|Image above via Pinterest|
On Sunday we went out for a walk dressed in long sleeves, cardigans, socks and shoes. Except that wasn't even enough for me and I pinched the wool-lined jacket Graeme was wearing. Brrrrrrrrr. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas (OK, it's not that cold, but you'd definitely be asking for your money back if you've flown in specially from the northern hemisphere).
Then we spotted a mass of brambles and started picking blackberries. Such a lovely surprise to find so many ripe berries, and yet it felt odd to be picking blackberries in December. It still feels all topsy turvy!
What I am really enjoying about December this year is that it's quite a bit slower. I don't know if it's because of where we live now, but I'm not finding it as energy-sapping as Decembers in England. (Actually, if I really think about it, it's because one: the boys are sapping all my energy and there's nowt left to sap, and two: we had friends and family close by in England which meant social gatherings, parties, evenings out and lots of baking in the kitchen. If you don't have any of the former, then you don't have much of the latter. Boo hoo.)
Seriously though, I am working towards a Slow Christmas in the same vein as Slow Food, I suppose. Buy less but buy good quality is my thing but it's certainly very appropriate for this time of year.
Have a read of this:
I get overwhelmed at all the gifts my daughter receives at Christmas. I’m sure she does too. I’ve watched her move from unwrapping one gift to the next without pausing to register what she had just unwrapped. I’ve also seen her struggle to decide which new toy to play with, only to give up and play with a box or wrapping paper.
Those are the words of Tricia from Little Eco Footprints. I read this and felt annoyed with myself for not putting a stop to this in our family sooner. Deep down I've known it's not right, but often when you combine presents from different members of the family, you get this scenario. We might set some presents aside for Boxing Day perhaps. What do you do in your family to avoid mass hysteria or do you think that's part of the fun?
Anyway, I'm mindful of it now and while the boys have a few presents to unwrap, they're things I've been collecting over the past few months – some from second-hand stalls, some from markets and some online (anything to avoid noisy shopping centres). Books are always at the top of the present list for us (I don't think you can have too many good books). Also from Santa: a wooden toddle truck for Kian, a clock for Luca and building blocks for both of them to play with. I'm happy with that.
We've decorated the tree. Luca is enjoying his advent calendar from Grandma second time around (above) and I might get around to some quiet baking at the weekend with Luca while Kian sleeps.
With Luca nearing four, I've decided to make this Christmas a time for us to do something charitable involving the boys. I gently explained that some families don't have a lot of money and so we packed a shoe box with toys, clothes and stationery to send to a child as part of the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. Luca enjoyed helping me pack the box and choosing the toys. We included a little note and a picture and as we've opted to 'follow our box', I'm hoping Luca will get to see a little person opening it soon.
That's definitely been the highlight of my December so far.
By the way, there are a load of drop-off points around Australia. The deadline is Saturday, so you still have time if you'd like to pack a shoe box with a few special items.
P.S. There I was thinking I may have coined the phrase Slow Christmas and then I find it has its very own website. All about slowing Christmas down.