Category : Family
Is it just me? Is it because I’m getting older? But I swear those Christmas holidays seemed so much shorter than normal. They simply flew by! Mind you, there were times that they seemed to drag, and those were the days that we had absolutely NOTHING on – my version of bliss, but the kid’s version of utter HELL. And what normally ensued was fighting, arguing, the occasional punch up, a couple of blood noses, screaming, crying……you get the picture. So of course, it became hell for me too. Because unlike Mark, I couldn’t escape the little buggers. I was trapped.
But on the days that the sun shone, and there were things to do, games to play, places to see, the holidays were fabulous.
Christmas this year had a big scale back from what the kids had enjoyed in previous years. Present numbers were reduced and there were “themes” around what they were going to receive. A friend of mine – Kerryn Smith – has been doing these “Four Things” each year;
- Something to wear
- Something to read
- Something you need
- Something you want
..or something like that anyway. Those are the themes we used. Plus they each got a big present from Mark and I as well. Plus the Santa sacks (that contained bathers, towels, water pistols….big chunky stuff and some small $2 shop stuff!). The kids were told that this would happen and that if they came up with a good idea for one of these themes for a sibling, that they could “nab” that one and the others would have to choose from what was left. Of course, I actually put the money towards buying them, but I have to say, that the ideas were amazingly moderate in price. It was fantastic!
(on a side note, we were informed reliably by Tom just before Christmas that he knew that Santa was not real. And for that measure, he also knew the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny were not real either. Which all came as a relief to me. I really thought that I would mourn the day when my kids stopped believing, but in fact, I celebrated this milestone. Now Tom can help. We had a discussion about how Santa WAS in fact real. Very real. But Santa is not the man in the red suit that he’d been led to believe, and to believe in. He was in fact a great number of people that worked together to keep the magic alive for younger kids. But moreso, it was about the fact that BEING Santa gives you great pleasure and a sense of community. It is about what YOU can contribute, and how giving actually feels good, rather than getting presents. I think he got it. He helped with the gifts this year (he understands that he has to upkeep the charade of the Santa sack that he gets so that the younger ones can believe), and he is very much looking forward to being part of it all in the future. We quoted the line, made famous by Willem Dafoe’s character, Norman Osborn in Spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility”. Tom now has the responsibility of keeping it all alive).
Anyway, Christmas went well. I tried to set the side of the house on fire with the duck in the Webber, but luckily Mark got a water pistol for Christmas off the kids, and being the champion fighter fighter that he is, he managed to put it out with just one refill of his pistol. Needless to say, we had the duck for dinner. Luckily the turkey was already cooked!
Mark and I milked that arvo, and it was bloody hot. And I forgot to take a refreshing bevvy with me to bring up the cows. Rookie mistake.
The week following Christmas is a stupid one. No-one quite knows what day it is. Some shops are shut, others are open. Some staff have leave, others only have the Chrissy day off. Sleeping routines have gone out the window and the kids are not getting to bed before midnight. It’s a crazy mish mash I tell you. We also lost our dog Rex on New Years Eve. He tangles with the tractor and came off badly. RIP Rex. We also lost a few chooks, but this was by design. They are now gracing my freezer and will form the basis of some very yummy meals.
But before long, we are starting to think about school starting and with Tom starting secondary school this year, we had book lists to pick up, computer to order, uniforms to be delivered. It was a bit exciting really. H started prep as well and hence, it was 4 sets of school shoes and 4 pairs of runners. $850 later………
Mark and I attended a fire in Terang. Hot and blustery, but a reasonable outcome all things considered.
And a great night out was enjoyed watching the Renegades thump the Sydney Sixers. Yeah!
A relaxing 2 weeks in Apollo Bay was called for and we packed up and headed down to the beach for some sun, surf and Dooley’s ice creams (search them on Facebook). It is always difficult to come back after that sort of break, however, school and work beckons and resistance is futile.
H was the first cab off the rank, starting prep on Wednesday. He was so excited and looking forward to it all. The uniform looks huge on him, but experience lets me know that it won’t be this way for long. Biddy and Bella joined him on Thursday, with Tom also attending Trinity College for the first time on Thursday too. Again, a very excited young man heading off to start the next chapter of his life. I was a bit more emotional about Tom going to secondary than I was about H leaving me!
For Mark and I, well we scored new cars. Well, I scored a new car, he scored my hand-me-down. But I had it serviced and detailed and it seemed like a new car!!
So all in all, it was a pretty busy Christmas break. I look forward to enjoying the rest of summer, hopefully catching up with more friends and family that we didn’t see over Christmas. But for now, I am off to referee some more fighting and arguing because its Friday arvo and what else is there to do but start WWIII with your siblings?!