Friday, 20 December 2013

So This is Christmas

I have to admit that for a number of years now I’ve dreaded then endured the Silly Season. Maybe it was something to do with all the expectations. It seemed to me there was the expectation that a good time was to be had by all, even if it killed you. Almost a case of “you will have a good time – that is an order!”.  Maybe it also had to do with my perception that in this season of goodwill to all, there didn’t seem to be much goodwill floating around – certainly not in the shopping centre carparks!

So many people seemed stressed, even more so than normal. Looking at the faces of the people around the place (I love people-watching), not many were smiling, or looking like they were even remotely enjoying themselves. Add into the mix the inevitable heat and humidity of living in Sydney at this time of year, and the tensions that arise when putting together groups of people who normally don’t socialise together. It seemed to me to be a recipe for disaster. Just add copious amounts of alcohol to make it a sure thing.
It could be said that I’d become disillusioned by it all – just a tad cynical. Since I’m not a religious person, I don’t have the original reason for the season to help me appreciate it. My idea of the importance of the Christmas season is that it is the time to stop and get off the treadmill, and take the time to appreciate the important people around me, friends and family. But because of the rush, stress, and chaos, this just didn’t happen the way I wanted it to. So I had almost reached the point of becoming a conscientious objector.

the meal table at our Tennis Christmas Lunch
But I’ve changed. I have no idea what brought about the change. All I know is that this year, I’m actually looking forward to having the family here on Christmas Day. I looked forward to the Christmas parties I was invited to, and enjoyed them when I was there, too! I’m not stressed about the preparations, and have just pottered along, doing what I can, when I can, and if something  doesn’t get done, I can live with that. I’ve managed to organise gifts where they are needed, helped a lot by a wonderful husband who did more than his share of the gift shopping. I’m not stewing over whether or not the gifts are “right”. The gifts aren’t the most important thing – the time spent with the people is, and that will happen even if there are no presents.
a good time WAS had by all!
That’s not to say I haven’t put any thought into the gifts – I have. But once they were organised, that was it, with no second-guessing, or changing my mind. It’s done – move on.

This year, I’m not buying into that whole nightmare of doing things because they “should” be done. I’m doing things because I want to do them. I’ve enjoyed the company of friends in the lead up to Christmas Day. My family will be here with us for Christmas Day itself. We found enough beds for them all to sleep in, thanks to a (new) friend here in Bathurst. The food is all under control, although I do have to brave the shops early next week to get the fresh produce.
So, this is Christmas, and I’m looking forward to it.
look carefully - the jenny wren in her nest
she is now feeding at least 3 littlies!


  1. Hi Joy, just found you this morning, so have been right back to the start.
    I am 66, retired private Nanny, last placement was for 7 years, the family had 4 kids in 4 years, so I neeeeded to take a rest, I liked the stress free, productive, simple life and do not plan to change that.
    I too drive a Corolla,knit wash cloths, socks, make quilts, soap,etc retirement is so busy.
    It is a difficult time in the veggie garden just now, some things just don't do well.

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Margaret. It definitely sounds like you needed a rest, and I've found the life I'm living is just the thing for reducing stress. It is still there, but not nearly so much, and it is easier to cope with.

      In the new year, my aim is to improve my soap-making technique and my sock-making technique. So far, they are good enough for us, but not if I want to give as gifts.


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