Happy Holidays To All

Aah Christmas. ‘Tis the season to be jolly…Β  Fa la la la laaa la la la laaa… I wanna wish you a merry Christmas… Pa rum pa pum pum… and all that bullshit.

Oh, I’m so f’kin over it. If I hear one more badly-sung version of Jingle Bell Rock, I’m going to punch something. If I hear one more comment about Victoria having their dreams of a ‘white Christmas’ come true, I’m going to spew. If I hear one more ad about the great deals that are available to Christmas shoppers, I’m going to boycott the radio (as well as the TV) until this whole mess is over.

If one more shop assistant tells me to ‘Have a merry Christmas’, I’m going to tell them that I don’t really drink much because I don’t like the feeling of being ‘merry’… and then I’ll explain that I DON’T actually believe that wiping myself out with alcohol WILL make me enjoy the rare time I get to spend with my loved ones more. Then I’ll wish them ‘Many good times with those who you consider important’, and continue on my way.

If one more child tells me how many sleeps are left ’til Santa comes I’m going to explain that they should be appreciating the money, thought and effort that their parents and loved ones have put into their presents… not thank some strange, fat old man with out-of-control facial hair and bad fashion sense who has come to their house (via the non-existent chimney) while they were asleep, eaten the bikkies and milk (and probably the reindeers’ carrot sticks too, the fat old bugger) and then left a pile of stuff before magically twinkling up the chimney again to do the same at billions of other houses around the world… in one night.

If one more person tries to tell me about Jesus and Mary and the whole ‘religious significance’ of the season, I’m going to ask if they practice Paganism… considering that Jesus was actually born in June or July (or August… or something like that) and that the Christians only adopted December 25 as Jesus’ birthday so that they could take the focus from an ancient Pagan harvest celebration that the people of the time refused to relinquish when Christianity overtook their religion… rather brutally.

If I hear the phrase ‘peace on Earth’ uttered by some redneck who obviously has no idea of the wars currently being fought in other parts of the world… If I hear the words ‘goodwill to mankind’ spoken one more time, knowing that the person whose mouth those words have come out of have probably just spent hundreds of dollars on their kids’ presents (let’s not even start the waste packaging argument here), without a thought for those who simply don’t have the luxury of food to eat or clean water to drink (or how about those who don’t even have a peaceful place to lay their heads at night)… well, I think I’ll just scream.

And if one more person tries to tell me that we’re denying our children something special by not going along with the whole fairy story part of the season, I’m going to go ballistic.

This year we’ve decided not to do the whole Christmas thing… not really anyway. Yes, the children will get presents. It WOULD be cruel to deny them the joy and happiness that society has promised that all those wonderful new toys and electrical technica will invariably provide. Especially when every other child in the country has been promised the same things. We can’t really deny them that holiday expectation without seeming (at least a little bit) to be mean and uncaring parents. Thanks for that society, religion and consumerism…

But we made it clear to the bigger people in our lives that we would much rather prefer that they keep the money they would spend on our presents and use it either to buy something they really want, or use it for something more practical… and I know at least a couple of people for whom a few extra dollars would come in handy. Considering that we don’t really have any need for anything (we have all our practical needs and pretty soon we’ll only have what we can carry), we thought it would be the best way for everyone concerned.

Of course, our Christmas has to be shared with other respective parents, so they won’t miss out on getting ‘stuff’ anyway. No doubt this year will be just like all the previous years and they’ll score up big. Our few little presents will pale in comparison to those that they receive elsewhere. But you know what… that doesn’t bother me at all. Nope. Not one little bit.

Here’s how our Christmas will go…

We’ll wake up in the morning and the kids will get lost for a little while, opening the few meagre presents that will be under our tree. Then we’ll all play with the new stuff for a while, sharing each others’ new coolnesses. I’m looking forward to playing with the granddaughter’s toys, myself. This is Ella’s second Christmas, but the first that she’s been aware enough to know what’s happening. She’s at that beautiful stage of awe and wonderment… and she’s just a pure joy, the little angel. I really hope she has a great day.

The younger girls (12 and 13) will compare their presents and then they’ll swap for a while so they can check out the others’ new acquisitions (probably sitting together in the single lounge chair, shoulder to shoulder, heads almost touching, giggling to each other every now and then). Probably about mid-morning though, one of them will invariably come to me and tell me ‘I’m bored’. But… I’ve planned for this contingency. I have a list of housework compiled already… I doubt they’ll mention that word more than once.

The older kids… we’ll see them at varying stages during the day. Sarah will have a tiring but wonderful day, I think. She’s really going to feel the spirit this year, watching Ella enjoy the day. And she’s going to have to do it several times… what with other parents/grandparents/family/friends’ celebrations. No doubt with all the day’s excitement and energy she’ll be wiped out by the end of the day though… I think they both will.

Alex and Kahlia are probably looking forward to spoiling the little one too, and they’ll be be over at some time. They’ll have a busy day too, what with the various celebrations of both sets of family, and will probably leave before lunch. But they’ll no doubt arrive laden with several musical (or otherwise noisy) items for the baby’s entertainment… and whatever it is will be incredibly cool I’m sure.

Vicki’s coming up from Bris-Vegas, but she won’t get here until fairly late Christmas day. It’ll be a bit disappointing that she’ll miss most of the excitement, but it’ll also be a lot quieter by that time of the day. By then (if she’s lucky) she’ll have the full attention of the baby for a while. She’s missed Ella hugely and she’ll love the time to interact with her.

Other family and friends will pop in at various times during the day, and we’ll probably spend at least a little time touring around to see a few others. It’s never easy to plan Christmas day, but somehow we always seem to catch up with all who matter to us. One thing I do know is that we probably won’t get much quiet… for the first part of the day, at least… but then… sometimes that’s the way we like it.

And then after lunch, when everyone has departed for other places and frivolities… when all IS once again quiet and peaceful in our little corner of the world… I get to spend the remainder of my day with my best friend. I don’t know what we’ll do. We have no solid plans, other than to spend time together. We might veg out for the rest of the day… we might take off for some leafy place… we might decide to sit up on a mountain for a while… or try to find a quiet and secluded piece of beach. Who knows… I don’t really want to make plans. There are some times when ‘going with the flow’ is an extremely attractive option too… especially when you’re in good company. Whatever we do together will be enjoyable.

And so… since we’re not planning on spending a whole heap of money on things that may not be wanted/needed/useful, what ARE we planning on gifting our loved ones with this year? Why, with love, laughter and memories, of course. I plan on spending the day aiming at achieving a smile. I’ve armed myself with a plethora of funny and/or otherwise beautiful stories to relate. I’m planning on saying the words ‘Do you remember the time when you…’ an awful lot… also the words ‘Have I told you that I love you lately?’. I plan on telling every one of those special people in my life exactly WHY they’re special to me. I want to remind everyone of how much we ALL mean to each other… and that we’re all incredibly lucky to have each other. That’s the spirit of Christmas that I believe we should focus on.

My Christmas wish (and also my present to all) is that my loved ones have a day of laughter and love. I hope that they walk away from us smiling… I hope that we’ll create some new memories that will bring smiles to their faces at some future time… I hope that they learn a little about the truly important things from the experience… and above all, I hope that they fall asleep that night knowing just how lucky they are to have so many special people around them.

I guess that’s basically what I would wish for everyone else on the planet too, given the chance… not cool toys and shiny stuff, but love and laughter. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, whatever you’re doing and whoever you’ll be sharing your time with.

…oh, and if you’re lucky… a little Happiness Fairy will pay you a visit…

Happy Holidays To All...

All the best wishes to all of you, from both of us. Peace and goodwill to all….

Tina and Brad.

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10 Comments

  1. jaqviva said,

    December 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    The first half of this I about died laughing, but I think you have a point. I almost hate getting people things this time of year A) because you “have” to and B) because they are just that, things. I really don’t want that many more things to carry with me they weigh you down. I just graduated from college so I don’t really have a home to speak of yet and I have been moving from place to place in the past year. The only thing I really care about having is some one to be there when I need them. That is it.

    Merry Christmas and I wish all the best to you and yours :))

    • Tina said,

      December 23, 2010 at 7:48 am

      Firstly… Congrats on graduating. All the best for your future. 😎
      Oh, and that’s a nice philosophy. It takes many people a whole lifetime to realise what you’ve just put in words. There’s nothing quite like having a willing hand to hold. Genuine love and caring can’t be bought, stolen or learned. When you find it, you definitely should nourish it.
      I wish for all good things for you this Christmas, Jaq. I hope you have a great one, whatever you’re doing.
      xx

  2. December 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I look at Christmas at one time of the year when we all stop, pause and tell the people we care about that we do in fact that we care about them, as the rest of the year that seems to get missed. It doesn’t have to be commercial.It is the day we make it…

    • Tina said,

      December 23, 2010 at 8:02 am

      All too true, FD. The shame is that a whole generation of young people are beginning to forget that… and for what? A new i-Phone to impress their friends? A Wii so they don’t have to go outside to exercise? Movies so that they don’t get bored? Christmas has changed a lot since I was a kid. Back then we used to make gifts for each other… usually practical things. Our toys and games involved using things like string and cans… sticks and rocks. A lucky few of us at school had some luxurious toys such as cricket bats, dolls or marbles. But mostly we played only those games that we imagined for ourselves. Boring in comparison to the lives of today’s kids, but we developed healthy bodies and imaginations.

      But as long as there’s plenty of noise and laughter on Christmas day, the rest is all incidental. I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas too FD. All the best.
      xx

  3. twistyman said,

    December 22, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Have a good one my dear Aussie friends…….

    • Tina said,

      December 23, 2010 at 8:07 am

      You too Twisty. It’s just a shame that you can’t be here to share it with us… we’d get you drunk on our good Aussie beer, that’s for sure. πŸ˜‰

      But we’ll talk to you before then… and we’ll be checking in on the day, you can count on it. 😎

      All our love and best wishes to you. xx

  4. GOF said,

    December 28, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Ahhhh Tina, Tina, Tina…..how could you ever be so cynical? πŸ™‚

    My greatest joy is listening to Silent Night for the 75th time in one day, and almost being poleaxed by some unlicenced yokel in a1975 Land Cruiser with a home built bull bar who hasn’t driven in town since last Christmas and is irate because he can’t find a parking spot at the shopping centre.

    We spent Christmas day chain sawing fallen trees and trying to find various items of value that were washed out of plant nurseries and sheds following 12 inches of rain overnight. (cyclone Tasha). Some Workplace Health and Safety rules concerning the use of alcohol may have been contravened.
    Our neighbour was snorkling trying to locate his hydro-power unit that was washed down into the gorge. Life must be so dull for those who live in cities.

    Best wishes to you and Brad for 2011….hope it is filled with good health and great contentment.

    • Tina said,

      December 29, 2010 at 12:17 pm

      We had a lovely day, thanks GOF. Family, friends, and time alone… I smiled all day long. All my wishes came true.

      I must admit to a few moments of concern for you guys up that way though. We’ve been keeping a close eye on the weather radars and saw that little storm. Precisely the reason we’ll be up AFTER the rainy season. You’ll recognise us… we’re the ones in the old white Landy… with the big bullbar… and the dogs in the back πŸ˜‰

      Wow, though… what fun! And I’m sure that Workplace Health and Safety has something in their manual about alcoholic aid being mandatory in after-cyclone clean-up situations… something about helping to reduce the onset of shock… or something like that… maybe… πŸ˜‰

      I hope you found all your wayward possessions, and I hope they weren’t too badly sodden. I do think it was a bit silly to build your shed and nursery on top of a river, though… 😎

      Anyway, it’s good to hear that you guys had a memorable christmas, even if Mother Nature’s idea of a good present might be a little skewiff. Looking forward to your return to the blogosphere. I’m half-expecting to see a pic of your local razorbacks sheltering in the safety of your smoke-house while you and Mrs GOF sit patiently on the roof…

      Happy New Year, my friend.

      • GOF said,

        December 31, 2010 at 7:42 am

        Now I don’t need you to start telling me how silly I am Tina. Mrs GOF has that process all sewn up. πŸ™‚

        Amazing thing was that after the pump diesel engine had been completely submerged for several hours, I drained all the water out of the sump, turned the crank handle to squelch a whole lot of water out of the exhaust pipe, then voila! the old Kubota fired up immediately.
        Astonishing. 2011 is going to be a wonderful year. πŸ™‚

        Oh, and we saw Tarzan again last week….he’s looking good.
        Ancient, but good.

        • Tina said,

          December 31, 2010 at 7:55 am

          I think Mrs GOF and I will get along well… πŸ˜‰

          We had some similar luck once when our water pump got drowned in the dam due to an unexpected heavy rain. We pulled it up the next morning (assuming it’d be buggered) and left it on its side to drain. A few days later we figured we’d have a good look at it, and fired it up straight away. Nothing wrong with it… meh…

          And you’ve made my day with good news of Tarzan. I always wonder where he shelters during these storms… I’m glad to hear that he’s ok. 😎


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