Tuesday, December 30, 2014

And so that was Christmas.


Hello! I'm sneaking in a last-minute post to record our December festivities, and now that I'm on holidays may even sneak in a few more to belatedly fill in some gaps from this year!  But first, before I forget: Christmas.


Christmas just seems to get more crazy every year, in terms of my workload. Some days I romance the idea of a mid-year tap concert for my school, but my students and I probably need the December concert to be a big full-stop (really an exclamation mark!) for the whole year of tap. So I spend November and December in a panic: producing, directing, choreographing and administrating two concerts; all the while trying to keep some headspace free for the myriad of other things that need to be done at the end of the year. What it means is that by the time I'm ready to get Christmas prep started I'm exhausted and having to push through in a slightly hysterical manner.


Anyway. We got the tree done very early in December, and everything else (shopping, cooking, wrapping, card-writing) very, very late, but it did all come together on the day.  I woke on Christmas morning with my heart racing, thinking something important happens today, what is it? and then I thought oh yeah, Christmas and stopped thinking work-work-work and instead tried to relax and enjoy.


The kids came in to our bedroom at a very respectable 7:30am and opened their stockings with us. I do like this time, watching them dig in and find a little something and then show it to us all, then wait patiently for their brother to do the same.  It's quite lovely.


Poor Cherub had to wait before we opened the under-the-tree presents.  Like Inigo Montoya, he hates waiting. But everyone needed to be dressed and breakfasted and ready to leave before the wrapping paper could be ripped away.

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I think everyone liked what they received but I am conscious that Christmas carries the weight of expectation, a feeling that maybe under the tree is something so lavish and wonderful that you'll explode with happiness.  And then there's just the dvd you requested and a smallish lego set. On our income with all these people to buy for there is never going to be a big ticket item for anyone, even when I do let the guilt get to me and spend more than I think I ought to on them.  And I think our kids know this and accept it in theory, but they also carry this memory of being 4-years-old, and receiving a really big box full of Thomas the Tank Engine stuff that blew their mind with excitement.  Christmas does  kind of go downhill after that.  But hopefully after you realise that the fireworks present isn't happening this year, you take stock of the nice stuff you did receive and feel happy and grateful. Hopefully.


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In the lead-up to Christmas we had a couple of family gatherings, a big get-together with my Mum's extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins and second cousins galore!) which is always fun, although as it was scheduled on the same day as my Tapkids Concert, I was pretty wiped out during and didn't manage any photographs.  My boys are always pretty popular with the younger kids at these parties and generally walk away with a devoted fan each year.  This year it was 5-year-old Alec who insisted that Climber needed to come to his house for a sleep-over.  Anyway. Here's a photo of my Mum staying with us afterwards.  It was good that she was able to be here, especially to spend time with my sister who is recovering from horrid-but-successful treatment for tongue cancer.


Then there was our Mothers Group Christmas celebration, our 14th! This year we tried the kids out with a 'crap-cringle' which is where instead of buying presents targeted at a specific person you lucky-dip for a gift and if you don't like it you can exchange it for a present that has already been opened. This system favours persons whose name comes out of the hat last, and ruthlessness is meant to be the name of the game, something I'm sorry to say my children displayed shamelessly. This meant we came home with the giant Toblerone and the giant box of Malteasers.  Also the gingerbread house kit, which I think meant we got ALL the sweet stuff.  Good work, Fixit males.


Despite this, my kids have decided that they prefer being bought for over the riskiness and crazy fun of crap-cringles.  They have always been fairly cautious individuals.


On Christmas Day we spent lunch time with the Fixit family, and I really only took one acceptable photo (Pa Fixit handing out presents) and then the afternoon onwards at my aunt and uncle's house with my sister and brother and father and half-brothers and cousins. Didn't take a single shot there, but we had a lovely time and ate some very fine food indeed.


On Boxing Day we headed to Barwon Heads to see some more of my family, and enjoyed more good food and company.  Climber and Cherub were very taken with baby Beatrix.


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And then it was back home to play with the lego and the computer game and to read the new book and eat some of that chocolate, and to rest and stop rushing. It's all good. All that rush and work and effort means there's a busy vibrant Christmas going on round our way, and really that's something to be very happy about. Family, friends, food and fun. Christmas as it should be.  Hope yours was too.

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