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13 December 2007

Christmas prep and an email from a dear friend

Christmas colours. : )

I didn't get much done yesterday as a tradesman and his helper turned up at 9am to finish off the renovations. They spent most of the day laying the last bit of flooring in the hallway and attaching the skirting boards in the rest of the house. It feels great to have it all done. I feel as if our house has been given back to us. I don't like having people here who can walk in and out as they choose and go to the places that only our family would usually go to. I have to say though that he was an true tradesman and the standard of his work was excellent.

I'm probably late doing this but today I'll start preparing for Christmas. Ours will be a very low key celebration. We have Shane and Kerry coming for dinner next Monday; Christmas eve we'll have dinner with my step son and DIL at their home; Christmas morning Hanno, Shane and I will be working at the breakfast in the park, after that, we'll come back here to relax. Naturally, Boxing Day will be cricket all day. For those of you not in Australia, the Boxing Day test cricket is the big sporting tradition here. It's a bit like football on Thanksgiving or the football World Cup final. I love Boxing Day, it's a day of pure indulgence for me. There is a feeling of relaxation in the air. Christmas is over, children are on summer holiday for almost two months and there are smiling faces everywhere. I settle in early with my knitting or sewing and watch the cricket or snooze in my chair almost all day. : )

So today, before I go out, I'll clean out the fridge and start making ice. I like to have plenty of ice in the freezer for all those cold drinks over the holidays and if I start making two trays each day now, I'll have enough. I intend doing a couple of small jobs like this every day so I'm not rushed at the last minute, or worse, need to go out and buy something that I could easily make now. How do you prepare for Christmas? Are you a few jobs a day person or do you have a last minute rush? I have found that listing what needs to be done, and doing two or three of those tasks each day really does make a big difference in the enjoyment of the holidays.

I had another email from Jewels yesterday. She and her family are fine. They've sold their house and are looking to buy another. She had her own tale of a fox in the backyard and five missing chooks. They'll all be together for Christmas, baby Maggie is doing well and Jewels is looking forward to moving to her new home, being settled again and resting. As usual, she sounds content and at peace with whatever comes her way.

I'm going to work for about four hours today to meet with another volunteer to finalise the organisation of our Christmas activities. When I come home this afternoon, it will be to a home that is all mine again. I still haven't organised the table I was going to do yesterday, but that can easily wait till tomorrow when my two Christmas tasks will be to make two fruit cakes and buy some German beer.


  1. Hi rhonda,

    I too love doing a few jobs each day in the run up to christmas. I find it simplifies your life, rather than run around like a nut in the week beforehand. Christmas in the sunshine sounds lovely though, its so cold in the uk at the moment!

  2. I love hearing about your preparations and despite knowing you are the other side of the world I still find it hard to get my head round it being summer and children having 2 months holiday at Christmas!

    Here in southwest France we are just settling down to our first real frosts and the ski resorts are overjoyed as they are expecting a good covering of snow this weekend just in time for the Xmas break

  3. I also love hearing about Christmas in the summer! I try to bake a batch of cookies every day starting about a week before Christmas. The rest I just take as it comes trying to finish a bit off my list every day if I can. I am glad that Jewels and her family are all well. I am also glad you have your house back to normal with time to spare before the holidays!

  4. I plan to do my Christmas baking next Friday. 2 batches of muffins, and 2 types of cookies. Some are for my family, and others are for those who are here. I haven't decided if I should wrap gifts before I leave for home or wait until I get home. Wrapped presents don't travel well. Aside from that I just have to find a cat sitter for my little guy and I am all set for the holidays.
    Enjoy your preparations. Cheers,

  5. Hi Rhonda,

    My Christmas prep starts right after Thanksgiving. I pick one job, finish it and pick another until everything gets done. Right now I'm into my baking mode. I do have a question...could you let us all know why you don't eat meat and why your husband eats very little? And what you use in place of meat for your protein? Thanks.

  6. I love making a list (and checking it twice!) and I also have buy german beer on my list for my Dad who is also German. This weekend will also begin the cookie dough making for items to go in my gift baskets. Thanks for the ice reminder, must start on that one too! What a beautiful photo of all your garden produce :)

  7. All the talk of northern hemisphere baking for Christmas makes me feel hot. Here it's all about getting up early and washing the dishes in the coolest part of the day so I don't melt trying to do it later. I'm certainly not turning the oven on!

    I am wrapping presents though, all those things I bought online months ago have arrived (nearly, not the wine!) and the box sets of books and cds are being broken up for nieces and nephews.

    We don't collapse for Boxing Day in my family - all of my Dad's family get together for a huge lunch, but we do have the test on the telly in the background, and the kids and uncles all play cricket after lunch.

  8. Hi Rhonda Jean :) I love your Christmas colors picture! It makes me miss our garden.

    This year my sweet Miss M and I made a Christmas planning calendar on a posterboard (she didn't want to miss out on a single part of the prep). We drew in the month, and I wrote in all of the parties, shopping, crafts, baking, and other tasks. After that, she illustrated and decorated it. It's so cute, and it's keeping us going at a steady pace - which is lovely and fun.

    Thanks for the update on Jewels. It's a joy to know she and her precious family are well. Love, Q

  9. hello everyone! I hope you're all enjoying your prep and not stressing out at all.

    Coleen, I stopped eating meat about 9 years ago when Hanno had a very high cholesterol level. He tried all the diets and natural remedies but nothing worked. We decided against drugs as we believe they do more harm than good. I told him I'd give up meat if he did so we embarked on no meat eating. Three months later he cracked and bought a BIG MAC!! I never went back to it. I don't eat meat because it's cheaper not to and I don't like the idea of killing other mammals.

    We get our protein from milk, butter, cheese and yoghurt, hens eggs, wholegrains, vegetables like brocolli, cauliflower, beans, peas, chick peas etc.

  10. RJ, I'm getting a few jobs done everyday. Tonight, I have to do a few bits of secret wrapping when the children are in bed. Tomorrow, I am making truffles and shortbread. Yum. The terrible part is the testing process, which in my house is extensive!!!!!

  11. We don't do a great deal for Christmas so there is not too much preparation involved. We opted out of gift-giving and receiving years ago, although I will be sharing a few canned goodies this year. We generally spend the holiday with family but have a pretty lowkey celebration.

    On an unrelated note, Rhonda, I've nominated you for a writing award. You can read the details here.

  12. Hi Rhonda;
    I agree it is best to do a few jobs a day then all at once. This year is a very low key Christmas for us. I decided this a few months ago, when I felt we needed to simplify our lives. I spend a nice day with my mom yesterday, having lunch, and getting all the shopping done, and then had a cup of warm tea. I am done and the kids are only getting 2 presents each. It was the first time in a long time that I did not feel stressed or anxious:) Now I will do some baking, which I enjoy. I am ready to have a stress free holiday.

  13. I bet Cricket gives a quieter day than [American] football though! Lovely pictures again, too!

  14. I used to get very stressed about Christmas preparations. I thought everything had to be perfect. I had lists of lists, would stay up late, eat terribly, and really just make the whole time rather ugly. Now I've finally figured out that good enough is perfect. I do what I can when I can. If I don't bake everything I want to bake, no one knows but me. If our home isn't decorated the way I pictured, no one knows but me. Our gift giving is simpler, I don't panic if I haven't sent out cards, etc. My husband and children (4 with one on the way) are more relaxed now that I am, and we all enjoy the season SO much more.

    Thanks for letting us know that Jewels and her family are doing well. I miss her beautiful blog.


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