Monday 5 December 2016

Things I'm not doing this December

I love Christmas! I've been counting down to Christmas since September 16th (100 days to Christmas, just in case you didn't know)

But there's a whole lot of things I'm not doing this month.

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.

What are you not doing this December?

linking up with One Mother Hen, Denyse Whelan and All Mum Said



  1. I love this post! I just wrote about saying no more over the holidays, why stress yourself out if you don't have to? Sounds like you still have a wonderful list of things to do as a family.

  2. You're a wise woman! I think a 'to don't' list is a must at this time of year. If it helps, years ago we moved the annual street Xmas party to neighbours day in March (last Sunday in March). Works a treat!

  3. I don't have kids and am single so my Christmases are all pretty low-key. I've mostly worked in government so we don't really have any Xmas parties... maybe a lunch or something. So... my commitments are minimal!

  4. I'm not doing any of the above this year....except for making memories and being together!

  5. I love this post!! I'm not doing a traditional roast for Christmas lunch. The table is going to be filled with our family's favourite foods instead.
    SSG xx

  6. I'm not doing elf on the shelf either. I thought this would be the year she was finally into it, but she couldn't care less and I'm too disorganised {and lazy and pregnant} to think of a different idea for each day. Maybe if I start planning it now I'll be organised enough for next year.

  7. I think what I like most about this post is that you are doing the deciding on what works for you and the family and what probably wouldn't. That is empowering! Go girl! Thanks for linking up #lifethisweek Denyse

  8. Love the ideas of things you will be doing for Christmas! #MummyMondays

  9. Sounds like a great way to have a stress-free Christmas! :)

  10. Your December sounds a lot like mine! I'd love to do heaps of Christmassy stuff with the kids but it just doesn't work. Much better to plan things that will suit the family and not cause constant outbreaks of WWIII!!!

  11. I have been doing my Elf On The Shelf for about 4 years now. (I started when my eldest daughter discovered the truth about Santa; I wanted to show her that it can still be fun) I bought two nice elves (the original ones look a bit creepy to me!) from an online Christmas shop and enjoy bringing some cheer to our household. However last year, I started much later (about 12th Dec from memory) as I was flat out and it's quite difficult to come up with different ideas every night. This morning is the first day for our elves.. I'm waiting for my kids to get up and see them! :)

  12. Not doing Christmas cards this year. I generally do photo ones but sometimes like this year I don't.

  13. Oh my gosh, I'm not doing anything this year! I don't know what's gotten into me but I have zero motivation. I just signed myself up for a cookie exchange so I can at least force myself to make cookies with my kids. :) We will do a couple things but no holiday cards this year, no decorating like crazy, no big holiday parties... I think 2016 exhausted me. :) I'm glad I'm not the only one bowing out of activities!

  14. Great post! It's all about balance. We are doing a few things on your not list, but we are not doing some on your do list. Happy Holidays!!!!

  15. We are not putting the Tree up on December 1 as we had planned apparently because that date has been and gone! This weekend hopefully! #OpenSlather

  16. Ooh that's interesting, the 16th is the day after my birthday, extra worth celebrating :)
    Sounds like you are taking the pressure off this Christmas, it's as hard as you make it, hey? Love that you're highlighting the good things too x

  17. Love your plan. More and more seems to get added to our plate every holiday season. I am so thankful there was no Elf on a Shelf when my kids were little. It's all too much. Good for you - picking the things that you like to do!

  18. So far I haven't shopped for any Christmas presents.... I'm too busy traveling in Japan and possibly might not have any money left!

  19. no elves on shelves or otherwise here! We are doing an advent calendar because I found a Thomas minis one that has no chocolate.

    I think its great that you are giving yourself a break. It's a busy time of year and you deserve it!

  20. I've really enjoyed reading your post! I totally understand about the Elf thing - I've never really 'got' this new-fangled commercial addition to Advent. Wishing you lots of comfortable happy family times, with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of togetherness.


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