Friday, November 27, 2009

Getting ready for Christmas

It’s just under a month until Christmas and I feel strangely unpaniced by the thought. I love Christmas and most of my cherubs have the same feeling. It is not so much the presents but the time of family being together and that it is one of the few times in the year that as Christians we can truly celebrate, in this case, the birth of Jesus Christ.
Our home is decorated, presents are bought (but not at great cost), food is prepared and the coming together of family means many memories are made.

I have baked my own Christmas cake and even bought some gifts already. Part of enjoying Christmas is to me, making the time of preparation part of the whole Christmas feel. As I go about baking, decorating, wrapping gifts, writing cards etc, I have carols playing in the background. I don't let the media or what is being said on the radio or television, or what is in the shops govern what I do. This is a time of building our own family traditions. Taking a part of both my husband’s family Christmas and my own we have developed or own unique ways of celebration and built on it.

Food seemed to be a big part of my mother’s family Christmas and I had over the years tried to repeat it in our home but I was exhausted from the efforts and the fridge would bulge with the leftovers we would have to eat for days. Now this can be great for the cook as she gets "time off"!! But, there is a limit as to how much recycled food one wants to eat. I did learn through this that my Grannie was a wonderful woman and really sacrificed her own Christmas days with all the work she did cooking the food that the tables seem to buckle under.

I came to realize that planning was the best way around making it all stress free. This allowed you to see what you needed, how much in size and variety, and so also eliminate the unnecessary extras, which you seemed to think, were important. I am a bit of a “lists” sort of person and have found the Notebook: magazine meal planners fun. Keeping it simple with the foods you like to prepare makes the whole “feeding the family” a joy not a chore. If there are lots of different foods you like, spread them over the three days rather than trying to have everything on Christmas Day. You will only be disappointed when the food you have lovingly prepared gets put back into the fridge or thrown out. It’s the fellowship and tradition that you want family to remember.

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