So we have all our decorations up (including our 3 Christmas trees!.....long story), Christmas FM is tuned onto the car, the Advent Calenders are being eaten (well the 7 year old still has hers, but the 3 year old devoured his two already. In fairness he made them last over 3 days!!!!) The aroma of my Christmas aromatherapy blend is wafting around the house. We have driven around the city and countryside spotting all the decorations. All the presents have been bought and are safely tucked away.
I think I can safely say I LOVE Christmas. I didn't used to feel this way. I was never one of those people who disliked it, I always enjoyed the hustle and bustle, the lights, the sentimentality of it all. But I was never ectastic about it either. I am not sure what has changed. Maybe it's having children. Having my own family that I want to create memories for. I also appreciate the burst of lights and sparkle in the dark days of winter. Something to distract from the dark mornings and nights.
This year has been even more special for me because the weather has been so pleasant for the last few weeks (I really dislike the cold!). It also helps that I am way more organised now and I know I enjoy the run up to Christmas more when I am sorted with presents early in the month rather than later. We are lucky in that; although my husband has a big family, they do Kris Kringle, so I only have one to buy for and through the 'Hickey Grapevine' (a mystery channel of communication that seems to run in all big families I know) I can usually ask someone to find out what to buy the person I have.
With David and my Mam I ask what they want and buy that. The kids are sorted on Amazon. When they are small (like my 3 year old), I tend to tell them what they want to get and we have been lucky in that they have always complied. My daughter will pick a few bits - usually with something a bit unusual in there. Last year it was a watermelon, not too difficult thankfully, the year before a nutcracker soldier (not that easy to find) and this year - a wind up toy cat which has been a bit of a nightmare to track down as I have no idea exactly what she wants!!! Will just have to hope for the best on the morning!!!
We still have an outing into the city to look forward to - we want to make our annual trip to the Winter Park in the City this coming weekend. My Mam will be arriving over the next few days and we will still have our Christmas food to shop for. As myself and David are pescitarians we usually pick something from one of the Cafe Paradiso cookbooks to eat - something special that we wouldn't normally make due to the chaos of life with small kids. (I say 'we', but I really mean David, as he usually does the Christmas dinner - as my Aunts would say - "he's a jewel!").
My thoughts will be with 2 of my closest friends as well this Christmas, as they get through it without their respective mothers. I will be thinking of them and their loss which is always especially sad and hard at this time of the year. As much as I have always enjoyed Christmas in some way, when I lost my Dad nearly 20 years ago, the season became something to just endure for a few years. He will of course be in my thoughts this Christmas, but time is a great healer and now when I think of him I am still sad but it's no longer raw and painful.
How about you - are you all set for Christmas? Do you like it or loathe it?
I hope you all have a peaceful one and if it's not your thing, at least get to have a enjoyable break over the few days. Happy Holidays!!!