I love Christmas! I've been counting down to Christmas since September 16th (100 days to Christmas, just in case you didn't know)
I'm not doing an advent calendar. I looked at one of those Cadbury calendars last night. I picked four up (they're on sale at Coles!) Then I put them back. First of all - Sophie will inhale everyone's chocolate in about 3.2 seconds, then Riley will cry (he's still mad at her because she ate his last tic tac. Last Sunday.) Then Douglas will yell because Riley is crying, and Natalie will just hide in a corner with Daisy ignoring everyone. I know these kids. They're better off harrassing me for my stash of chocolate than bickering over who's calendar that is, and who ate who's chocolate (and mummy doesn't have any wine.)
I'm not doing Elf on the Shelf (or any other elves) I reached breaking point last weekend. I spent hours browsing pinterest and etsy and even ebay, trying to find elves that weren't ridiculously priced, to bring some kindness elves into our household. Riley's got some in his classroom at school - elves who bring books to class, and some special lollies, and suggest that the kids do nice things for other people. We so desperately need that. So I frantically asked Caitlin if she had some elves patterns I could borrow, she did, and I thought that was it. But then I looked at the mammoth task in front of me - make the elves, create printables (so no one recognises my writing) move them around every day, and then what? I really want my kids to be kind to each other because they like being kind to each other. I know that's a huge ask, siblings bicker, but I need to find a way to help them. So instead of kindness elves, I started family meetings.
I'm not going ahead with that street party idea I've had in my head for months. As I walk around the streets each day with Daisy, I dream of simpler times. Neighbours say hi to each other, and gather for drinks on Christmas Eve while kids play hopscotch. I've never actually lived it, and I'm not about to start this month. Sure, I can say hi to the people I see early in the morning, or late at night, but to sit out in the street, pretending to enjoy being there and chatting about things not connected to my life, no thanks!
I'm not going to any major Christmas festivities (except 1) Every year as I drive past the signs at the park, I think that maybe this is the year I'll venture out with the kids to whatever-it-is. Then I remember how cranky and hot they are when they get home from school, and how much I don't really want to pile them into cars but just sit at home sucking on icy poles and enjoy some quiet. Except the Carols by Candlelight at our school. Hosted by a local church for the last twenty years or so, we pack up a picnic dinner and head over early (so we get the best spot to watch the fireworks after), check out the market stalls, kick a ball around, and sing loudly (and maybe this year I won't be the only one singing!)
I'm not making any Christmas gifts. I love crafting and making things. And if I was better organised, I make gifts all year round. But I'm not. And I doubt I ever will be. So I'm not making handmade gifts for the kids, or for anyone else.
But just in case it sounds as if we don't do any fun stuff in December, here's a few things we are doing.
We are having pancakes for breakfast the first day after school finishes.
We are having Santa photos taken at the shopping centre we've been going to since Chloe and I first moved to Brisbane.
We are going to sing Christmas carols (see above)
We are going to watch Christmas movies on hot afternoons
We are going to take the annual Santa hat photo of the kids
We are going to make memories
We are going to be together.