10 Promises For Next Christmas

I didn’t do so well with last year’s Christmas promises…so I’m going to take a different approach for next year.

1. I will only buy rectangular presents.
…because wrapping anything else sucks.

2. I will find a better hiding place for presents.
Alpha is tall enough to open doors now and managed to start tearing open packets the other day. It occurred to me I may have overreacted when he said to me “I’m sorry I ruined everything.”

3. I will remember where I’ve hidden the presents, decorations, leftover paper from this year and use them up first.
I have about 35 metres of wrapping paper left. Possibly went overboard in my determination to avoid running out.

4. I will buy my sister a toilet.
…and my brother a goat. Well, it’ll really go to a third world village thanks to aid organisations like TEAR and World Vision.

5. I will donate some of the kids’ old toys to charity in early December.
I didn’t get to it this year…might try and do it in January. Really, they just have so.much.stuff.

6. I will not decide to wash all the sheets on Christmas Eve.
Sure, the idea of clean sheets and brand new pjs on Christmas Eve is appealing, but do you think I really had time for that today? NO.

7. I will not decide to buy a new lipstick two days before Christmas.
I have no idea what I was thinking. The purchase of a new lipstick requires careful research and planning and must never be done on the spur of the moment when you have exhausted your decision making powers. I came home with a hand covered in weird colours and a lipstick the exact same colour as the last one I purchased.

8. I will not declare that I have Finished The Christmas Shopping until 12:01am December 25.
Looking Glass Dada is currently out buying a new kettle at 8pm on Christmas Eve because our old one decided I had enough caffeine in my system to last me a month.

9. I will book a cleaner for the week leading up to Christmas.
This strike of pure genius only occurred to me this morning while I was mopping after two currawongs decided to fly through my kitchen and poop everywhere. If I manage nothing else on this list, this will happen.

10. I will give myself a break and try to focus less on perfection and more on peace.
So basically, yesterday’s post was a whinge about how I haven’t met my own expectations for Christmas this year. This isn’t what Christmas really is for me – but you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

For me and my family, this is the season where joy, hope and peace entered the world in the form of Jesus. My aim for next year – all year – is to continue living as someone who knows that.

So there you go – my substantially more realistic promises for next Christmas. I’m about to go and break two more of last year’s ones by wrapping presents and constructing gingerbread houses at the very last minute.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Love
Looking Glass Mama, Looking Glass Dada, Alpha and Zulu.

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10 Promises I’ve Broken This Christmas

Christmas is pretty much here!! It hasn’t really panned out the way I thought it would.

1. I will not leave all the present buying to the last minute.
Yup. Total fail. I started my present buying last week and (I hope) finished it today. Could have been worse, I guess…

2. I will make all of my Christmas presents.
This probably sounds weird, but it’s actually a Very Good Thing that I’ve broken this one. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting creative…it’s just things tend to get a little out of hand and suddenly I’m making a dozen personalised superhero capes for my nieces and nephews. To help myself break this promise, I cleverly loaned my sewing machine to my sister-in-law, thus removing the temptation.

3. I will send out Christmas cards this year.
Sorry, guys. I love you all, but it’s not happening this year.

4. I will do more Christmas craft with the kids.
…because what all parents really want for Christmas is glitter strewn from one end of the house to the other.

Honestly, I had the best of intentions with this…suffice to say, I’m well prepared for next year.

Still, this year hasn’t been a total write-off – thanks to someone else cooking, we managed to get some gingerbread men decorated.
/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/a98/45180695/files/2014/12/img_0373.jpgThere are actually little gingerbread men under these.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/a98/45180695/files/2014/12/img_0316.jpgSee? Men.

6. I will have my house perfectly decorated.
I’m giving myself some slack here – we only moved in five months ago and are still finding our feet. We managed to get a Christmas tree up and put some lights outside…but really, we’re not maximising our home’s potential.

7. I will not go Christmas shopping with my children.
Hmm.
Excuse me a moment – I need to go and laugh hysterically in the corner for a bit.

I’m suffering this year from the realisation that I no longer live opposite a major shopping centre – so for the first time in eight years, I had to park at the shops. That’s enough to make anyone lose their cool.

Then you add in the fact that I no longer have a baby and a toddler happy to remain in the pram – I have a toddler and a child who Will Not Under Any Circumstances go in the pram. In two days I managed to lose three children at the shops – pretty impressive considering I only have two. They were found safely, for the record.

There’s more, but all you really need to know is that Christmas shopping with my kids makes me sound like I have Tourette’s. This week I was that parent tearing around the shops after her gleeful escapees who were dismantling elaborate Christmas displays. I was the parent that everyone looked at in smug pity as my kids threw tantrums that should be measured on the Richter scale. I was the parent who in desperation caved and bought the toy car/reindeer ears/Santa hat/mince pie, rationalising that it would get me home with a few small shreds of sanity.

I was also the parent who realised (after day three of trying to shop with the kids) that it Wasn’t Going To Happen, so switched to late night shopping instead. I was the parent gliding serenely down the aisles, smiling happily at everyone I passed. I was the parent who got to enjoy a hot chocolate with no one demanding that I share. I was the parent who managed to conquer the Christmas shopping and returned home triumphant, declaring I Did Not Need To Return – only to find myself back the next day having a security tag removed from a present.

8. I will not attempt to construct gingerbread houses after midnight.
Okay, this one hasn’t been broken – yet. Last year I was up to 2am sticking mini m&ms on the roof of my delicious abodes. Not doing it this year.

9. I will not leave present wrapping to the last minute.
Again, not doing so badly here…although admittedly, this post is largely about avoiding wrapping. Still potential to keep this promise!

10. I will do all the awesome stuff I did last year.
Okay, so somehow last year I managed to be incredibly organised and do all sorts of cool stuff, including writing an article for a local mums’ page. I happened to have a nearly three month old at the time – I have no idea how I did it. Anyway, I haven’t achieved half of the stuff this year – but I’m okay with that.

So, now that I’ve lowered my (and your) expectations of my Christmas sufficiently, stay tuned for part two: promises for next Christmas.

Total first world problem…

I just had the following conversation with my husband…

Me: I need you to get an antenna for the TV – the foxtel isn’t working again.
Husband: That’s okay, we can just watch it on the computer.
Me: We can’t get ABC2 on the computer.
Husband: So?
Me: I don’t think you heard me correctly. We can’t get ABC2. Possibly until Monday.
Silence.

I don’t know whether it was concern for his wife’s sanity or the thought of being in charge on Sunday arvo with no respite while I’m at work (probably a bit of both) but bless his cotton socks, he arrived home 30 minutes later with an antenna. He even got it working straight away.

Best. Husband. Ever.

Uhh…hi.

Hi.

Sorry I haven’t written. I’ve been kinda…busy.

Awkward silence.

I’ve thought about it, but…well, never really got around to it. You know how things get lost when you move? There’s that one thing that you never find again, no matter how hard you look.

Well, for a while there, I thought this blog was it.

I honestly did toss up the idea of calling it quits. Not that I don’t like blogging anymore – just that it had been a while since I’d written…and then it got longer…and longer…and well, it reached the point where it was embarrassing. Did I just start again and pretend nothing had happened? Or just let it drift away?

So I was preparing myself unconsciously for the drift. It wasn’t lack of material – far from it. I just couldn’t start writing again. In some ways, I think I’d lost my voice.

Then my mum told me about a new tv series coming out called Outlander. The premise (a WW2 nurse is on holidays in Scotland with her husband and wanders up to the local mini Stone Henge…she touches the stones and wakes up 200 years earlier in 1743) intrigued me, so I set it to record.

By the end of the opening credits, I knew I was going to enjoy the show. I did some research – it turned out to be based on a series of books (currently eight written, potentially another two to come) by Diana Gabaldon. After the third episode, I bought the first e-book.

I pretty much inhaled the books – all eight in seven weeks. That surprised me – I haven’t done that in years. To say I lost myself in them would be an understatement.

So let me tell you a bit about these books. They’re ostensibly historical fiction with a strong focus on romance and a time travel twist. They are by no means teen (or even young adult) fiction. These are written for an adult audience. Seriously. I don’t recommend them for everyone, but I do heartily recommend them.

The big thing about these books? They got me reading again. I’ve read more (recreationally) in the past three months than I have in the past three years.

AND

…they’ve got me wanting to write again.

Those of you who knew me when I was in high school might know I wrote a “novel”. It was really a serial that I’d write a few pages of each night, distributing copies to my friends the next morning on purple paper. When I read it now, I don’t know whether to cringe or laugh hysterically at my clunky, cliched writing – but I loved it. Back then, I knew I wanted to be an author when I grew up.

But 15 years a little (shh) while down the track, I’m no closer to being an author than I was then. I still love writing (hence I’m here!) but being a mum and a nurse haven’t really given me time to do so. On the other hand, it has given me plenty of stories…

But the desire to write has never really died. I guess you could say I’ve had a big case of writers block. Work hasn’t really helped – they kind of discourage creativity in your writing when you’re a nurse.

Anyway.

Since getting into these books, the ideas for stories have started appearing again. Some time in the next five years I may even get a chance to put some of the ideas down on paper. Who knows – maybe I will be an author one day…

Until then, I’m back here writing for you. And my sanity. Thank you, Ms Gabaldon, for helping me find my voice again.

So, now that’s out of the way, I have so many things to share with you…