Life is currently taken up with preparations to move our family to Pleasant Point, in the South Island. Our movers are doing the packing for us, but even so there are a million things that need.to.be.done.
Friends will be renting out our house for a while, which is an awesome win-win situation. They get to enjoy our house while they discern where to buy, and we don’t have the hassle of property managers and unknown tenants for a while. We want to leave our house in tip-top shape for our friends and future tenants so I’ve been busy weeding the garden and pruning trees, deep cleaning the house, water-blasting the house, and painting.
Because the move is looming large in my mind (we are leaving mid-January), my head isn’t as into Christmas as it usually is. We’ve already done some ‘lasts’, which feels sad and strange. Our last Mainly Music. Last days at kindy. Last church groups. Last catch ups with friends.
I led my church’s advent study [which we always do in November], which helped to clarify and reinforce the values I have about this time of year: keeping Jesus at the heart of everything, keeping things simple, and not mindlessly consuming nor mindlessly buying into trends like Elf on the Shelf (just typing Elf on the Shelf makes my eyes roll…).
At home my two are enjoying the advent calendar (the highlight of their morning), and I let them decorate the tree all by themselves. They were surprisingly good at it!
It’s definitely been a season of NO for me. I’ve turned down invitations to several parties because I need lots of rest and downtime, and so do my kiddos. I said NO to making gifts this year. I had it all planned but when it got down to making them, I just couldn’t face it. I’m tired and a bit stressed with all the things I have to do between now and our move. At first, I raged with myself about spending more money than I’d intended, but rational Angela piped in with ‘Chill dude, you’re moving house, be kind to yourself.’ I went out and bought some lovely, frugal gifts, and shelved my ideas for next Christmas – along with the lesson of making gifts WELL in advance of December.
I’ve said YES to activities and events that aren’t draining: our church’s annual Christmas play, and visiting my friend F’s mother’s house who goes ALL OUT at Christmas. And I mean, ALL OUT. A bunch of us took our families there for the night so the children could enjoy all the lights, bells and whistles that she puts on at this time of year. It was ah-mazing, and it was great to hang out with some of my favourite folks.
Some of the sights at the Christmas extravaganza house
Big and small kids had a blast at the Christmas house
Still to come is a neat tradition that my neighbour S has, where we walk with our children to look at all the Christmas lights on our street (our street is the most popular destination for lights in our town). And then finally we will be carol singing with our church at a shopping centre – loads of fun!
But mostly over the Christmas holidays I plan to take my tots to the beach a LOT and enjoy our favourite spots around town before we leave.
Friends have kindly invited my extended family and I to their place for Christmas lunch so that D and I wouldn’t have the pressure of hosting this year. I’m looking forward to spending time with some of my favourite people on Christmas Day.
How is your Christmas season going so far?