It is beginning to feel like Christmas. Last weekend I completed my Christmas shopping!!! Everything bar our contribution to Christmas dinner for which I will shop either tomorrow (baking) or on Thursday (fruit and salad bits). That's not to say the Christmas shopping was all smooth sailing.... Thursday after my shrink appointment found me wandering aimlessly about town, getting this and that - time that I could have spent being more focused and decisive. But that got me thinking and the next day, I wrote the mother of all lists and checked it twice. And aligned it with our postal schedule.
So last Saturday, Mum and I took Grace with us to the city on a previously planned trip to look at the Christmas windows and have lunch in a cafe (Grace rather likes having lunch in a cafe). The windows were not as exciting as I remember from my childhood. OK but too tasteful for my taste. I prefer Christmas with a good serve of sparkle. When Grace started to crack, Nana took her home on the train. Leaving me with a good couple of hours to race around and order our family calendar. It's become somewhat of a tradition in our family and while they're not super cheap, they are lovely and this years came out rather well. Even if I do say so myself. Making the absolute agony of photo selection worth it. Then I raced around looking for kids books and Schleich toy animals which Betty and I have agreed make a good one or two at a time present. Far better to have a smaller collection of nice toy animals than lots of crappy ones. Grace adores playing with these and makes little scenes, so I have made her and Ruby a play mat each which is just some green quilting cotton with a blob of blue felt for a dam sewn on. Grace (hers is not a Christmas present) is already collecting tin cans for water tanks and thinking about how to make houses - I predict cereal box construction soon. Anyway, David Jones used to have a good range of these toys but not anymore and Myer late on Saturday afternoon was Christmas shopping hell. Chaos and disorder and far too many children that had spent far too long in the city. I grabbed some of the last few farm animals on the shelves and made a mental note for next year - online or make a mid year trip to a proper toyshop.
On Sunday morning, Grace and I put up the Christmas tree. But only after G and I had a big fight about stuff that doesn't even bear mentioning. Yes, it really is beginning to look like Christmas, isn't it? Far better to get that one out of the way. Grace was very adept at decorating the tree this year and I'm letting go my preference for evenly spaced decorations. The tree leans anyway and we enjoyed doing it together which is what really counts. It looks like G has already hidden a little wooden ornament in the tree and I'm wondering what I might make this year. I have an idea for another tree for the mantel piece to go with this one. Quite different, and more sparkly but doable I think. Then after we finished the tree, I went down to Brunswick and spent some time in a bookshop, spotlight and savers and I was done. Making it home in time to spend an hour or so at the community get together in the park. Yesterday we wrapped and made cards with these crazy stickers from savers and all the parcels to Queensland and Tasmania are in the post. So barring industrial action, they should get there by Christmas day. What a good feeling that is. Breathe out.
And today, I cleaned up after my jam making activities last night (not a great batch, cloudy, sour and scummy - it's been a while since I jammed but my jam mojo will surely return - I can feel it), did some washing and mending, booked a camping holiday for January and got ready for the next stage which is about making and relaxing. Dinner was spent relaxing with some friends. Nothing much has to be done now. Just a few more presents to be wrapped. And a bit of cleaning (maybe) and baking. Yep, it's beginning to feel like Christmas this year will be OK.