Now I know this is a mad time of year when everyone is insanely busy doing stuff and folk get totally stressed with too many events – cancel them, call in sick and especially don’t sign up for them in the first place. Trust me in ten years time, let alone twenty, no-one will remember if you baked 3000 cookies and visited twenty thousand friends or not… But you will remember the Christmas you chilled out and read on the couch.
The first thing you need to address during December is the madness and here are my se7en tips for Coping with Christmas Chaos.
And just in case you have missed my opinionated opinion on things like trying to cope with all the extra’s that Christmas brings and a new baby here are my Se7en coping tips for Christmas with new babies.
And here come our Se7en Calendar traditions:
- Christmas Carol Service: This is usually the first major event on our Christmas Calendar… and since getting eight children to church at the time when most of them are usually going to bed it is quite an achievement, I am glad it is first!!! It certainly sets the tone for the rest of the month as my guys all sing Carols full tilt around the house till the end of the year!!! And since we are in the city and it is dark, we usually follow this by a look at the cities street light display.
- The Christmas Book Fair: My kids have a have a Granny that over-shops somewhat!!! We go around to visit as usual and when we get there a heap of books had been put out on the table for display and every one gets to choose a book that they would like to keep. Simple, easy, fun!!! Not to mention quiet!!!
- The Box: Trust me on this I hate clutter and dust gathering, but I love Christmas lights and nativity scenes. I have to have them. I am happy to take the decorations out, fiddle around in The box but that’s about it… You wont find tinsel hanging from the chandeliers or a tree blocking access to the lounge. Think low key, think fun! The Saturday before Christmas we get out the box, get all our decorations out and up a fresh tree. We send the Father person and associated rabble out to gather a tree first thing in the morning. Sometimes not all the decorations get up and we just pop the left overs into into a bowl… Once our decorations are up and our Advent calendars are all up to speed then we are ready for our:
- Cookie Swap: We have been cookie swapping for years and when we started out I was very pedantic about everything being home-baked. And then I had a few kids. Now I am less discerning! Bring store bought and if you can’t stand another outing – no problem just give us the cookies to donate. If you can’t stand the thought of cookies bought or baked, no problem just visit us. Really the last Sunday before Christmas is the day we have our friends stop by… we love it, the kids love it and generally we end up with a bunch of cookies that we donate the next day.
- Christmas Eve:The night before Christmas when all through the night… We usually spend this day chilling out and roasting a turkey. The father person’s mom comes round in the evening, we eat a feast, we watch a movie, that’s it!!! Calm and quiet…
- Christmas Day: This one is ours, we claim it. We have a mad father person who works 24/7/365 but Christmas day and Easter are ours. So Christmas day is very chilled. We get up and go to church, after a very quick lunch everyone gets a stocking: with a book, and a snack and a couple of teeny tiny things… and that’s it! After that we mostly read – sometimes we do a project: one year we built a scarecrow, one year everyone got a t-shirt and we did tie-dyes, maybe a new game for everyone, easy family project. But no outings, no events, no extended family – occasionally there will be a visiting friend with no-one else in town and we will invite them but usually it is just us and a new book and a big rest.
- Boxing Day: The day after Christmas and my folks come over for another feast… And lots of gifts – my mom the shopper!!! And another chilled out home day… You have to understand when you live practically on a great beach in the Southern Hemisphere then you don’t want to go anywhere the week between Christmas and New Year because people, and not just a couple of locals, flock to the beach and beyond our doorstep you cannot move!!!
And technically I am allowed a “se7en + 1″th tradition
So here it is: