Christmas lessons. I need them. My task-focused nature spirals me into a place of intense nuttiness at Christmastime. Things got so busy that I was hooning around like a freight train in danger of careering off it’s tracks. “Watch out, here comes the nutty express!” I said to The Husband. It’s not because I’m disorganised, indeed, I aspire to finish my Christmas shopping before December arrives. It’s just all those end of year things, hosting a family Christmas meal at our house for the first time and that having a large section to look after, plus a small child, plus a currently large flock of chickens (15) means there are so many little and big things to do which fill up a day in no time. And I have a habit of adding more projects and tasks into an already full schedule. I have to remind myself that I do not need to get everything done. The world will not implode if I don’t get my windows cleaned in time for Christmas, guests will not gasp in terror if there are weeds in my garden and making time for those who are important to me must trump my to-do lists or else the nutty express will almost certainly crash. Christmas can get nutty for many people. But we must take time to sit still for a moment and be thankful for everything we have, thankful that we are simply alive and thankful that the world’s one true superhero came to us as a humble baby many moons ago. Here are some Christmas lessons fresh from Twiglet Homestead, which I should really follow next year…
- Don’t buy new furniture a week before Christmas. And second-hand furniture is NOT a loophole.
- Don’t initiate your lounge-rearranging dictatorship on The Husband’s first evening of Christmas holidays, three days out from Christmas. Especially if it involves moving desks and computer systems and cleaning out and re-homing all the stuff stored in furniture pieces that will no longer fit in the lounge.
- Don’t fail to heed warnings from yourself about Christmas knitting project deadlines.
- Don’t think snarky thoughts about the people who say they’re really busy but yet their house looks like it’s been decorated by angels, they have iced baking and bits of Christmas goodness everywhere, they don’t have any of the tired caverns under their eyes that you have but look like a million bucks and they don’t have a smidgen of nuttiness about them. People have different definitions of busyness.
- Don’t forget how to sleep.
- Don’t let The Husband go supermarket shopping on Christmas Eve day without a shopping list. He will go to Bunnings, visit his family and come home with a large stash of meat and some bananas. Never mind about the painkillers, milk, lactose-free milk, avocadoes and weet-bix that you needed.
And because we can’t just laugh at the things I haven’t done well, here are some things you should do:
- Do make sure the small child can’t reach and destroy your precious Christmas decorations, even if it means your Christmas tree is weirdly decorated and fenced off.
- Do make Christmas cookies in advance and freeze them to bring out later when you really need cookies. The cookies are your friends at Christmas. Special friends.
- Do pooh-pooh the notion of icing your cookies, because they don’t have to look like delicate morsels that fell from heaven. Stick some currants on them instead. The children will survive without iced cookies. And they’ll be less frisky.
- Do keep a close eye on your feather children, preparing for some sort of pre-Christmas shenanigans. Of course your serial broody, Frodo, will end up in the broody breaker on Christmas Eve. The chickens are ‘organised’ after all.
- Do write to-do lists and update the items of most importance. Stick your to-do list on the wall where everyone can see how much stuff there is to get done. Then they are more likely to help you. Even the small child may try to do the vacuuming.
- Do drink coffee.
- Do taste your Christmas baking every now and then to make sure it is still as good as you thought it was.
- Do make your coffee a little stronger.
- Do rejoice in the fact that you have fresh potatoes from the garden ready for Christmas.
- Do take some time to think about what the purpose of your life is, laugh at your silliness and make positive changes. If you’re on a psycho, speeding freight train, switch to a slower but more delightful steam train. The journey will be much more fun.
Merry Christmas, and may the nuttiness not overwhelm you!