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:)
Tired, but determinedly cheerful mother of four. One grown up son (The Boy), one grown up daughter (The Girl), two girls at home, Rosy (18) and Posy (14). Trying to buy a little less, make a little more, live a little lighter, not mess up the children too much.. and now extra frugal adventures with Partner Paul..