the night. With a sleeping house I crept around to create that magic and fulfill those Christmas wishes by stuffing the stockings* on the end of those beds. Then there was the construction of the main gifts pictured below - the most beautiful castle crafted from recycled timber and with so many movable pieces I've lost count, plus a thirteen piece felt fairy village handmade in Nepal - both I hope will become heirlooms to be enjoyed by many generations to come. So, after all that and with the clock already well past midnight, I decided it would be quite alright to save those couple of extra gifts for a Boxing Day** surprise. With Boxing Day behind us now as well, I’ve decided that is just the sort of thing I’ll be doing each year. The staggering out of gifts, not necessarily the late nights... fwuf there were a few too many of those!
I’m usually one to be well organised and on top of festivities throughout this season, but this year things were different and I decided to cut myself some slack. Mostly everything got done and certainly my kids felt every piece of the magic. And that right there is what was most important. In the weeks leading up to this time I often wondered how we would each feel come Christmas Day. Would it be hard? Would it be sad? Would our hearts long for that person who was not with us to share in the magic? I had my moments in the days before and so too did the kids. All of us at separate times feeling the loss a little more. Surprisingly though, I identified that my own feelings were more for that of my children, those two little people not having their Dad with them for this Christmas, our first as a family of three. Beyond that, for me personally, there was acceptance and the deep peace that comes with that.
So Christmas 2015 has meant another first. Our year of 'firsts' is nearly through but there will be just a couple more celebrations and milestones before we reach that mid-January anniversary. We have a whole lot of fun planned for New Years Eve and shortly after I will clock into another decade! Soon, so soon, I will be turning forty and I have much to say about that closer to the time!
I hope your Christmas festivities were filled with so much love and peace and joy, and I wish the same for your New Year celebrations. 2016 is shaping up to be pretty darn fabulous!!!
See you over on that side, friends :-)
* We don't technically use stockings in our home as family tradition has us placing an empty decorated pillow slip on the ends of our beds which always has a few goodies in it by the morning.
** Boxing Day is the name given to the holiday after Christmas Day - always falling on the 26th December but in the case of this year with the 26th being a Saturday, the Boxing Day holiday is acknowledged on the Monday following. The origins can be found here at good 'ol Wikipedia, but essentially it is similar to Black Friday after Thanksgiving for those in the U.S.