Thankfully the christmas mad season is now over. We had an unusual christmas this year with a slight twist to traditions and I think it really worked. We had the 12 days of advent instead of 24. We chose 2 elderly neighbours for secret santas delivering a small piece of a nativity with a scripture or story tied on the little box and delivered them secretly. I believe we were found out however it was great fun including others in our christmas preparations. We also had our your are spoecial evenings when we each got a chance to have our favourite food and drink on our special meal with everyone sharing why that person was special and playing games all in candlelight. this was so sucessful we threw a you are special night for ruths friend who was desprite to be a part of our nights. We also chose 2 families who were going through a rough time and picked up a boxful of christmas groceries for them and delivered them secretly as a suprise. It was these special family activities that made our christmas so special we borrowed hymn books from church and regularly sang hymns all evening.
My favourite part was christmas day itself for us it was the 22nd as Sean was working christmas day (he's a nurse) so we brought christmas forward we went out the evening before for our christmas meal ( a fraction of the cost of a christmas day meal) we did a secret santa following the meal while singing christmas carols and everyone went to be tired full happy and excited because they helped someone next morning the children waited for us to wake up at 9am we gathered on our bed and started the morning with a prayer of gratitude for all we have and all that we can share. We all calmly opened presents and where polite and patient and it was a whole different feel. I put 3 plates on the table with a punch bowl and the children helped themselves when they were peckish and were happy all day in the evening I made pizza and hot dogs the family favourite - no long hours in kitchen for mum, no waste, happy children, low cost.
On christmas day itself the children didn't notice they were missing out on anything they had a wonderful day phoning everyone to wish them merry christmas without grumbling about going away from thier new toys, no grumpy mum trying to tidy up paper incase someone pops by as they usually do. It worked really. Do you know we got a fair amount of critisism from people (Out of the church) about bringing christmas forward who couldn't understand that it was just another date it wasn't actually the day that christ was born and santa doesn't really come down the chimney on the 25th - strange they wish to practice the principle of christmas without knowing what its actually all about.
If I was going to change anything - its to try and keep our diet healthier so less bowel problems.