Christmas can be a crazy time of the year for many people. It can be stressful, joyful and did I mention crazy. For our family it has usually meant a pilgrimage back to our hometown, Brisbane. Whether it be the gift giving, organising food, trying to please family, drinking too much or putting differences aside just for one day of the year, it can be tough. Some of us do it well, some of us fail dismally and the rest of us sit somewhere in between.
I have found the hardest thing to do deal with over the years are the Christmases our families have had where we have lost loved ones during the year. This year Reece (my hubby) lost his father, so when you have special moments like birthdays. Christmas etc you do feel it.
So what did I do well this year??? Well I was happy with the gifts we gave. I worked right up to the 20th this year, which left me little time to do my usual baking etc. However my parents came down a couple of weeks before Christmas and my Mum spent a day baking with my boys. So coaches, teachers and scout leaders received some homemade bikkies and something extra special in a Christmas card. This year I decided to donate to the Australian Red Cross and the Smith Family as part of our gift to those involved with the boys. The best part of this was that I inspired others to do the same.
In regards to gift giving and family, that can be a tough gig. I really struggle with this every year. Years ago I sat down and showed Reece how much we spent on Christmas, it was a very expensive ordeal especially when we use to fly home for Christmas. We use to forgo pressies for each other. Even now it’s usually only something small. Let’s face it, none of us need anything….we do it out of tradition. Thankfully over the last couple of years our relatives have decided to embrace Secret Santa, where everyone just gets one gift. This is a work in progress and I’m learning to just go with it. But the pressure I put on myself, CRAZY! The pressies I love giving are the ones I’ve made, others that are made by local craftspeople, experiences (movie tickets). I find kids are sometimes the toughest to buy for mainly because I hate plastic toys!
Reece and I got through it fairly unscathed. How??? Maybe we were just lucky? I have to admit I did try to be on my best behaviour. Reece and I did share a few moments reflecting on 2013 and we are so grateful to have each other and our boys. We have our health, home and hearts.
I’d like to dedicate this post to those loved ones who are now with us in spirit.