Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas This Year (definitely different)

Christmas is strange this year - a different house, no children around, only a handful of Christmas cards, and no cooking a Christmas Day roast. It all feels very different from the standard celebrations of the last twenty or so years. How is it in your house?

I mean, is it really Christmas Eve? I only ate my first mince pie two days ago when we visited friends for coffee.

I haven’t even played any Christmas carols yet, yet ask anyone in my family and they’ll tell you I used to play them every chance I got. In fact, the only time I’ve heard them this December is whilst buying groceries at IGA and Woolies, and whilst watching Love Actually! (Actually, once I’m finished here I think I’ll hunt some out on my iPod - can’t go a whole year without playing any!)

It’s also a good job we’ve been invited out for lunch on Sunday, or we’d probably be eating a cold ham, salad and ice cream. Not because I can’t cook the standard meal, but because even after more than six months, I’m still struggling with the ‘using other people’s kitchen utensils’ bit (especially for messy meals). I mean, what if I can’t get them clean again - not that I’ve had any problems, but that seems besides the point.

Regardless of all that though, I still think it takes a special skill and perspective to cook a full Christmas lunch for just two. Am I the only one to think that? Perhaps it’s just because it’s our first Christmas lunch for two. I wonder what I’ll think next year…

Of course, things are different this year for a variety of reasons, including there’s been no dressing a tree and decorating the house. (Don’t get me wrong, the house came with a gorgeous selection of deckies. We just didn’t put them up.) Then having no postal address means our counters are adorned with a lot less cards.

Plus - and this is a true benefit of it all - for some reason, which I haven’t quite fathomed out, we’ve done almost no Christmas shopping at all. Truly amazing! (Just think about it… no queues, no hunting for parking spaces, no having to go out in forty-plus degrees, no poor, flustered parents with trolleys and toddlers… The list just goes on.)

I think it has something to do with a minimalistic lifestyle. We look at things in stores and while they might be nice, we no longer have any wish to buy, own, or give them. A truly unique and refreshing feeling.

But this year we’ve also had the opportunity to see and enjoy the deeper meanings of the festival season. Recognising the many benefits of human interaction and communication over commercialism, which it never does any harm to be occasionally reminded of. Does it?

So on that note, (and before I go off and hunt out some Christmas songs) Steve and I really want to thank everybody who’s played a part in our adventure this year. There have been so many kind-hearted and generous people involved in it. Whether you’ve engaged us to house-sit and care for your pets, helped spread the word, made a comment on this blog, offered us a positive word (or anything in between), please know you have made a difference and your support has been greatly appreciated.

Therefore, whoever you are and wherever you are, we wish you a truly wonderful weekend and a fun, healthy and dream-filled 2017.

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