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Happy Holidays To All

Aah Christmas. ‘Tis the season to be jolly… Fa la la la laaa la la la laaa… I wanna wish you a merry Christmas… Pa rum pa pum pum… and all that bullshit.

Oh, I’m so f’kin over it. If I hear one more badly-sung version of Jingle Bell Rock, I’m going to punch something. If I hear one more comment about Victoria having their dreams of a ‘white Christmas’ come true, I’m going to spew. If I hear one more ad about the great deals that are available to Christmas shoppers, I’m going to boycott the radio (as well as the TV) until this whole mess is over.

If one more shop assistant tells me to ‘Have a merry Christmas’, I’m going to tell them that I don’t really drink much because I don’t like the feeling of being ‘merry’… and then I’ll explain that I DON’T actually believe that wiping myself out with alcohol WILL make me enjoy the rare time I get to spend with my loved ones more. Then I’ll wish them ‘Many good times with those who you consider important’, and continue on my way.

If one more child tells me how many sleeps are left ’til Santa comes I’m going to explain that they should be appreciating the money, thought and effort that their parents and loved ones have put into their presents… not thank some strange, fat old man with out-of-control facial hair and bad fashion sense who has come to their house (via the non-existent chimney) while they were asleep, eaten the bikkies and milk (and probably the reindeers’ carrot sticks too, the fat old bugger) and then left a pile of stuff before magically twinkling up the chimney again to do the same at billions of other houses around the world… in one night.

If one more person tries to tell me about Jesus and Mary and the whole ‘religious significance’ of the season, I’m going to ask if they practice Paganism… considering that Jesus was actually born in June or July (or August… or something like that) and that the Christians only adopted December 25 as Jesus’ birthday so that they could take the focus from an ancient Pagan harvest celebration that the people of the time refused to relinquish when Christianity overtook their religion… rather brutally.

If I hear the phrase ‘peace on Earth’ uttered by some redneck who obviously has no idea of the wars currently being fought in other parts of the world… If I hear the words ‘goodwill to mankind’ spoken one more time, knowing that the person whose mouth those words have come out of have probably just spent hundreds of dollars on their kids’ presents (let’s not even start the waste packaging argument here), without a thought for those who simply don’t have the luxury of food to eat or clean water to drink (or how about those who don’t even have a peaceful place to lay their heads at night)… well, I think I’ll just scream.

And if one more person tries to tell me that we’re denying our children something special by not going along with the whole fairy story part of the season, I’m going to go ballistic.

This year we’ve decided not to do the whole Christmas thing… not really anyway. Yes, the children will get presents. It WOULD be cruel to deny them the joy and happiness that society has promised that all those wonderful new toys and electrical technica will invariably provide. Especially when every other child in the country has been promised the same things. We can’t really deny them that holiday expectation without seeming (at least a little bit) to be mean and uncaring parents. Thanks for that society, religion and consumerism…

But we made it clear to the bigger people in our lives that we would much rather prefer that they keep the money they would spend on our presents and use it either to buy something they really want, or use it for something more practical… and I know at least a couple of people for whom a few extra dollars would come in handy. Considering that we don’t really have any need for anything (we have all our practical needs and pretty soon we’ll only have what we can carry), we thought it would be the best way for everyone concerned.

Of course, our Christmas has to be shared with other respective parents, so they won’t miss out on getting ‘stuff’ anyway. No doubt this year will be just like all the previous years and they’ll score up big. Our few little presents will pale in comparison to those that they receive elsewhere. But you know what… that doesn’t bother me at all. Nope. Not one little bit.

Here’s how our Christmas will go…

We’ll wake up in the morning and the kids will get lost for a little while, opening the few meagre presents that will be under our tree. Then we’ll all play with the new stuff for a while, sharing each others’ new coolnesses. I’m looking forward to playing with the granddaughter’s toys, myself. This is Ella’s second Christmas, but the first that she’s been aware enough to know what’s happening. She’s at that beautiful stage of awe and wonderment… and she’s just a pure joy, the little angel. I really hope she has a great day.

The younger girls (12 and 13) will compare their presents and then they’ll swap for a while so they can check out the others’ new acquisitions (probably sitting together in the single lounge chair, shoulder to shoulder, heads almost touching, giggling to each other every now and then). Probably about mid-morning though, one of them will invariably come to me and tell me ‘I’m bored’. But… I’ve planned for this contingency. I have a list of housework compiled already… I doubt they’ll mention that word more than once.

The older kids… we’ll see them at varying stages during the day. Sarah will have a tiring but wonderful day, I think. She’s really going to feel the spirit this year, watching Ella enjoy the day. And she’s going to have to do it several times… what with other parents/grandparents/family/friends’ celebrations. No doubt with all the day’s excitement and energy she’ll be wiped out by the end of the day though… I think they both will.

Alex and Kahlia are probably looking forward to spoiling the little one too, and they’ll be be over at some time. They’ll have a busy day too, what with the various celebrations of both sets of family, and will probably leave before lunch. But they’ll no doubt arrive laden with several musical (or otherwise noisy) items for the baby’s entertainment… and whatever it is will be incredibly cool I’m sure.

Vicki’s coming up from Bris-Vegas, but she won’t get here until fairly late Christmas day. It’ll be a bit disappointing that she’ll miss most of the excitement, but it’ll also be a lot quieter by that time of the day. By then (if she’s lucky) she’ll have the full attention of the baby for a while. She’s missed Ella hugely and she’ll love the time to interact with her.

Other family and friends will pop in at various times during the day, and we’ll probably spend at least a little time touring around to see a few others. It’s never easy to plan Christmas day, but somehow we always seem to catch up with all who matter to us. One thing I do know is that we probably won’t get much quiet… for the first part of the day, at least… but then… sometimes that’s the way we like it.

And then after lunch, when everyone has departed for other places and frivolities… when all IS once again quiet and peaceful in our little corner of the world… I get to spend the remainder of my day with my best friend. I don’t know what we’ll do. We have no solid plans, other than to spend time together. We might veg out for the rest of the day… we might take off for some leafy place… we might decide to sit up on a mountain for a while… or try to find a quiet and secluded piece of beach. Who knows… I don’t really want to make plans. There are some times when ‘going with the flow’ is an extremely attractive option too… especially when you’re in good company. Whatever we do together will be enjoyable.

And so… since we’re not planning on spending a whole heap of money on things that may not be wanted/needed/useful, what ARE we planning on gifting our loved ones with this year? Why, with love, laughter and memories, of course. I plan on spending the day aiming at achieving a smile. I’ve armed myself with a plethora of funny and/or otherwise beautiful stories to relate. I’m planning on saying the words ‘Do you remember the time when you…’ an awful lot… also the words ‘Have I told you that I love you lately?’. I plan on telling every one of those special people in my life exactly WHY they’re special to me. I want to remind everyone of how much we ALL mean to each other… and that we’re all incredibly lucky to have each other. That’s the spirit of Christmas that I believe we should focus on.

My Christmas wish (and also my present to all) is that my loved ones have a day of laughter and love. I hope that they walk away from us smiling… I hope that we’ll create some new memories that will bring smiles to their faces at some future time… I hope that they learn a little about the truly important things from the experience… and above all, I hope that they fall asleep that night knowing just how lucky they are to have so many special people around them.

I guess that’s basically what I would wish for everyone else on the planet too, given the chance… not cool toys and shiny stuff, but love and laughter. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, whatever you’re doing and whoever you’ll be sharing your time with.

…oh, and if you’re lucky… a little Happiness Fairy will pay you a visit…

All the best wishes to all of you, from both of us. Peace and goodwill to all….

Tina and Brad.

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