Thoughts: Christmas Day and the post-Christmas washup

And… breathe.

I have survived Christmas 2014. And survived well.

In previous years I have found it tough (well, in the last five years). I’ve put things in place that ensure I don’t go to dark places and they seem to be working. I am now able to choose not to dwell on sad. Not to dwell on guilt.

Christmas for me is all about logistics. Sharing my kids with my ex is always a bit challenging. It generally means I have to commute from Central Auckland to Howick, from Howick to Dairy Flat, back to Howick, all with specific arrival times pre-planned. We alternate year-on, year-off who has the kids for Christmas Lunch with our respective families. This year I did. Next year, I won’t see them as much. It actually works.

Preparing gifts for my kids is important to me. And for the last few years I have had to juggle finances to make sure that happens. I have to plan my cashflow for weeks in advance, and given I don’t have a crystal ball, it can be concerning as the Holiday draws near. That being said, I think I’m in good shape at the moment!

New traditions are slowly embedding.

For the last four-five years, I’ve taken it upon myself to prepare the Ham for the family to enjoy. It seems to work and people seem to enjoy it. From a personal growth perspective, my culinary skills are improving. Practice makes perfect!

ham

Note: The glaze I use is Gordon Ramsey’s. Using actual Sherry Vinegar makes a huge difference. Don’t use a substitute!

I’m still very leery of spending time with my family. We aren’t that close and only get together for significant events (parents birthdays, Christmas). Plus I’m not particularly interested in sharing anything of importance with them. There is a disconnect there. And I’m not sure if it’s redeemable. I did try to be more open with them this year and I don’t know if it was actually worth the attempt. We shall see.

I got to spend time with another family on Christmas Eve (that of my significant other). It was interesting to see what they do and how they interact with each other. I do have to say that my ‘normal’ is not their ‘normal’ and as such it was a little overwhelming – not that I’d admit it.

Reflecting on gift-giving.

I love finding things for my kids and other people that they’ve listed. It’s rewarding to be able to tick things off as they’re acquired. Personally though, I’ve reached a stage in life where I don’t need to receive gifts for the sake of it. Generally speaking I do appreciate a little thought in the gifts that come my way. However this is offset with the joy of vouchers. I LOVE vouchers! (and if they’re for a specific purpose then that ticks the ‘thought’ box).

Worst gift of the year? Again, this award goes to my Sister overseas. It was a small book of Sudoku puzzles and a sachet of bath salts.

I don’t own a bath. I haven’t for over five years.

I hope you all have had a joyous Christmas, a relaxed Boxing Day, and have a wonderful slide into New Years.

S.

Pre-Christmas Musings

Whilst I enjoy the Festive Season and all the trimmings and trappings, there are definitely two sides to Christmas for me.

I do experience a strong sense of loss as a result of choices made and I miss some things I used to do and enjoy.

I miss out on seeing my kids getting involved in fun, highly creative ventures.

In previous years I have felt a bit lost at this time of year. Once work is completed and we all go our separate ways, I have felt a vacuum.

This year is different. I’m calmer. More relaxed. Less stressed. Gifts have been purchased and wrapped. Plans have been made. On balance, I’m actually looking forward to Christmas Day.

Interesting.

I do wish for all who read my blog the very best of the Season and I hope that your 2014 is full of joy and prosperity.