Yep, it's been different than the one I planned. With the recent loss of Mr G's dad, we have somehow found ourselves trimming the excess - by which I mean stressful things, unimportant things, too-difficult things.
But in the middle of all the trimming back, we have found that some things we never expected have occurred - like more fun, more time together as a family, and more meaning - which is what I hoped for all along, anyway.
There have been random fun things like Mr G constructing a cubby for the kids in the lounge out of chairs and blankets so they could watch TV.
There have been great suggestions from the kids, like Dash's idea to camp in the garden... which we did yesterday. That was fantastic.
Daddy set the tent up for the kids (after they had tidied up the garden), and they had a picnic lunch, played board games, soccer and rode bikes together. We had a BBQ tea (done on the George Foreman Grilll, to save getting out the BBQ) then read and told stories in the tent until the sun went down, and we could see all the Christmas lights in our backyard.
Today Princess helped me make Jamie Oliver's Christmas Mince Pies... and glaze the Christmas Ham. (By the way if you are making Jamie's pies, I don't know how he got them out of the tins so easily - mine stuck like crazy, but came out eventually! I think I needed lots more grease in the tins! Click here for the recipe, they are so yummy)
There has been minimal shopping (more like brief forays into the madness when only absolutely necessary), and so far no visit to Santa or the Christmas Lights in Franklin Ave.
We have kind of been circling the wagons, cocooned in our little family nest, away from the crowds and hustle bustle which only makes us crazy and stressed.
This is my last post til after Christmas, so I hope you all have a good one. For us, it's going to be quiet. Just our little family. But we are planning to relax and enjoy it, spreading out the presents throughout the day, and eating treats already. We will visit friends and family around the country after Boxing Day and New Years, when we will get to use our hoards of fireworks and champagne...!
Merry Christmas to you all, and thanks to Gail and Sophie for nominating me for a Christmas Spirit Award.
Sorry, I'm not following the rules to the letter, but I re-nominate Sophie, Gail and Rebecca (who have all been nominated by others as well) and here's my top five favourite things about Christmas...
1. Christmas Sounds: I love Christmas music, with my #1 favourite carol being "O Holy Night". My favourite version is by Celine Dion. I play my homemade Christmas CDs constantly to help get in the festive mood.
2. Christmas Food: This year's top favourites are my Mum's Glazed Ham (recipe below) and something new this year, Jamie Oliver's Mince Pies.
3. Christmas Smells: I love the smell of Pine trees, spices, Christmas baking, and even the smell of tinsel!
4. Christmas Morning: I look forward to this all year, and the magic has been recaptured since we've had kids. Their little shiny eyes and glowing cheeks as we open the lounge door to reveal Santa's grotto... And all those Presents!!!
5. Christmas Magic: This is the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you see all your hard work pay off and your family gets another years worth of great memories. This is topped off by the Christmas DVD footage - and new for me this year, the ability to edit my own! I am burning a secret surprise DVD for Mr G as we speak, with messages from the kids.
So, "I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, from the bottom of my heart....!"
Luv and Christmas wishes from
Mum's Glazed Christmas Ham
1 half-cob smoked Christmas Ham
Brown sugar (a goodly amount)
Sherry (a decent splodge, enough to make a sticky paste when added to the brown sugar)
Mustard Powder (1 teaspoon)
Whole Cloves (half packet)
Put the brown sugar in a bowl and add the mustard and sherry; mix to a nice thick syrup.
Peel the rind off the ham and score the fat diagonally to form a criss-cross pattern.
Place the ham in a roasting dish, and brush the glaze over thickly.
Poke in the cloves until the whole ham is studded.
Bake slowly on the lowest oven setting for 1.5-2 hours or until it is golden. You can brush over more glaze if you like. (Don't use the fan setting).
This ham has the best flavour ever. It is my staple Christmas food, and great for sammies on Boxing Day. Enjoy. xx