12 December 2016

Surviving (and enjoying) Christmas

Decorating the Christmas Tree - at least it SMELLS like Christmas

How are things in the Christmas trenches where you are? How's that to-do list? Got an Elf infestation? An Advent Calendar mental block? Feeling like a Grinch?

I'm just writing in solidarity to say, I feel ya. Hang in thereThis too shall pass.

December 26th will dawn and we will have made it through another Christmas - hopefully without too many additional grey hairs.

This is me and the kids' first Christmas on our own, and I have been fairly dreading it. We put up the Christmas tree on December 1st as usual, because the kids wanted to - they were excited that it was nearly Christmas. Me? not so much.
I strung up lights and garlands, hung decorations and Christmas wreaths with a rock lodged in my chest - going through the motions for them. The morning we were due to have our gingerbread house decorating "party" I sat on my windowseat with a few tears leaking - this Christmas season was not feeling OK at all. The first Christmas is the hardest, they reckon.

Christmas wreath - twisted willow and snipped pine fronds (from the back of the Christmas tree)

But somehow, in the midst of gritting my teeth, plastering a smile on my face and doing it for the kids, the rock in my chest dissolved. It wasn't just a matter of "fake it til you make it" - the kindness of people in my world had a lot to with it, I think...

Christmas decorating in spite of myself

A friend who sent books for me to wrap up and give my kids, as if from me. A mum who sent a card home from cheerleading with my daughter containing food shopping vouchers and kind words. A facebook friend who offered her old vacuum cleaner when mine died  - these are just a few of the kindnesses we've been blessed with lately, along with the soul-lifting joyousness of lollies and laughter with friends.

Christmas tree in a new corner - "new spot, new memories" is what my oldest said

Inspiration for stretching the budget has struck in unexpected ways - like a kids' bedroom declutter inspiring a last-minute (but very successful) garage sale which has provided funds to take the kids Christmas shopping for gifts for each other.

Last minute garage sale to raise cash for Christmas prezzies

Somehow in the middle of pressure and stress and worry, I'm finding joy and peace and ways to make ends meet.
I'm no longer dreading Christmas; I think we are going to be OK.

If you're like I was a week ago, stressing, anxious and just not feeling it, maybe my latest story from NZ Parenting Magazine on Rediscovering Christmas might help?

Failing that, browse my collection of Christmas posts for encouragement and inspiration (from my helpful "Guide to an Un-Stressy Christmas" to favourite,easy recipes and Christmas movie recommendations).

If that doesn't help then watch these Christmas videos from the creative geniuses at 
St Paul's for a guaranteed warm fuzzy rush....

(This one is based on my Childrens' Christmas Book)

Merry Christmas my friends

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