MENU

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas balance

How are you feeling about Christmas this year?

Are you filled with excitement and anticipation or perhaps you are not in the least bit enthusiastic?

Are you from a traditional family who gather around the tree in harmony?  Or is your family partly fragmented and while gathering together is good in theory it might not always be achievable in reality?   Honestly, I am more in the latter category. 


On a positive note I am looking forward to giving our children and close family members a manageable quantity of affordable and practical gifts.

Setting the table properly and cooking some special food is something I love planning.  

Christmas baking, gift making and some easy craft projects are three of my favourite things at this time of year. 


I do not love shopping bags bursting with useless plastic junk.  Hot, crowded shopping centres make me anxious.  Trolleys overflowing with enormous amounts of Christmas food also remind me of the crazy excess that people feel obliged to indulge in. 

This Christmas I will be working on finding a balance somewhere between a special family celebration and unnecessary excess.


For me, online shopping and homemade gifts are a better alternative to shopping in the heat and making hasty, last minute decisions.  

I will gather my groceries well in advance and be happy to improvise with the rest.  Our menu will be quite non-traditional this year, using at least two recipes inspired by Sophie from Local is Lovely.

I will take my children to drop off some food at a local collection point for charity.  They may or may not completely understand but I feel this is an important part of our Christmas.   

How do you tackle this time of year?

Has your strategy changed over time?  I know mine has.  

Happy Sunday friends.  

36 comments :

  1. This is a Christmas of firsts for us. It's the first time my Mum won't be with us, as she is too frail to travel to Adelaide from Vic. It's the first time in 40 yrs won't be cooking Christmas lunch and there is no pudding to prepare.It is the first time that I will have a restaurant lunch, as Mum in law is to frail to take the trip to and from our new country home....it all seems very strange and I am missing making my famous pudding and the oohs and ahs as it comes together xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck Meg, I understand. Life changes and it is not always all tinsel and happy times is it? Thank you for your words.

      Delete
  2. Christmas for us is waiting in line at Woodford to get through the gates to set up our tent for the festival. Our family do get togethers and share a wonderful meal and quality time with each other usually before the big day. If we are lucky there may be presents. This year I am setting myself a goal to make one Christmas decoration and some Christmas cards.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm with you Jane ! really dislike the commercial Christmas now... new PJ"s and nickers from Santa was a treat when we were young... so competitive now:( and everyone has "everything"!! what to buy is an issue.. might be home made from me this yr. too .. EWE BEAUTY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank goodness I am not the only one who feels like this Trish x

      Delete
  4. i love your style of christmas jane..i abhor excessism too and frenetic shopping..that flour looks interesting..it reminds me of times spent at bridgewater where my family had a block of land where we went on weekends..it was probably pretty dangerous by today's standards but we used to explore the unrestored mill..i remember a friend getting into the wheel and making it turn as he ran around inside it..x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jane, I had a feeling your approach to Christmas might be similar to mine. I bought those flour bags (unused) in a second hand shop in the Barossa Valley. I loved them although I have never really had a use for them.

      That mill would have been a wonderful place for adventure x

      Delete
    2. Oh... I love Bridgewater Mill and used to dream about that mill wheel when I was little..... even though I had not seen it until I was in my 30s!

      Delete
  5. We try to keep Christmas simple every year. A few presents for the kids (and us too), a nice meal with which ever friends and family are around (though no pressure on anyone to attend), and time spent together. I find being organised in advance really helps keep it simple. I've already finished 95% of the shopping, and have a plan for food etc. That way I am not stressed and exhausted once the day actually arrives!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you are very organised Jo!

      Delete
  6. We're very much a family who can't always be together on the day, all of us at the one time. We have family interstate and overseas, so it's just not always physically possible! I'm going to do my utmost to avoid the shops for Christmas gifts. I'm figuring, because I recently bought a Thermomix that I should be able to put that to good use and make some homemade gifts. Luckily my sister is able to come down from Brisbane, so we'll be able to enjoy some sister-time and some sparkling Tasmanian wine together (it's a tradition, after all!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sparkling Tasmanian wine & homemade gifts sound good to me Naomi!

      Delete
  7. I know I 'planned' to have a strategy by this time of year...but it seems the strategy at this stage of the game is to ignore it and pretend it's miles off...it is still right? Right???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have got plenty of time Brydie!

      Delete
  8. Wonderful pics - just love the way you put things together. Ah those deers ... lovely. Christmas. I'm desperately trying not to think about it. :) The lead up is always nuts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are kind Julie! Those deers are actually toys but they always get extra duties at this time of year!

      Delete
  9. Beautifully styled Christmas pics Jane.
    I think our Christmas will be very similar to yours.
    And I'm with you for online purchases and handmade. I cant stand shopping centres, especially so at Christmas.
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we understand each other Zara! x

      Delete
  10. Our celebration has now changed and we brought it back to celebrate the wondrous birth of our wondrous Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ and this miracle God gave us of His Son. We give to a wonderful orphanage in the Sudan that gives children the hope of food, safety and someone to love them. It give us such joy to celebrate this season like this now, as it is....after all, His birthday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Giving to an orphanage is such a worthwhile thing to do Joyce, thank you.

      Delete
  11. I have already sent out an email to the grandparents, explaining that we would really only like one gift per family for our daughter (shouldn't be so hard to NOT ask for things!) My husband and I want Christmas to be about family and good food - not stuff, especially plastic stuff from China.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I agree Katie...asking NOT for things is tricky but necessary! One gift is plenty, since when did it need to be a massive overload of stuff. Good luck & thanks for calling in.

      Delete
  12. A thoughtful post Jane. Yes, we are slowly changing our approach. Every year I watch the littlies get loads of plastic trash. The problem is they have nowhere to put it all and their bedrooms are overflowing. Then, after a brief use, off it goes to landfill,. As a grandmother, I tend to give books or things I can't resist ( so long as they are small) but this year we are putting together gifts of 'experiences'. The experience could be a 10 pin bowling outing with all the cousins, or a sleep over in a tent at the zoo etc. We're still working on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Francesca, it can easily get out of control can't it? I find it hard to resist books also. Experiences are a great idea, memories instead of landfill!

      Delete
  13. Hi Jane... a thought provoking post indeed... I had typed a lengthy response, but it disappeared for some reason... anyway, just wanted to say that I'm with you... Christmas has lost its magic... mainly with the passing of loved ones and time. And I dislike the hype and commercialism too. Give me Christmas Eve in the 1960s any day... or take me back in time to the 1980s when my own children were little. That was magical, for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks Lizzy, goodness disappearing comments are frustrating, why does that happen?! Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts. One of my aunts commented that new pjs & undies were a treat when she was young. Bring back those simpler times I say!

    ReplyDelete
  15. i think i would love christmas at your place, jane!
    i am having mum and dad to my place this year for lunch, so i am already planning what to serve. and i put my silver tinsel up (i love tinsel, but it can only be silver) already to catch the sunshine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Silver tinsel at your place sounds lovely e! x

      Delete
  16. I like your Christmas style Jane - and it doesn't surprise me at all. On the business side we've been planning for December for months, but on a personal front I haven't even thought about Christmas, which is a bit of a problem as I try to make as many presents as I can and it's my turn to host Christmas lunch. But hey, Christmas is ages away isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Christmas is almost non-existence in our household. Not for any religious reasons (and I'm not a grinch either ;-) ), but probably to do with what you mentioned in the beginning of your post and also what a big fuss most people make of it. We still normally try to have something a little special for lunch on Christmas day and take the day a little easy (it's usually too hot or stormy to do anything on Christmas day in our area anyway!). I look forward to the Christmas/New year period, as there always seems to be something in the air with both of these events, something nice and exciting :-)

    Your Christmas sounds lovely Jane. I think with everything being so commercial now, a lot of events that are actually supposed to be about celebrating and having fun have turned into a stress full affair.

    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand Sarah...thanks for your thoughtful comment. x

      Delete
  18. Oh Jane, this post resonated with me so much! I'm completely with you - had to brave the supermarket yesterday and came away feeling in need of a very stiff drink. It's online shopping and baked prezzies for/from me from now on. Just making cherry cordial as I write for teacher presents and hoping it comes out as yummy as it's smelling right now! Thanks for this lovely post. xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sophie...oh don't we all need a stiff drink at this time of year xx

      Delete
  19. We have a few last-minute things to get on Christmas Eve, mostly fresh fruit and veg, but it's all been done for such a long time and we've actually just had one family Christmas gathering today, so all but home and hosed for the year. I was saying just this morning that I do wish I had taken a little leave time to properly prepare about a month ago, but it's all OK. We have a beach nearby. What could go wrong? Have a lovely Christmas.

    ReplyDelete

Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane