Sunday, November 26, 2006


This is the little haul of books I got from the election day fete thing at the school down the road. They wanted to charge me $2 for the lot, but I talked them up to $5. My friend Nell says I don't understand how haggling works.

Today Nell and I went into the city for my first stab at Christmas shopping this year. We had one of those letters giving families and friends of Myer an extra discount on top of the big sale already on. Not that I fall into that category but I know someone who knows someone who does if you see what I mean. I wish I'd taken my camera, it was such a good Melbourne experience. Could have had a visual record of the lovely hologrammatic stars they've decorated the tram lines with this year, the Myer Christmas windows and the nice little laneway cafe where we had lunch for a start. Anyway, you'll be pleased to hear that I saved a lot of money today with all that shopping! And Nell and I had a nice time, we shop well together.

I find this part of Christmas weird and stressful. Having to do this mad amount of shopping, making, feeding, partying and consuming. And this huge emphasis our society places on "stuff" - get the latest, get the designer version, get it with bonus features. We already have a mountain of stuff in our house. I can't keep up with it all from a housewifely point of view. But in a month's time we'll have even more. Madness. And trying to do it on a shoestring budget gives me a tension headache.

I'm trying to make sense of all this blatant commercialism and consumerism by:
  • imagining the pleasure on the faces of people when they open the gift I chose specially for them. (Fingers crossed!)
  • giving people charity presents (like a year of school supplies for a Bangladeshi child) along with their Myer-sale booty.
  • trying to do a little making/baking of some presents to make them personal.
  • explaining the story of Christmas to the kids (even though we are not a religious household).
The part of Christmas I love is the creating of the Christmas atmosphere in our house. I like making my own Christmas cards, and last year we decorated our own wrapping paper. I love putting up the tree (a real one so the house is full of that gorgeous pine smell). I love wrapping the presents and putting them under the tree. I even loved making the kids personalised Christmas stocking which involved sewing. I love helping the kids do a letter to Santa. I love leaving beer and carrots out for Santa and the reindeers. I'm just a big kid.

There's so much more to do. It's not even December.

But at least I've started.


  1. Oooh ooh! Hemi's Pet! We love that one! Good buy :)

  2. I love saving money when I shop. It is very satisfying ;)

  3. Given that you saved yourself so much money from buying all that stuff, I think you should spend a little on yourself, no?

    We're putting up our tree this weekend. But making paper? You're amazing!

  4. a Teddy Bears book. Wow my son would love that. He has Teddy Bears take the Train and adores it. He also has a Teddy Bears dvd (i think including the shopping book you have)

  5. Hey sis. I haven't managed to read the blog for several days, being swept up as I was in your lovely nephew's birthday and party.

    Anyway, I'm amazed at your organisation at starting work on Christmas shopping already! I myself rarely make a start before the 2nd week of December, and have in the past been known to leave it to the last couple of nights shopping before Christmas (actually not a bad plan, because all of the super organised soul's are at home, having finished long ago, so there are no queues, no crowds to make me feel claustrophic, and I can get a park, plus at night it's not stinking hot - it's even too hot to ride at the moment).

    ps - I think it is probably 15 years since I have thought I was skinnier than you, and usually before visiting I have the usual thoughts, oh crap, I haven't tinted my eyelashes or eyebrows, done my fake tan, or done my situps, because whilst I am not overweight by any stretch of the imagination, you were so skinny for so long that anyone felt enormous standing next to you! At least we both have lovely little soft baby tummies though, mine was looking much better before stupid (lovely) horse injured herself (oh and I cracked those ribs) so therefore haven't been able to ride for 3 MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!!Loved your friend's blog site by the way, and her blog about evil sister and evil parents!

    love me!

  6. Wow! I can't believe you are shopping yet either.. very impressive. I will leave it until the week before then panic and rush around madly. It's a little tradition of mine :)
    We are taking the girls into the city this weekend to see what Syndey has to offer in the way of Christmas magic and I WILL bring my camera!

  7. Humm, part of my typing went away, which is why the first line makes no sense on the previous comment. Dang it! I had been saying that the reason I hadn't answered your text (sorry) - and yes, I am still number one bad aunt, as Cherub's birthday present is still sitting by the front door ready to post - was because it was Heath's birthday party on the weekend, which took up so much time, bloody hell they are hard work. Plus I had the interview for the Corporate governance job on Monday morning, and after spending so much time on the birthday party, then being dog tired afterwards, I didn't start preparing for the interview until about 3pm sunday, which also had to include writing a paper that I had to take along to the interview and discuss my 'approach', Dad gave me 10 out of 10 for it, which was good, after some inital help after talkign through my very rough draft (he was horrified at first I'd left it so late, but really, what choice did I have!).

    Canberra is stinking hot, I despise the heat, it hasn't gone below 30 degrees in nearly a fortnight, and no change until about Monday. The air-con on my car isn't working, which is hideous, and I can't afford to fix it yet, because of stupid enormous vet bill, which after paying $350 still sits at $1100. Oh, and that's on top of the $400 I have just forked out in hay. Dammn the drought! The heat is my other excuse for not posting the Cherub's present, as the queues as the post office are bloody awful at this time of year, and my air-con problem is making me only do the bare mimimum at present.

    love me

  8. 'Stuff' annoys me too .. we don't need any more, and I can't keep up with the masses of it draped around the house as it is. 'Specially the messy kid stuff. Blah !

    You're doing really well though. I usually procrastinate until the 11th hour and then have a mini-meltdown. Stupid, I know.

    Love your haggling style.
    Weirdo ;)


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