A Week Before Christmas..

Well, it is truly summer holidays. The last child has now finished school and is in the back garden with a handful of friends. I am not sure what they are playing, but Posy is yelling, 'Minions! Follow me!' so everything is normal.

It has just occurred to me that it is nearly Christmas, and as usual we have our good friends coming over for lunch, and some serious post-Christmas lunch lolling while the children bounce around in the pool. And in honour of the occasion I have decided to undertake several jobs to make the house and garden sparkle (well, maybe emit an intermittent twinkle, at the very least). I'm not quite sure why I feel I need to embark upon this project, as the friends in question see my house and garden several times a week in all its everyday chaos and grime, but you know, Christmas, season of unrealistic expectations and all that, so here's The Plan - A Week Before Christmas:

Day 7: Faff about, play with the children, eat licorice allsorts and jersey caramels, read books - DONE

Day 6: Vacuum and mop everywhere. NB I already vacuum several times a week, but mopping? Hmm, when was the last time I mopped? You will recall that I recommend mopping once a week in my housekeeping routine? Well, that was more optimistic than prescriptive, shall we say.. in fact, today I had some trouble finding the cloth thing that goes on my Swiffer-type mop. It has been a while. When we renovated I carefully chose floors that didn't show the dirt. Anyway - DONE
Pull all the dead lettuce and pea plants out of the pots in the courtyard. We will eat Christmas lunch outside if the weather is clement (not always a given in Tasmania - one year it hailed..), so dead plants not such a Christmas decorator statement - DONE

Day 5: Clean out fridge to make room for enormous amounts of food friends will bring on Christmas Day. We are all sticklers for over-catering which means no-one has to cook for the next three days, an excellent Christmas tradition. Next few days will see us eating all left overs and using up all those jars of condiments with a half-inch of chutney etc lurking forlornly at the back of the fridge - DONE, although everytime I use left-overs to make a meal, I end up with more left-overs.

Bribe child to work way around house with spray bottle, cleaning fingerprints and associated grime from walls and light switches.

Day 4: Make red currant sauce and lemon cordial. Huge downside of Christmas in summer - peak gardening season at Christmas time. So inconvenient - DONE

Make last minute Christmas gifts with girls. Because it just isn't Christmas without some last minute gift panics - DONE

Day 3: Last-last minute gift buying. Just because - DONE, good lord, please remind me to organise Christmas by November next year.

Spread compost over new garden bed I dug out of the lawn last week. Try to make it look less like a freshly dug grave, because that's just not very festive.

Weed under orange trees next to pool - DONE

Mow and whippersnip lawn. Think about getting goat for Christmas - Update: My brother 'bought' me a goat for Christmas, so that is sorted. Apparently I will have to fly to Africa if I want to borrow it to do the lawn though. Tiny bit inconvenient bro.

Day 2: Clean bathrooms - DONE, sweep front verandah, do something with flowers.

Day 1: Encourage children to express their creativity through the medium of Christmas baking - DONE

Swing gently in hammock with book to test for safety of Christmas Day guests.

Later: Listen for tap-tapping of tiny hoofs on roof.

Christmas Eve morning up-date: Well, a number of things on the list are done, a number of things not on the list are done, a number of things on the list aren't done. I think that covers it, and I am totally fine with that outcome.

I will leave you with a Christmas tableau: The dog chasing the cat round and round the Christmas tree with enormous glee (the dog, that is, the cat, not so much) until the dog becomes inextricably tangled in Christmas baubles and fairy lights, and the cat makes good his escape, while the dog barks frantically, and twinkles.

Happy Christmas, all:)

Please tell me about your last-week-before-Christmas lists. I did so appreciate your harrowing tales of Christmas mayhem in the last post:)


Anonymous said…
I think you need more Day 7s and hammock testing sessions.
Anonymous said…
You have a hammock? I am drooling like Homer Simpson at the though of a hammock...as it's just Stevie-boy and the dogs and I for Christmas this year we are having a gorgeous low key "all the food WE like" Christmas. I have been carefully picking fruit from the raspberries, the strawberries and now blueberries that are slowly ripening and I bought a mango from Coles yesterday to add to the frozen mix to add to our Christmas Day punch. The long range forecast for Christmas Day is rain this year (surprise surprise!) so you had better mop that entry so that you can all stand there with glasses of champagne in hand wistfully gazing out at the raindrops bouncing off the pool as the kids bounce off those newly cleaned walls...schadenfreude? Moi? ;)
CJ said…
I'm really wishing that "Weed under orange trees next to pool" was on my to do list. And a hammock too. Sigh. I'm pinching your idea of sending a child round wtih a spray bottle to clean light switches. I have festive baking left to do, and food shopping. And a few dozen other little jobs, you know how it is. I hope you have a good weekend. CJ xx
Jo said…
Dar, yes, but you know, Christmas etc..
Fran, your fruit punch sounds to die for, as does your peaceful Christmas Day, that no doubt will not start at dawn.. BTW my internet says no rain Christmas Day. Fingers crossed xx
CJ, yes I hear you on the few dozen jobs. Every time I turn around I realise I could add several to the above list. You enjoy your festive baking:)
Anonymous said…
Orright... Let me see. Last week was all about the biggest kid - he finished primary school, learned the perils of social media, and discovered that his mother really does know ALL the things and no instagram for you, you 12 year old, you.

Saturday was spent cleaning the damn house (public contact areas, wet areas and any other room I will spend time in) for six and a half damn hours. Yesterday involved baking delicious treats (gingerbread and chocolate crackles) for my work mates instead of spending loads of cash on presents for them all. My Christmas Tip = don't try and make bloody gingerbread on a 30C day. Also, made a list of what I need to still buy people for Christmas. Not as much as I thought. This is good. Although I need dish washing liquid. And egg mayonnaise.

Today, I am at work, and will be off to a shindig at lunch time, followed by doing aforementioned last minute shopping after work. I've also discovered that I can 'mail order' my fruit and veg order to the fruit shop and collect it on my way home on Wednesday afternoon. Win.

Tomorrow is more work, make a lasagne when I get home, do some baking and maybe wrap some presents (adds gift tags to my list), including working out how to wrap a 7' fishing rod that is indeed in ONE PIECE.

Wednesday will involve instructing minions to keep the joint tidy, collecting F&V and making as much as I can the night before, followed by wrapping the rest of the presents. And drinking baileys.

Thursday involves getting up at five past sparrow fart, lunch with the in-laws, they leave about 4pm, and we collapse on the couch.

Anonymous said…
So yesterday, as part of my return to The Land of the Living, I caught up with my online friends, of which you, Dear Blueday Jo, are of course one.

A witty comment was written. Oh such fun!

And then Blogger wanted me to prove I was not a robot. And then my Internet dropped out. And then. And then.

So I gave up and read some more about Ned Kelly. (This is my summer of Ned a kelly.)

Re all the Christmas cleaning, my mother-outlaw says no one notices and to do it after we leave as we all tramp in so much mess and dirt. Gotta love s mother-outlaw who says that. Unlike my German Hausfrau mother who cleans and makes everyone stressed and apportions blame and gives off waves of anger. (I fear I am the latter!)

But we went to my in-laws this Christmas, so I did very little cleaning. Like that even more!
Jo said…
Miss Maudy, I do hope the collapsing on the couch bit has extended to a nice relaxing post-Christmas week.
Lucinda, lovely to see you back, and sorry about that robot thing it just turned up magically, and won't go away. So glad there was a happy ending to your story though, and you got to hang out at your cruisy in-laws' place:)

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