So this is Christmas..

Black & white Christmas

..And what have you done?
Another year over.
A new one just begun.

Our Christmas was quite mellow and relaxed, in spite of the melodramatic start to Boxing Day. (It’s not Christmas without some sort of drama but the histrionics certainly seem to have peaked.) Mum and Dad arrived on Christmas Eve while I was at work and prepared all the meats, cooked a roast for dinner, and oiled the new fort!

We had a lazy Christmas Day with Lincoln sleeping in until around 7.30, when I couldn’t hold out any longer and I woke him up. We gathered around the Christmas tree and gave out our gifts. (I got a recycled paper making kit, as requested. Inspired by this post, at Jorth.) Followed later on, by a modest lunch buffet. We constructed new Lego, Magnetix, stole a quick snooze, and prepared for the Boxing day lunch with the in-laws.

Boxing Day lunch was also a relaxed affair and pretty quiet, as we didn’t have any other kids visiting this time. But that was made up for, in spades, when two of my former colleagues from Sydney, and their families, came to spend the weekend. We had a load of fun, and noise. The kids played spectacularly well together and we talked, played cards, drank, ate, and were generally merry. As usual, I’ve over-catered and we’ve mountains of leftovers to eat our way through.

This Christmas has brought the dawn of a new era. It seems alot of people are trimming back on the amount spent on gift giving. Choosing instead, to give hand-made or offer charitable donations. We’re considering spending Christmas with other Friends With Kids next year at a beachside destination,  with buckets of prawns and bread rolls.

2008 has been pretty good to us, on the whole, with a little sucktastic thrown in at the end. Here’s to 2009 being a better year for everyone. It will certainly mean big changes for us. Fraser will be at school and we’ll have a whole new juggling trick to perform. My goals for this year are to do more sewing, do some semi-regular weekend workshops in something crafty, get some landscaping done, and focus on helping Fraser get into a good domestic routine to carry him through his school years.

Do you have any goals?

Fortus Erectus

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Our elves (Matt and builder-friend, Tony) worked a hard day on Saturday putting up this great fort. They started at 11am and didn’t finish until 8pm. It needs to be oiled to protect it from the sun but I think it looks great. There was supposed to be some lovely turf underneath by now, but we hit a roadblock with the landscapers. That’s a story for another day but, needless to say, they’ve been given the heave-ho and we’re waiting for a couple of months before we attempt it again. Yay! for builder-friends because there’s no way Joe Blow can erect something like this single-handedly.

So the weekend (and yesterday), was for finishing off projects in time for Christmas, cleaning, and other Christmas preparations.

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I baked Kourabiethes (Greek Shortbread), and packaged up our gingerbread men for Fraser’s special teachers.

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..and I finished this long-standing sewing project – the seat for across the three IKEA Lack tables. I don’t recommend a decorative braided piping for a beginner. It was hard, and looks pretty wrong in parts, and the join is most bodgy, indeed. But near enough is good enough, as I always say, and at least I will have some spiffy looking impromptu seating for the Christmas season.

It’s Fraser’s last day at pre-school today. I think they have a little celebration with cupcakes for the kids that are moving on to big school. He tried on his new school uniform shirt yesterday and wouldn’t take it off.  I keep telling people I’ll be standing at the school gates on the first day with a party popper and glass of champagne,  but maybe I will be shedding a tear, after all.