Friday, December 26, 2008

Mary Christmas

Last year, when Posy first made sense of the Christmas story, she thought it was about Joe Fish, Mary Christmas and the Baby Cheeses. Christmas kind of came as a pleasant surprise. This year she is so much more on top of Christmas. She informed The Boy that if he wasn't nice he would get coal in his stocking. She has been having a serial theological debate about whether you can have boy angels (she leans towards the negative there), and has been counting the sleeps since November.

So Posy's Christmas? Started at eleven minutes past five, with visions of shiny chocolate Santas and Barbie accessories and shrieks of glee, dancing around with her stocking. When she finally arrived at the Christmas tree she was more interested in evidence of Father Christmas than in her presents. He had eaten most of his Christmas cake, but left some crumbs ('I don't think he likes sultanas...'). He drank all of his beer (he must have been very thirsty with all that present wrapping), and those messy reindeer had spat the ends of the carrots down the chimney again.

Presents were a joy, lunch with friends was a joy, Christmas crackers with silly hats were a great and abiding joy. The darling big sisters helped to make a her a Nativity scene for her very own, and she played with Joe Fish and Baby Cheeses and the animals (including the Christmas Bilby) for the longest time.

Hoping your Christmas was as happy and sparkly as Posy's, and that it didn't end in quite so many tears...

Mary Christmas to all...

By the way, it is now Christmas Eve, Eve, Eve, Eve, Eve, Eve, Eve, Eve, Eve, Eve, Eve, Eve, Eve, Eve, Eve, etc etc. It is rather amazing how long a certain two little girls can keep that up.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Ha! We did it. We did Christmas craft. I love the glue gun. I am rather loving the festive bobbles. It's hard to see in the photo, but they are flecked with gold tinsel, and rather fetching. I am wondering what else I can glue bobbles onto. Curtains? A festive dashboard trim for the car... I am the craft queen.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Third Sunday in Advent

One really excellent way to avoid the crass commercialism of the pre-Christmas crush is to go away to the beach for a week, to a really tiny beachside town with only one shop, whose only concession to Christmas is a small cardboard stand of Christmas chocolates, and a solitary Santa hat.

Of course, being Tasmania, it rained every day, and we scurried down to the beach between showers and built sandcastles which were then demolished by giant gale force tidal waves, because on this island, every beachside holiday is an adventure.

I celebrated our third Advent Sunday by smiling in a fixed and demented fashion through hours of enforced card games, jigsaw puzzles, stories and sibling altercations while the rain poured down outside. I hardly had any hysterical mummy-trapped-in-the-house-with-five-other-family-members tantrums at all. Really.

When the rain stopped Rosy and Posy found a bucket of Christmas decorations tucked away in a cupboard, and made a small tree in the back yard very happy indeed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Second Sunday in Advent

I really love this nativity set. It has been a part of my Christmas since I was about, oh, seven years old. It is still wrapped in the original retro orange-patterned tissues and packed into the same box that it was packed into at my grandmother’s house in 1978. We have only lost one sheep and a shepherd in thirty years. Oh, and the angel’s wings have been glued up several times.

I love that the children quietly rearrange the set sometimes, to reflect their own inner versions of the Christmas story, just as I did as a child. Yesterday Posy dragged a chair over to the mantelpiece and chatted to herself for a while. When asked, she told me that the King was giving Baby Jesus a present, while Joseph went out to see to the camel.

‘I think they eat carrots, like reindeer.’

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Making Friends...

Yesterday I met dear Jenny whose blog I have been reading for some months now - ever since I clicked on her blog from a link and discovered photos of the Domestic Goddess's sewing box...she was at one of Jenny's Doll Making Workshops at the time, the one I was meant to be at, but was home sick and suffering on the couch instead. Actually, it was a blessing in disguise, because the Domestic Goddess (the clue is in her name) inherited the crafty gene from her paternal grandmother, whereas I....didn't.

Jenny was at our town's newest craft market - so many wonderful things. I bought a number of Christmas presents, mostly for myself, but got carried away and ended up lugging 4kgs of luscious local apples all over town. My arms nearly dropped off, but I like to think they will be doing me good twice. Once by developing enormous muscles while I was carrying them (I just checked - they aren't immediately visible, but I know they're on their way...) and twice, when I eat them. Oh, and locally grown apples are propbably good for you on a karmic level as well.

I bought some very darling things from Jenny, which shall remain darkly secret until after Christmas, but also these very sweet Christmas trees, which shall be this week's Christmas craft. I did have an ambitious decorative project in mind, but have decided to go with sane and simple instead. I think I am finally learning sense where craft and myself are concerned. Despite having many good crafty ideas I do not have a crafty atom in my body, and pretending otherwise just makes me and all my nearest and dearest very, very grumpy. Still, with the Domestic Goddess, and her two wee crafty sisters, I feel I have to make some sort of effort, whatever my natural inclinations, so we shall be wielding the glue gun and the embroidery scissors, depending on ability, to end up with something hopefully approximating these adorable creations of Jenny's.

How wonderful to be able to provide Christmas presents for my babies that are all sewn up with love and care by the Lady with the Crinkly Eyes. And how nice must it be to be Jenny – creating little soft dolly children, sent out into the world with love to be new best comforting friends to children all over the world.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

First Sunday in Advent

Imagine if you will...

Scene: Lounge room, lit softly with lamp, lovingly constructed Advent wreath on coffee table. Family gathered round, lamp light shining in their eyes…

Me: For goodness sake, stop slapping your sister.
The Boy: It was only a joke.
Me: Let me tell you something about women – none of them think being slapped is even faintly amusing. That is totally a boy thing.
The Man: Mmhmm, apparently the only person around here you can slap is me.
(boys stage mock fight on carpet)
Me: (repeating like a mantra) Peace and joy, peace and joy. OK, now we are going to light the Advent wreath.
Posy: I want to light it, I want to light it, I want to light it.
Me: When you are eight, like Rosy, then you may light it. You can hold the snuffer, and snuff the candle at bedtime.
(Rosy lights candle, and, mesmerised by the flame, holds onto the match just a little too long)
Me, The Man, The Boy, The Domestic Goddess: ROSY, BLOW OUT THE MATCH!
(Rosy screams, drops match on carpet, luckily very old carpet which has seen worse)
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: No, later. First I am going to say the Advent poem.
(The Boy rolls eyes)
Me: For the seed of love…
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: No. For the beauty…
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: No. For the strength of truth…
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: No. Let us give thanks…
The Boy: Oh, we are.
Posy: NOW, NOW, NOW!
Me: (determinedly cheerful, see profile note, above) Posy, we are going to sing Away in the Manger, just for you.
The Boy: I’ll be off now. I am so thankful, by the way.
(Posy curls up in my lap, eyes closed, angelic face plastered on)
Posy: I am the baby Jesus. You sing.
(We sing)
Posy: (eyes snapping open) I am now the angel. All the girls are angels, but I am the best angel. Can I snuff the candle now?
Me: When you are wearing your pyjamas, and when we have read the story.
(Extraordinarily lightning fast change into pyjamas)
Me: On a dark night, long ago, and in a far country, some shepherds were keeping watch over their sheep…
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: Then the sky was filled with angels…
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: There, lying in a manger…
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: Kings, in their countries far to the East of Bethlehem…
Posy: Can I snuff it NOW?
Me: And that is the story of…
(Posy snuffs candle. Scene fades to black as Mummy collapses on couch, clutching forehead, demanding stiff drink)

Peace and joy. So exhausting.