Every year Christmas day is a big performance in our house - about 16-20 for lunch - a very busy time of the year for me, but I absolutely relish the season and love sharing the day with family and friends. I used to love baking gifts for friends and family and the wonderful spicy smells, overflowing fridge, - you know what I mean.
This year is different, however.
In March, I received a phone call from a wonderful friend in Sydney asking if we would like to take our little family and join them on a Christmas/New Year cruise around New Zealand.
Woohoo - what a fabulous idea - we jumped at the chance - so, now we are taking our son and his new wife, and joining their family for two weeks on the high seas, for two weeks.
We are having a couple of Christmas parties with friends before we leave, but this year someone else will be doing the shopping, cooking, cleaning and WASHING UP on Christmas Day!!!
WOOHOO...... honestly, this is the best gift I could ever receive!!
I have finished my cards, all the gifts are wrapped up and the halls have been decked (we decided not to put up our big tree since we won't be here to enjoy it), and we have decorated a small table sized one.
For me, the Christmas preparation is done and dusted - I feel very smug when I walk through the supermarket and see all the makings of feasts just waiting to be bought - all the beautiful magazines and recipe books with the enticing, mouth watering photos on the front. It does feel strange not to be up to my ears in baking, puddings, cakes, gingerbread houses, shortbread etc.
However, it is definitely much easier to resist when I don't have to bring the temptation into the house!!!
I am delighting in walking around the malls, taking the time to enjoy all the decorations and music etc (just have to get there early to get a parking space and avoid car park rage!!)LOL
On Christmases past, I have bought boxes of chocolates for a number of people (teachers etc), and then we have had the munchies and opened them while watching TV, so I have had to buy more.
This year, I gift wrapped them as soon as i got home and they are safely stored in the bottom of the fridge in their ribboned finery waiting to be distributed.
I am sure that there will be lots of tempting food on the ship, but I have a plan to only indulge at Christmas dinner (and the gym is very well equipped.)
Now there is just the packing to be done........ so exciting.
I am going back to the orthopedic -specialist on Tuesday to work out a management plan when he sees the results of the MRI's - when I saw him last week he was talking about shoulder surgery, so I have my fingers crossed.
Have a great week - try not to be caught up so much in the rushing around that you don't take the time to enjoy the pleasures of the season.