Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A little Christmas and some of my "tendencies"

Our Christmas was lovely but what are you going to say but that, right?

I was reminded today when I read this post that no-one talks about the not-so-great things. I had mostly good moments but a few screaming matches too.

Next year I am buying D one present. That's it.  He takes so long to get to the unwrapping all of us were long done and he hadn't even started with present 1.


Very annoying.

Anyway, I realised this Christmas that it's really GREAT to not be in the hospital, know God and be with my family eating a nice lunch.

That's it for me really :)

Christmas mantle - the little stocking was the one I bought at Art in the Park, Lynette, when we started "trying"

We went to Pretoria and I said the same thing I say every time we go out there, "how on earth do people live in that heat?" and my SIL said, "with air conditioning all over the house. :)

We took the kids' blow-up pool with us and it was a great idea. They were lovely little (half-naked) water babies and I got some great pics (I think - haven't downloaded yet) spying on them with the zoom lens.

Food was delicious but not too much and we all pretended the holiday conversation hadn't taken place! As Lynette said in the comments on that post, the heat in Africa will melt the frost. It did :)

My kids got toys, beach towels (I asked SIL to get those otherwise there would have been MORE noisy toys so best present ever!), clothes, etc. By the way, this something to read, wear, want and need needs to scale down even more next year. I will have to rethink - it still felt like too much.

As for me, I got mugs which I'll return, clothes, an 80s CD (which I've just put on!), book and a gift voucher to get a photo printer.

On Christmas Eve we skyped with our friends in Ireland and man, it was good. I was kind-of speechless (!) just thinking about how great technology is, when it works. We had a good 30 mins of chatting with their toddler popping in and out of the screen. Too darn cute.

This Christmas I just felt like I wanted everything simple. Look at the tree - this is only half of the decorations if not about 35 - 40% but once I'd put these up, I looked at it and said, "you know what? I actually like it just like this" and I considered it done.

I'm kind of in love with the simplicity. Mind you, our new friends' tree was even simpler :)

And then last but not least, as I usually do, I made a ginormous list for this week of "holiday". Next time I have time off from work we'll be at the beach and there'll be no time to potter around the house so I decided this is the time for that.

Except... and this is where I display all my weirdnesses (which my colleague calls "tendencies" as in "she has tendencies" said with a meaningful look....).

Monday I had 12 things on my list - I did 10 in 5 hours, 1 after the kids were in bed and 1 is still on the list. Yesterday I decided after we got home that I needed to tackle the recipe books so I spent about 2 hours on Christmas evening sorting out, throwing out, organising and tidying. When I develop these tendencies, I never even pause to take a before pic but I will take some after pics for you when the light is good. Of course I didn't even touch the computer!

Today was photo sorting out day. I had 250 pics from the pre-digital days scanned onto disc ages ago and they were still in their packet waiting to be put back in albums. Well, I started and then the whole lot started irritating me. What should have taken about 1.5 hours took about 4 hours because I consolidated better, made things flow more and added some pretty in the form of Project Life cards and whatnot.

The albums are all looking very pretty now so I might take some pics and show you. Let's see.

We still have Singapore/ Australia to do (I roped D in with the wedding stuff and this trip) and then I'm calling it done.

Although... I might do a small album of vintage pics. When D's gran died, we got a lot of those gorgeous old pics... that I love love love. Black and white/ sepia in all different sizes with people (his grandparents) dressed beautifully. I love it.

On my list tomorrow is tackling financials (I know, I'm a ball of fun, aren't I?) - tossing receipts, setting financial goals, doing financial review, etc. But I love this stuff and I always feel more accomplished when I know the exact state of the money side of things. I can fully enter 2013 with things in order.

I also need to update my month-in-review mini album - that I will blog about because this is my second year and I have loved it. Loved. I think you all should do one :) I'll show you exactly how to do it Marcia-style (super easy!).

What are some of your "tendencies"? Do you start humongous projects at odd times too?


  1. I love the term "tendencies"!!! That's akin to saying, "Bless her heart," I think! :) :)

    Photos are big on my list this week after Christmas. I started last night on my Q3 photo book, but I didn't get very far. I was just too pooped, and I hate when that starts to feel like such work. When my heart isn't in it, I feel like it shows in the final work. (A likely excuse, huh?!) ;)

    Maybe on the Christmas gifts, skip the "need"? I know that's subjective, but I buy the girls what they "need" anyway...even if that "need" is a toy. You know the majority of our toys are educational, so if I feel like they need new blocks on August 3, I get them.

    By the way, to your earlier post, my suggestion about the inlaws...just trying to see the glass half-full! ;) Glad the heat worked to everyone's advantage! :)

  2. Why are you returning the mugs? I also got mugs - I needed them - my others had all broken except for one (we had others but I am specific about my mugs!!

    Yes I do tackle these tasks at odd times - usually what happens is I will put away something and the cupboard will be packed in a way that annoys me and next minute I will have repacked all the cupboards. Same with filing etc.

  3. We do one pressie from us and one from the siblings. That's it. Then the grandparents and my bil and sil will also send. Itmis kore than enough. Santa brings small things for a stocking ( like sugar canes, stickers, one small toy like a hot wheels car or a Barbie outfit and always a DVD as we travel after and new stuff to watch is always a winner). This year the grandparents all 3 pitched in for one gift for A which she really wanted - a specific expensive Barbie and the boys together got one Lego mat / container ( brilliant thing) from my bil and family, My clever cousin gave the kids a kiddy version of Monopoly as a joint gift - love board games. Such a great idea.

    My best gifts- the Mumford and son CD I wanted, a new book, a nifty fifty lens ( yeah) and washi tape ( clever Sil - she is one of those total hit or total miss type gifters).

  4. Oh and I decluttered my clothes cupboard today when everyone took a nap- and when I should rather have been packing, but so be it

  5. I was VERY intentional about simplifying Christmas this year and I think we did quite well at it. Our kids each got ONE gift. In fact, all of us had only one gift and it was fine. My parents gave them each a small gift as well and money. The rest of the family gave money and clothing which is right up my alley. Am going to do that something to read, wear, need, want on their birthdays. I think it will be easier to manage. Btw...Lance says that clothing and shoes are not gifts! He went nuts when I told him that I wanted to buy Joshua a pair of cool sneakers. I have a few projects that I want to start but I am really feeling quite exhausted at the moment. Think I need to go for my Vit B shot so I can have a burst of energy to finish cleaning my room!
    ps...I got back a bit earlier back from my mini-break. It was awful and I'm feeling sooooo despondent about it. I need to go for a swim so I can de-stress and feel better.

  6. Parts of my Christmas was great...and parts of it really sucked. My brother's girlfriend said they were thinking about getting married and having kids but she wasn't sure if she wanted her child anywhere near our family (not in so many words but she insinuated that she thought Nicola was a spoilt brat and I was a lousy wine...the great tongue lubricator). I am feeling quite injured to be honest. Have your own before you start critisizing mine. :-(

    1. Sorry about that! Alcohol or not it means she was thinking what came out of her mouth xxx

  7. You are super busy .... Hope you got everything on your list done and the holiday situation has been resolved?

  8. Again, we are doing similar things! I've spent the time off since Christmas, doing finances, cleaning out the boys toys and clothes and scanning pictures that I don't have digitally. I think when I graduate in May 2014, I'm going to make a bunch of photo albums!

  9. Sorting out photos takes a lot of time. Ask me I know and it even takes longer when you edit them before sorting them. I'm not complaining though because I love it, just saying.
    I'm glad you all had a great Christmas day and I get your appreciation of celebrating rather than being in a hospital. Thanks to the Lord.
    Your friend is right though. Living in PTA with air conditioning or fans. I don't like JHB due to it being too cold (cool) for me.


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