Tag Archive | Christmas

Christmas Come and Gone

Well it’s over for another year. Christmas come and gone in a mad whirl of shopping, cleaning, cooking, entertaining.

It was hosted for the first time this year at Shambles Manor. We did successfully clear up enough room for people to be able to physically enter the house, OK it was never going to pass any sort of white glove test and the rumour that I was still cleaning out the fridge when the first guest arrived may be true. Nonetheless the day went off well with everyone enjoying themselves.

The children enjoyed their gifts, although I’m still struggling to convince Princess Child the maxi dress is in fashion (she likes short, very short – I’m going to need to be medicated for her teenage years).

There was prawns and oysters and smoked salmon, chicken, turkey and ham. An array of salads. With Pavlova and Trifle to end.

Afterwards there were games – Pictionary, Celebrity Head and Trivial Pursuit.  It’s been a long time since we have purchased a board game, I think the Trivial Pursuit may be an original edition. Vintage even. Our first challenge was the fact the die were missing, luckily Cousin Brett found an app on his I-phone that meant you shook the phone and two little die rolled up with assorted numbers. Gotta love technology. Given the age of our edition it was slightly difficult for the children as most questions related to events circa 1970/1980. It was decided that next year everyone is throwing in to get us a new version.

We managed to get the group shot with a lot less drama than usual.

However, trying to get a nice family shot for “the blog” proved a little more challenging.

But in the end this one will be going on the “About Me” page for 2012.

There were leftovers for tea before everyone headed off into the night.

I hope you all had an enjoyable day as well.

Christmas countdown on – are we ready? No we’re not.

Three days remaining until the Christmas festivities. Or 62 hours, 26 minutes and 9 seconds at the time of writing, if you count Christmas day as starting at 6.00am on the 25th.

As the time ticks away the frenzy gets that little bit more intense because, as per usual, we are not ready.

You would think with 364 days notice we could get our act together in time, but no, not us. I know we’ll get get there in the end, because we always do. In one last mad, chaotic, dash we will shop and cook and clean and wrap, all will be delegated duties, quick throw that stuff in the linen cupboard to get it off the floor, for goodness sake don’t MOVE the lounge then we’ll have to deal with the accumulated mess under it, please somebody turn off the oven when the timer goes off.

It’s our own special version of family bonding. In other families they enjoy holidays together,  share hobbies, laugh over similar interests, not us, our bonding takes place in a mad flurry of dysfunctional teamwork as we try to meet self-induced deadlines of visitors arriving at the door.

I claim it is teaching the children to function well under pressure, others may disagree.

Mr Shambles and I will have our annual arguments over me buying too much stuff for the kids and him forgetting to get the ice for the drinks.

I will make my usual claim that next year I’m lay-bying all the gifts in June – and I don’t care if they are out of fashion, out of date or too darn small by the time Christmas rolls around.

Eventually we will sit down at the table laden with prawns and pavlova,  finally a chance to relax. At which point someone will emit an thunderous burp and start a completely disgusting “who can burp the loudest” competition which will annoy me no end.

How are you going? Got it all under control?

The Day I Killed Santa

Microsoft Image

It is now 12 months since I committed the crime. It began as such an ordinary day. I was trying to clean up. When the Princess Child approached me mid sweep.

“Mum, Sam* said his mum told him Santa wasn’t real. Santa is real isn’t he?”

Now look I’ve never been comfortable with the Santa thing, it always felt, well a little deceptive.

However, Hippie Child had breezed through, figured it out and then neglected to tell me she had figured it out (no way she was giving up on extra presents). Just the way it should be deception feeding further deception.

Princess Child is a different personality type. So there I am, ambushed, no preparation, in my head I thought, she’s about to turn 11 and go into Year 5, maybe it’s time. So I answered truthfully.

Turns out it wasn’t time.

The meltdown was immediate. “But I just asked Dad, he didn’t say that”. Really, your father made the right call? Unusual. Would have been nice if he could have given me a heads-up.

So like any self-respecting millenium baby she went away and googled it. Apparently the world wide web confirmed what I had said.

“I don’t believe this, you have been LYING to me for YEARS, why would you do that?”

Yes, why indeed.

I feebly talked about imagination, Christmas traditions. I tried to draw from the recesses of my aging mind the story of St Nicholas, declared that had been a real bloke once who did good things, and it had grown into this Santa Claus thing.

“How can I ever TRUST you again?”

By this time Hippie Child was trying to help.

“I know when I found out about the tooth fairy I was really upset …”

“The TOOTH FAIRY that’s a lie too? What about the EASTER BUNNY are you gonna tell me …”

The look on my face was enough.

“NO, all of them?”

There it was, in one fell swoop I’d massacred all the representatives of  childhood magic.

My mother and Aunt Dorothy arrived for dinner. Princess Child wasn’t finished yet.

“Did you know about this?” she demanded.

Both looked desperately at the door to see if there was a clear run to freedom, but no, the usual mess, (shoes, bike, newspapers for recycling) meant it was going to be an obstacle course they couldn’t dodge with speed.

“So everybody knows. Now I’m gonna have to LIE to my children won’t I? Because that’s what everyone does.”

Well yep. Also, if you could not mention it to any of the other kids at school, just in case they haven’t had the TALK yet.

Now here we are 12 months later, I think she’s come to terms with the grief. However, being the negotiator she is, she has just reminded me that Hippie Child had an extra three years of Santa sacks to her and she wants her share. It wasn’t meant to be that way, I had said Santa didn’t come after you were 12, but because her sister was still getting stuff (and I have a Phd in mother guilt/treat all your children the same)  there had always been a little present or two at the end of Hippie Child’s bed too – mental note – stick to the darn rules!

*Name changed to protect the innocent and because I can’t actually remember what the kid’s name was anyway.

Because I’m too slack to send a card …

Over the years I’ve become very slack at sending christmas cards. It’s not because I don’t care or I’m not thinking of you, I’m just slack. I leave everything until the last minute then realise it’s too late to get everything done. I also hate sending a card with Dear XYZ lots of love from all of us. We haven’t heard from each other for a year wouldn’t it be nice to be filled in on what’s been happening? So then I decide I’m sending a Christmas Newsletter – but that takes longer to get together – and you want to put your best face forward – which is sometimes difficult if the year has been crap. So again, it becomes an unfinished project.

Well today via the amazing technology of the blog, I’m sending a Christmas Newsletter to you all, family, friends old and new.

Dear Everyone,

Another year come and gone. They say with age the years speed up and boy are they right.

The year began with a trip down memory lane when I headed back to Mudgee for a reunion with school friends. We gathered at the local Chinese Restaurant (there hadn’t been a lot of choice in eating establishments back in ’85 and we’re creatures of habits so went with what we knew – I was disappointed the red felt wallpaper was gone, but you can’t have everything I guess). Having been the designated driver back in the day, because I was a non-drinker, I was determined not to drive this time around. I drank too much wine and so we walked home. I thought I was highly entertaining but according to my friend I was just loud.

We’re still got the common link of similar childhoods, cemented in memories of the schoolyard, we’re older, probably not wiser. There’s been a lot of living gone on, marriages, children, divorces, lousy jobs, great jobs, illness, grief endured but we were still laughing and that’s the main thing.

We discovered the world of orthodontics this year. Youngest daughter’s mouth is now the most expensive thing we own, followed a close second by the dog’s back leg which cost $1600 to mend a year or so ago.

Work continued on Shambles Manor this year but we still can’t proclaim the project finished just yet. We are all over this building a house thing and I’ve promised the family never again.

I’ve issued a decree that 2012 will see NO extra-curricula activities for the children. Which of course I will abandon once the new year starts. The year went by in a flurry of soccer, clarinet, flute, band, dance, touch-footy activities that saw me spend most of my time locked in a car transferring from one event to the next.

I went on a competition entering frenzy and managed to win us $6000 in Bunnings vouchers – we’re still working our way through the paper towels I needed to buy to enter but by 2020 I’m sure they will be all gone.  Also scored an I-pad which Mr Shambles (bloody waste of money why would we want something like an I-pad) absolutely loves – in fact I struggle to get a turn on it. The fact it was free was probably an added factor in his adoration.

Mr Shambles managed to get a job in Port Macquarie so no more two hours travelling time per day on the Pacific Highway yayyy.

I did my usual insanity and put my hand up for a new job at my current workplace – more stress but that seems to be what I like.

I discovered blogging and now my family live in fear of what I’m going to say next – it’s good to keep them on their toes.

The children worked hard and delivered personal bests in all their subjects – go girls! They head off into Year 9 and Year 6 next year .

Nana Shambles is still going strong – luckily because she ends up doing as much driving as me with the kids – although apparently Grandchildren get better treatment than children – the fact that she won’t allow them to walk home from the bus stop in the rain fails to recall her own children did many a walk in the rain, frost, sleet. I blame dementia, she says I’m forgetting how much driving she did for me, children say be quiet Mum we LIKE getting picked up when it’s raining.

All in all we enjoyed a good year.

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas with lots of love and laughter.


From all of us.

(Imagine Christmas photo of family inserted here – haven’t got around to taking it yet).