This Sunday is the beginning of Advent, the Christmas season of waiting for the Christ child. It is a weird and wonderful time to be waiting for my own baby to be born. There is much uncertainty, because on Christmas Day I could have my new baby home, we could be in the hospital, or we could still be waiting.
For us, this will truly be a holiday season of less.
Rachelle at Magpie Girl has made a list of *8 Things for a Peaceful Holiday. This is exactly the idea that sings to me at the moment. What can we do to feel part of the holiday season? And what can we happily leave out?
1. There will be Christmas food. Maybe not on Christmas Day though, and probably with little time for preparation on the day. I’ve decided that finger food is the way to go, and I’m slowly filling up the freezer.
2. There will be a carol service. My choice would be the midnight service on Christmas Eve, but who knows? A big, boisterous Carols by Candlelight in the park would be fun, too, and probably cooler.
3. There will be friends. We are organising an orphans’ Christmas, of sorts. But it’s very low key, and if our house is not appropriate on the day, somebody else has volunteered to host.
4. There will be gingerbread. This is the one Christmas food I make every year, for friends, for work… everyone. This year, I’m not sure how I’ll go – on my feet in a hot kitchen in the middle of summer at 8 months pregnant.
5. There will be a paddle pool. Here in Australia, heading to the beach is an integral part of Christmas celebrations for many. It’s not really an option in Canberra, but our neighbours have given us a giant paddle pool that can probably fit 6 adults. I’m thinking we’ll all need water balloons and water pistols to take full advantage : )
6. There will be decorations. We’ve never spent a Christmas Day in Canberra – we’ve always gone home to family. We don’t have a lot of decorations, but this year they are going up.
7. There will be afternoon naps. As the temperature rises, and my feet begin to resemble footballs, naps are a necessity. This may be more about the ‘peaceful’ than the ‘holiday’, but I think it’s important enough to include.
8. There will be Skype. Almost all our extended family now have skype set up – some needed more coaching than others. But living so far away, I’ve come to value it immensely. To be able to share video as well as conversation with loved ones on the other side of the world is just amazing. They’ve been able to see my growing bump, and I got to watch my brother try on the t-shirt I sent for his birthday.
There will not be: A full 5 course meal, an endless list of Christmas office functions or mad travelling from one side of the country to the other. For me at least, there won’t be squeezing Christmas shopping around increasing work hours.
So while Christmas this year could be any manner of uncertainties, and I will miss my family horribly, it should also be quieter, saner, simpler and more peaceful.
And if anyone offers you eggnog or mulled wine or sangria or a G&T… please have one for me : )