“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
What did your Christmas mean to you? For me, it was family. I had a wonderful Christmas this year, and it was all down to who I spent it with. The first one with my little bubba Madeleine, and also a first spending it with Shane and the kids. I wanted it to be great, so planning was the key!
It was hectic for the lead up with so many gifts to buy for. I had all my family in the UK, Thailand and Amercia to buy for, not to mention everyone here in Aus. I planned well this year though and started at the beginning of November. I usually buy local hand made presents or themed presents, however with the post being so expensive, I decided to support all the up and coming artists on Etsy, and bought all my gifts direct from there to be sent to everyone overseas. Such a great idea, as I’m sure the Etsy sellers will agree!
I didn’t go overboard on the presents though, as I like to keep it simple, and remember that its not a time for excess and over indulging, but more a time to reflect on the year, and enjoy those around you and the time you get to spend together. With age and parenthood, I find the presents not as exciting, it is more the giving and seeing your little ones react to Santa, Christmas trees and all the other delights this season has to offer.
Another tradition we continued this year was the Non-cusdodial. Every year my uncle rallies everyone together the weekend before Christmas day, to have a fake Christmas day with his children. He decided that he didn’t enjoy the swapping children that went on every year with divorced or separated parents, and that the kids would have a much better time with their mum and all their relatives than at his. So the Non-custodial was born. The kids are nearly all grown up now, but every year, new additions come into the mix, and this year Madeleine had her debut. My granny from the UK also regularly attends, flying over every year, even though she is already 90! Legend! I used this years Non-custodial as my Christmas day with Aidan as he was due to spend it with his father this year. It was lovely. The meaning behind it is wonderful, and every year it is a great day where we can reconnect and enjoy the weekend with family who are also living thousands of miles away from the UK. Another thing I really enjoy, is the kids give each other small and simple gifts which are received with such love and gratefulness that the true meaning of giving and receiving is so alive, in contrast with so many other children who focus purely on the monetary value, size or amount. Its a little step back into the past!
We also decided this year to celebrate our actual Christmas day with all our other friends away from the motherland with a Lunch at Mel’s. (Little Orange Photography) What an awesome day that was, with a great crew made up of 80% Plymouthians! We had a big cold lunch made by all the lovely ladies, with turkey, ham, prawns and a mixture of salads.. proper Aussie style! A dip in the pool, present opening, alcohol and plenty of laughter. It was lovely to spend it together with who I feel are as much my family as my real family! Such a great bunch of friends who love and support each other, coming together on all good occasions to celebrate together. This has to be the absolute definition of Christmas for me, friends or/and family enjoying as much time together as possible, laughing, sharing and enjoying everything the season has to offer, wherever you end up in the world.
I hope yours was just as good!