Twenty eight days ago I signed up to do an on line challenge called Harmonious Home, how to make your holiday period more meaningful, less rushed, less stressfull...or something like that. I got my little diary out on day one and followed the instructions which were to journal briefly how you would like to see the next 28 days, the smells and sounds, the "feel". I wrote stuff like : calm, family, love, warmth, conversation...wish I could put my finger on that damn diary so I could recall. One day slipped away and then the next and the next and finally yesterday I guiltily thought I might have a glance at the final challenge which is today: Play hide and seek with your children. Right. Lady my children will be glued to inappropriate televison for the next 8 hours while I prepare for a calm, loving, warm, spice smelling bloody Christmas! I have a turkey to pop a festive coat on (riduculously complicated recipe that has been my 'traditition' for the past 15 years), people coming for drinks tonight so the front of the house needs at least a hose down! Get my TV watching children to help, to be involved and take photos of us all laughing and dancing around the kitchen and then blog that? Not going to happen, although maybe passing on that turkey to first born isn't a bad idea and Lucinda did say she would like to make bread.
Every year my needle felted, Advent candle lighting Christmas never quite meets my vision. I really must steer clear of those blogs where everything is handmade and candle lit and snow covers the pine trees that are just visable through the handmade curtains of some beautifully restored farm house. We have a semi-naked Miley Cyrus swinging from a bauble on our tree (handmade just the same), and I have to admit when I found her hanging there I laughed my head off and sent photos to friends, boasting about my hilarious clever child.
I do however, like cling to Christmas traditions no matter how lame they may seem. The Myer Christmas windows being one of my favourites despite the fact that the windows are really just a quick stop over on our way to the Mac counter at Myer and dumplings and a glass of chardonay in Little Bourke st. The Kensington Carols was at it's absolute best with Ange and I fumbling our way around but then at 9pm all huddled under shelter, candles flickering I actually looked around and thought, this is really lovely. I have missed driving to see the lights this year but then some traditions can be replaced with a night on the couch knitting and watching Modern Family can't they?
Hazel woke up this morning and announced it was Christmas Eve, she is as excited and happy as any child could be despite the fact that she probably knows at some point today Mum's head will blow off and we'll all be made to "Tidy your disgusting rooms for God's sake!!!! Daryl and Phemie have gone to Lorne to "set up", which is a tradition he loves as it's time with his big girl, Tobie loves Christmas Eve because it means a bit of a concert with cousins and neighbors popping over for a drink, and as for Ailee and Lucinda, I feel things shifting. Their high school uniforms hang in the cupboard and they now have phones (which were confiscated last night " I'm sick of those bloody phones, I'm trying to have family time!!! Or Modern Family time as the case may be.) But they haven't quite transformed into distant teenagers. The Hunger Games, as has in fact provided a brilliant outside activity for my bigger girls as they pretend to be slaughtering each other in all sorts of foul ways. Ailee asked the other weekend at the farm if she could try killing a rabbit with her archery set. Um, no. I'll hold on tight to them this summer as come the end of holidays they will set out across town and I'll feel them slip just a little away from me.
My heart is starting to pulpitate just a little as I think of the jobs ahead. But I knew that sitting and writing before the day got started was going to set a better tone, and although I may not find a moment to play hide and seek, I will now perhaps suggest that the TV goes off, I'm sure washing the house with some soap and a broom could be fun for someone else, and that turkey definately has Phemie's name on it. She of course will have other plans like the traditional Christmas movie marathon with the big kids of neighborhood.
Tomorrow we will wake up and the girls will rush to the tree and I'll put the kettle on and Daryl and I will sit amongst our girls as they open their presents and then I'll start to panic because the turkey always takes so much longer and this year I've also promised a side dish I've never made and lunch is slightly earlier and oh God I'm having a head rush and if I didn't it just wouldn't be Christmas.