Friday, January 21, 2011

The Festive Season as told by Ness

This blog is a bit overdue….or very early for Christmas 2011!

I always want to be really prepared for Christmas and do my shopping throughout the year. Suffice to say it never happens! This year we decided to only buy for our parents, our nieces and nephews and each other. I make these rules and manage to break them. We set budgets for each present and pretty much stuck to these.

On a side note I do think that Christmas has become extremely commercialised rather than just being a nice time to spend with loved ones. Some people overcommit themselves with spending and then January/February end up being horribly hard months. Children/teenagers seem to want all the latest gadgets (think iPod, Xbox, PlayStation etc.) and these are not cheap. Mark explained that when he was growing up his mum scrimped, saved and budgeted if she wanted to buy Mark and his sibling’s bigger presents i.e. a bike. These presents were often paid off over quite a big period of the year so that as a family they could still afford the necessities in life such as food, clothing etc.

I have always been a spender and I often purchased things on HP or store cards when I had no money. I am ashamed to say that I have never really saved to buy something. I am sure that I am not alone in this. I would like to teach myself (at 35 years old) to save for things that I want. I am proud to say that while I have yet to save up for something I really want, I am no longer putting things on “tic”.

Anyway, this blog is not really about spending.

Beautiful, festive table and yummy pineapple chicken

Christmas really started for me on Wednesday 24th November when I had an amazing lunch with the #SecretSquirrel girls from Twitter. We had an absolutely stunning lunch at Lea’s house. We had bubbles, beautiful food and then we got to exchange presents. I absolutely adore these girls and have enjoyed getting to know them during 2010. I hope that 2011 brings more lunches with them as we get to know each other even better. PS. How amazing are the decorations at Lea’s? I had a brief moment of wistfulness about her beautiful decorations and the fact that Mark and I could have these if we did not have 6 cats. Beautiful decorations + MaxtheCat = disaster!

Mark and I took the week off before Christmas which was amazing. I spent quite a bit of time going to the gym and then going to help the lovely gals at Delish Cupcakes. There is something incredibly festive about helping out people I love and admire, and being caught up in the craziness of retail the week before Christmas. I also purchased a "fake" Christmas tree at an amazing price. I really struggle with buying a real tree and then discarding it. So having this cool tree really helped me find my Christmas "spirit/happyNess". By the way...I was pleasantly surprised that the cats did not maul the tree!

Backyard carnage and poor tree!
The only downside to this week was having the contractors next door to us completely bulldoze the back section, cut down a beautiful old tree and then burn a hell of a lot of scrub and rubbish. They started flipping early on Monday 20th December by demolishing the garages. I just about had a meltdown and Mark told me to stay at Delish until they had finished. After I had a meltdown on the Wednesday and acted like a complete Bitch I decided to choose my attitude to ensure a happy home and marriage. By Thursday I had adjusted to them being there and even managed to talk to the main guy and find out the “gossip”.

Table set for Christmas dinner
Christmas day was absolutely amazing. I woke up extremely early and started baking for Raewyn. I had to wait for about 2 ½ hours for Mark to get out of bed. Christmas Day is the one day of the year where I always feel that children would seriously enrich our lives even more. I always get excited about Christmas morning and not having little people to enjoy it with is sometimes sad. Raewyn came over to pick up her fresh banana cupcakes and to also have a festive drink (bubbles again). We had my parents over and it was an absolutely amazing day. We had beautiful food and I was happy, relaxed and organized. We had loads of bubbles which was fabulous.

On Boxing Day we left our cats in Raewyn’s care and went to spend some time up north with my birth family in Waipu. The traffic was an absolute breeze and we got there in no time at all. Bubbles were the drink of the day for me and I felt happy. I love my nephew and nieces so much; they are just a delight. I love my family and my life is so much richer with them in it.

We slept in a tent with the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, the wind and then one night we had a sprinkle of rain. I love swimming in the crystal clear water with my eyes open; this brings me joy. The flufflies on the sand dunes always remind me of our wedding. There were hot days and hot nights and we just had an amazing time and came back relaxed and refreshed. My sister and I spent some time making her wedding invites so that they could be sent. I love that I could help her with that. I spent time catching up with taped True Blood with another sister; much screaming and laughing ensued.

Left to right: Me, Anna, Sarah and Bec
The only downside about going up north is that we are altogether for such a short time and then it’s over. The way around this is always having something else to look forward to in the near future. So there is my twin sisters’ 30th birthdays, my mum’s birthday on Waitangi Day and then my other sister’s wedding in March. I also want to plan a fabulous 40th birthday for Mark.

So we had a pretty short break from work but it was enough to recharge our batteries for 2011

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing about your Christmas. Bubbles seemed to feature a lot what a why to enjoy the festive season. Your #SecretSquirrel lunch sounded amazing jealous much. I'm always up early on Christmas day I love it, now with having Chloe people don't look at you so strange when you say you are up early.