Christmas listEverywhere I go at the moment I’m being asked “have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?” “Is this a Christmas present you are buying?”  “Are your Christmas plans all finalised?” “Are you going away on holiday?” “Can you believe it’s Christmas next week?”

No. No. No. Don’t know, haven’t decided. And I’m in complete denial that it’s Christmas next week.  Can we change the subject and talk about something, anything else? The weather? What about lipstick? I know a few good shades that might suit you? Are you interested?

Usually in the lead up to Christmas, I’m in like Flynn. I’m there with bells on, you get the idea. Not this year.  I’ve turned a blind eye to every magazine featuring a Christmas cover. My shopping has barely started (my Mum is the only person who is sorted!).  I’m super conscious that I’m probably the only beauty/food blogger in the world that’s not blasting out Christmas tips/tricks/gift ideas/recipes by the truckload.  Oh yes, I feel guilty about this!   I’m so ‘blah’ about Christmas I even contemplated not putting up a tree this year… I’m seriously embarrassed to admit this.   I know it’s not all about me – I have an eight year old child who absolutely deserves to have a Mum that pulls her Christmas finger out.  As immigrants from the UK to NZ, with no family on these shores, my Mum pulled out all the big guns to make Christmas special when we were kids. Even with a Dad who consumed Bah Humbug pills in abundance to give Scrooge a run for his money, we always had a fab day thanks to Mum’s efforts and traditions.  That’s the kind of memory I want my son to have of his Mum:That I made Christmas special.

So, what’s been going on with my lack of Christmas spirit this year? I think this is a by-product of several things. I’ve had a super busy few months. I’ve been whizzing around the countryside, work has been busy, home-life has been, frankly, crazy. I simply think it’s the case of sub-consciously choosing not having the mental capacity to think or plan anything else, like Christmas, least I crack!   There’s also been a few things that have happened in my life this year, as well as to friends, where the crap that has happened is truly perspective setting. The kind of crap where you look around at your life and realise, with shocking clarity, what’s important. Friends, family, love. PEOPLE. That’s it. Nothing else really matters.  A dear friend shared the photo above on Facebook recently. It struck a massive chord with me – I couldn’t agree more.  This stuff: This is what matters.  For this reason Christmas will be a simple affair in our house this year: There’s a limit on presents and an emphasis on fun, laughter and togetherness.

Back to the tree. For Pete’s sake, we need a Christmas tree, at least for the sake of the little guy who lives with us as well as for my gorgeous young niece and nephew who are spending Christmas with us.  So, tonight, I gave myself a pep talk about losing my selfish ways, an attitude adjustment followed and… It happened….

We cranked up the Christmas carols and the tree (fake – my husband works in forestry and he reckons he sees enough real trees during the day) and decorations came out of hibernation from the shed.   It didn’t take long, 45 minutes later and we have a beautiful Christmas tree taking centre stage in our lounge.

Tree aside, guess what happened tonight? We had a magical family evening.   My son was enchanted with every decoration and there were cries of “I remember this!” ” This is soooo special!” “Oh look, my teacher made me this (an origami paper crane with his name on it in glitter)” “Oh wow! I made this in Kindergarten four years ago!”  Finally, when the tree was decorated (without Christmas lights, buggered if I know where I put those last year…) our boy gathered us together in front of the tree and, as he placed the star in its prime position on the top of the tree, we  had to say “Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas” in our best Santa voice all at the same time. Then we had a massive family hug.  He skipped around the house afterwards shrieking “Christmas is here, I’m so excited! We have a Christmas Tree”. I even heard him singing Snoopy’s Christmas in the shower.  He’s gorgeous and I love him so much.

And just like that, my son’s pure childlike joy rubbed off on me and I found my Christmas spirit. I’m good to go now.

Oh – I just found my Christmas lights – they’ve been in the lounge all year…   I stuffed them into this glass vessel.  Do you think I might need to get my eyes tested?lights