We had Christmas Eve dinner at our place. It was just a small gathering for my side of the family – 7 adults and 2 kids. It was cosy, fun, relaxed and REALLY low stress. Just the way I like it.

I managed to inflict some of our “healthiness” into the standard Christmas dinner fare. On the menu was turkey, roast pork, homemade gravy and a few of my own recipes of “healthy” sides – Roasted tomato + onion + garlic + egg plant, tossed with spinach + balsamic vinegar + nuts. A salad style couscous with spiced yoghurt. And some roasted veges + fresh herbs. Oh, and followed by copious amounts of gelato ice cream. Mmm, I ate soOooO much.

The boys were pretty grumpy about waiting to open their presents. I figured that while they were still young, I’ll let them open presents during our Christmas Eve “party” instead on Christmas morning. Which turned out to be a really bad idea, considering the kind of presents they received…

My parents left early (9pm) to go to another Christmas party. We put the kids to bed. My sister and her boyfriend stayed, and we all played Scrabble till late. Great fun, and I won!

Christmas Card!

This year I made my own Christmas cards with a bit of Photoshop magic. And honestly, I’m *glowing* with pride. I just couldn’t stop myself from giggling as I stuffed them into envelopes for the post.

It’s a great little design because I didn’t have to STRESS over trying to take THAT PERFECT CHRISTMAS PHOTOGRAPH. I love the colours, everyone’s silly faces and the lightheartedness of it all!

Have a very wonderful Christmas everyone!

We Love Holidays

Horsing around at our local playgym.

Callum helps me make a cake.

Kids sit around looking bored.

Chalk outlines – the kids LOVED this game. They managed to lie still for 5 outlines, in different positions, until they got bored again.)

Defining Christmas to a 3.5 year old

I’ve had quite a headache trying to explain this whole “Christmas” thing to my son.

You see, I’ve never believed in Santa Claus. And honestly, I don’t particularly want my kids to believe in the commercialised concept of Santa and all that “be good, or you won’t get any presents” stuff.

However, I’m fully aware that it is particularly unfortunate to be THE parent of THE child who screams “MY MOTHER SAID SANTA’S NOT REEEEAL!!!” in the school playground these days.

So one afternoon, I sat him down and (re)told him the real story of Christmas – the birth of Jesus. He said, that’s nice. But what happened to the reindeers and elves? And do I still get presents? And why doesn’t it snow in Perth, because I want to make a snowman.

So I told him about Saint Nicholas. And how he gave presents to poor kids who had no presents.

Then he wanted to know why the kid’s parents didn’t sell their house, get the money, and buy their poor kid a present.

This went on and on for quite a while. I had to explain concepts like, being poor; some kids don’t get any presents for Christmas; that giving presents is just as wonderful as getting them; that when people get gifts it makes them happy; making people happy is a good thing to do; and every time we see a picture of Santa, it’s reminding us of Saint Nicholas and how we should give a gift to someone to make them happy. Blah blah blah.

Sigh. I ALSO had to explain the different weather conditions in the north and south hemispheres, and why there was no snow in Western Australia.

Anyway, he finally got it. He was satisfied, and there were no more question.

But I wasn’t convinced he fully understood. So to drive the point home, I decided to take him to the local shops. We found a Christmas tree with a Christmas donation appeal. I explained how it worked. I got him to imagine a family just like our family, and asked him to choose a little gift for each person in the family. We walked through the shops and he chose four items. One for a daddy, a mummy, a big brother and a little brother. We wrapped them up and we placed them under the tree.

He was so excited. He really enjoyed the whole process of selecting an appropriate present in hope of invoking happiness. He was also very cool with the whole “unconditional giving” part too. It was such an excellent activity. I fully recommend getting kids involved with Christmas-giving.

Truth is. I STILL have no idea if he actually understands everything I’ve been rattling on about, or if these “lessons” will stick and follow him into the future. I guess the more I keep at it, something’s got to sink in yeah?

My Cousin’s Hen’s Night

My darling cousin Jez, is getting married early next year. Her bridesmaids organised a pub crawl through the city for her hen’s night.

She lives out of town, and apparently in the previous week, she had a hen’s night with her workmates – during which, numerous unspeakable events surrounding a phallic shaped pinata occurred.

Tonight’s hen’s night was supposed to be a lot more respectable… in a pub-crawling kind of way.

We went to 6 pubs, and it was so much fun. Lots of dancing, drinking, taking photos and silly antics. Lots of guys hoping to get lucky. Lots of police checking for IDs. Lots of grumpy bouncers made happy by a bit of arm stroking. Respectable no?

I didn’t drink as much as the rest. I honestly couldn’t keep up with THE YOUNG GIRLS THESE DAYS! A glass of champagne every 10 minutes? I would be dancing on the table one minute, then asleep in my own puke, after crying in a dark corner the next.

No, I prefer to enjoy my night out with well-spaced drinks, lots of water, food, and not standing directly in front of the loud speakers.

We had a trippy bus take us from pub to pub. And a cute bus driver whose name I forgot.

By the end of the night, I was stone cold sober. We were at a cool pub, with great music and lots of hotties! I could’ve kept dancing all night! But everyone was really drunk, they kept getting into trouble and doing stupid things – like crashing into people and smashing glasses on the floor. Glass. Feet. Blood. Ugh. Myself and my sister, who was also a designated driver [read: tea-tottling] that night, drove everyone home by 2am. Pffft! These young girls have no stamina!