Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Preparations

Christmas is almost here. I thought I would share our preparations for this year.

We have the tree up, and some lights. I will have to take a few photos sometime. For the first time ever, we've had to remember to put the Christmas tree up HIGH, due to a certain small person who joined our family this year and his delight in eating anything he can reach. We have two stockings up. Munchkin doesn't have one yet. I guess I had better make one for him between now and next Christmas as he will be old enough by then to ferrit around in one. My stocking was made by my mum when I was little. It is felt, and has an apple tree and an A on it (for Amy, just in case you were wondering). Andrew has one that we made as family Christmas presents a few years back. Yellow, with a black star on it.

A small nativity scene sits on the china cabinet by the front door.

We will be making Jesus' birthday cake later this week, most likely on Thursday. It is a mocha fruit and chocolate cake, so easy to make and delicious, delicious, delicious...a perfect choice for Christmas I think. I only ever make it at Christmas, to keep it special. I don't imagine there will be candles on it this year. Maybe next year, as that part is really for Munchkin.

We do have a bit of last minute shopping to do. I forgot that I need custard powder to make the trifle. So Boyo will pick that and some potatoes and kumara up from the supermarket later this week when he is working (he works at a supermarket so it is convenient to give him a list instead of having to go myself). And there's the gifts. We don't give Christmas gifts to each other. Well, we're not meant to at any rate. A few usually do manage to sneak in each year. We give a small gift to our immediate families, and these have been all organised and sent, which I am rather chuffed about. But we still plan on heading out to Dollar Value or the Warehouse to get a few small things. These are to go in our Christmas Child boxes, to get them started for the year.

So what are we doing for Christmas?
We will have lunch with my parents Christmas Eve. We usually have a meal with them most Fridays anyway, just moved this to lunchtime as it means we don't have to rush off to get Munchy into bed. Boyo's parents visited last week and delivered their Christmas presents which are sitting under the tree (unopened still, which is unusual for us - we are not really big on opening on the day and often open any presents early...I guess that might change now we have a child?). We generally don't spend Christmas with our extended family. We decided when we got married that we'd like to focus on our family unit at Christmas, and avoid all the mad travel and stress associated with big family Christmas Day do's. We do try to see family around this time though (just not on the day), and like to have celebrations with them at other times of the year, such as birthdays. This is part of our trying to keep things simple and low stress at Christmas, I guess - not travelling much, not having loads of food or presents, etc. But in saying all that, I do want our kids to grow up experiencing the joy of Christmas, tingling with anticipation and delight, having traditions they can hang onto, and being surrounded by love and fun at Christmas. I just don't want it to be all about getting and getting and getting, and eating and eating and eating. We probably do enough of that throughout the year, without needing to go overboard at Christmas.

On Christmas Day, our menu consists of roast chicken, roast veges and salad, followed by trifle (Boyo's favourite). We also have some dip and chips, the Christmas cake, and hopefully some fresh cherries if my mum manages to get to the market later in the week. I think that will more than amply provide enough food for us to stuff ourselves to overflowing. Boyo was a little shocked when I told him that he can help with the sponge cake for the trifle and making the Christmas cake. I gather I am getting more feisty and demanding as I approach my 30s! I figure that there's no sign on my head designating me as sole preparer of all things Christmas, and that if the family wants to celebrate, then the family should be involved in the work. Besides, part of the fun should be preparing for it together.

Other than eating, our plans include wrapping some shoe boxes. This is our family tradition. Instead of gifts for each other, we are focusing on gifts for people who have less than us at Christmas. The shoe boxes head off into the Pacific Islands to kids who have most often never received a single gift before in their lives. I love doing these boxes, but they are collected in October each year, so I wasn't sure how we could incorporate them into Christmas. So what we are doing is we wrap some shoe boxes on Christmas Day together as a family. Then we pop a few little gifts in each box, to get them started for the year. Each box receives a number of little gifts, which I usually collect on sale through the year, so this is a good way to enjoy giving and the festive spirit, but still have the boxes ready at the right time of year. I wonder what we will buy? Skipping ropes, tennis balls, soaps, hats....should be quite a bit of fun choosing things. Usually I get them on my own during the year when I'm doing our grocery shopping, so it will be really nice to go out as a family and choose some gifts.

We will read the Christmas story too, I think. After all, that's the whole point of the day from our perspective, that God chose to send his son so we could be friends with God.

So that's our Christmas in a nutshell. What special family traditions do you have?

Monday, 19th December, 2010

1 comment:

MaxineD said...

I guess our main tradition, was to attend church on Christmas day as a family.
For many years we also had extra's at our table who did not have family with them on the day.