Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas 2009

Sadly, christmas is behind us.  I always feel slight relief when i survive another festive season and am able to pack up the decorations and scrap the pages and dust off the year.  However, i also feel a bit out of sorts that real life has to go on.  This was a busy but satisfactory christmas.  It involved a 1000km exodus across the country to go "home" to my childhood town and a stay with my in laws.  Here is a summary of the madness:
  • The kids survived the trip there and back really well.  This time we were better prepared and invested in a trailer for the car (so that the car was empty and more comfortable) and portable DVD players for the kids to watch in the back seat.
  • We stayed at my in laws place which was great.  I love to see the children with their grandparents and always leave the holidays wishing that they lived closer so that this relationship could develop further.  They have moved into a smaller townhouse after my father in laws retirement, which made things a bit more cramped but we managed well.  Fortunately i am the kind of mom who doesn't mind sleeping three in a bed with the kids so we coped with the one room.
  • I loved, loved, loved seeing my brothers two children.  My nephew particularly is at a fantastic age where he is willing to go with us to the beach and the movies and understands that we are family.  He is such a sweet child.
  • We had a busy holiday where we did something every day.  Part of me rebels against such madness and i feel that with the craziness of our lives it is important to have some vegging space but the reality is that when you are in a small house two small kids go crazy without space and activity, especially boys.  Also i like to make the effort and expose the kids to new things as i feel that this adds to their memory bank.  So we went to the beach almost every day. We took the kids to the movies.  We visited the museum.  We went on a game drive at Mpongo park.  We went out for lunch.  We visited my brother almost daily and saw my aunts and my cousins.  
  • We had a lovely christmas day with my in laws at home.  We always have quiet christmas times.  I cant associate christmas with parties.  For me it is about being at home and celebrating family.  We did all the family rituals, putting out the stockings, leaving milk and cookies for santa and looking for santa in the sky.
  • My children got a hideous amount of gifts!  I always feel a little bit ill at the rampant materialism displayed during the season.  I know that i am part of the problem and also get caught up in the process.  All this is made worse by the fact that my kids have two birthdays in December.  I did however sort out two huge refuse bags of toys and give them away so i feel better.
  • We had some family conflict over christmas.  I dont want to give it any more energy by unpacking it but suffice to say that sometimes even if you are family, this does not mean that you share the same world views or even like each other.  Having two families with different parenting styles in one house is a challenge and when one of these families have a challenge with discipline, it spills over into your set up.  But i try to think of it positively.  After all life, and holidays specifically would be so bland without the fun of some good arguing!
  • I loved spending time with my boys and enjoying them.  I am still baffled by the fact that Gabby is starting school for the first time in a couple of days.  They really grow up so quickly, it is crazy.
  • I copied and printed 200 holiday pics and 100 photos of my husband as a baby and a child so scrapbooking rates high on my priorities right now.  That said i have done only 4 pages so i will need to focus on churning out the pages!
As i said yesterday i feel rested, focused, reminded of what gives me joy.  I had to really face my own limitations last year and realise that i cannot do everything and nor do i want to.  I dont want to join the rat race although i acknowledge that i love to work.  I believe that there is a balance that can be found and finding that balance is my real new years resolution for 2010.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Allison,
    Was good to catch up with you. Sounds like you had a great holiday season and trip. All families have their squabbles but what matters is that we work them out or at least agree to disagree. :) I love the new look of your blog. It's sweet and just right for spring which is just around the corner from me. Hard to believe you're having summer weather and I'm freezing to death. Okay I know that 52 is not freezing but when it's pushing 100 must days 52 is really cold. We'll be done with the worst of it by March at the latest. So really I shouldn't complain. I just don't like cold weather. If I lived like in Alaska (just shot me) I would never go outdoors until after summer came. So I would be on the internet all the time shopping, searching (for a warmer place to live) and hopefully getting things like quilting projects done. Hubby would be glad if the fabric stash went down. Hope the year is a spectacular one for you.
    {{HUGS}} Amanda