I love Christmas. Waking up under our massive Aussie bright blue sky, opening the patio doors wide to let the crisp sunshine walk through the house and shine on our towering Christmas tree like a spotlight on the stage. The gentle sounds of cicadas chanting away in the early morning, waiting patiently for their late afternoon operatic performance that will make it almost impossible for anyone to be heard. Aussie culture at its best!
Weeks, no actually months have led up to this one moment. Planning the who, the what, the where and the when. Negotiating the usual family conflicting needs of 26 individuals all who think that their needs are the most important disguised in bright “Oh what can I do to help?.” The endless shopping, Black Friday madness, fighting for a parking spot in the mall, finding nothing in the mall, back to the internet, the tracking, and trips to the post office for that item that said nothing about “signature required”.
Then there is putting up the tree, planned as a calm Sunday family evening, but quickly descending into a DYI disaster, lights falling from balconies, blow up giant penguins breaking free of their pegs and flying down the street, and a star that stubbornly remains lopsided despite several attempts of the youngest balancing precariously on her dads’ shoulders trying to straighten it.
The mind field of food and the ubiquitous dietary requirement. Vegan, vegos, protein only, celiac, pescatarian, no carbs. AAAHH JUST EAT WHAT YOUR GIVEN AND BE THANKFUL! And now the place cards no longer boys and girls but unidentified, furies and butterflies. Oh, how I long for the days when the nephew being gay was the talk of the family!
After all this - there it is.
The One Moment of Calm.
Everything is done.
The presents are wrapped under the tree, the house looks its best, twenty different types of food are all prepared and laid out. The kids are blessed, clean and fresh after church. It’s here.
Just 20, rare, perfect minutes.
And that’s it. When I step back with my zero alcohol Seadrift Elderflower spritz and I cheers, silently to me.
To all that work and thought that no one will ever really understand but that I know is the true spirit of Christmas.
I “cheers” to the fact that my kids can relax and enjoy the day. Pure bliss – at last. A day without exams. A day with no bullies. A day where TikTok won’t rule. A day to just enjoy being here and together in the safety of our family.
And a day where I as their mum, will be there present for every single second. As somewhere not long from now this will no longer exist. They will have grown and flown, and the attraction of a chaotic day with family and the chorus of cicadas will be discarded for travel to far off places, and I will miss the Christmas that once was!
Cheers to you, The Spirit of Christmas.
May you find peace, love, and happiness this season.
PS For the perfect zero alcohol Christmas recipes – check out the cocktail section