Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas traditions and finding my sparkle

The lovely Amanda over at Homely One kickstarted my Christmas spirit this year.

I have been feeling decidedly un-Christmassy. I don't know why really. I think it's easy for Christmas to get all just a bit too much. Too much stuff, too much waste, too much expectation.

But after reading Amanda's post about family traditions, I started thinking about ours and slowly, but surely, that Christmas sparkle started to take hold. I realised that there is a lot to love about taking the time to share special moments and create memories.

These are the things I cherish:
  • Putting up the tree, accompanied by champagne and Frank Sinatra
  • The obligatory Santa photo
  • Taking the boys into the city at night to see the big tree, the Christmas windows and to pick out their 'special' ornament. Each year they get a fancy schmancy one and when they eventually leave home (sniff), they will have a lifetime of beautiful decorations to take with them
  • Watching the Carols by Candlelight and singing our lungs out
  • Going to visit the Christmas Lights - there are some crazy people out there who do the most ridiculous things to their houses at Christmas time and I'm in the front row. I love seeing how bonkers people get for Christmas; it's sweet really
  • Working out what Christmas baking I'm going to do and then enjoying a couple of full baking days with the boys. This year, my SIL and the boys' cousins are going to join in too
  • Baking the Christmas ham on Christmas Eve and making an occasion of the first carving
  • Finding one new 'what to do with leftover christmas ham' recipe each year to add to the repertoire
  • Ham sandwiches! 
  • Christmas crafts with the boys. This year, I've planned for them to make Christmas button collages and we're going to attempt a piece of artwork for each set of the grandparentals
  • Getting a porcelain photo ornament for each of the boys made

The things I do just for me, really, are:
  • Buying all the Christmas magazines and reading them slowly across the whole month
  • Putting fairy lights all over the house and garden and flatly refusing to let anyone turn the overhead lights on. Ever. Some have said I'm slightly nuts when it comes to fairy lights.
  • Indulging in some late night bubble baths, with bubbles of the champagne variety and my 'Christmas' book

And the things that T and I do together are:
  • Wrapping the presents at night by fairy light (stupid idea really - can't see a bloody thing) and Christmas Carols
  • Writing the boys a Christmas letter
  • Sharing one special gift with each other on Christmas Eve with some bubbly after the boys are all tucked up in bed asleep 
There, I feel better already. Hello Christmas sparkle!

pic from pinterest here

Monday, November 26, 2012

From this....

... to this

... in the blink of an eye.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Letter to my babies: A moment of parenting paralysis


Yesterday I had a profound 'I don't know what to do in this situation' parenting moment.

We were at our local Westfield, checking out the summer fashions, when you were both suddenly fixated - hypnotised even - by a very beautiful pair of pink glitter covered sandals. They were gorgeous. As if they wouldn't be. Pink. Glitter. As far as I'm concerned, you can never have too many sparkles.

Of course you wanted them. Why wouldn't you? They were shiny and pretty and fun and - most importantly - pink.  You adore pink. You love it with all your hearts. Especially you, Rocky.

And why shouldn't you have them? You are three. You have no idea or understanding of gender. I love that about you. I love that nothing in your world is distorted by society's - frankly quite bizarre - expectations of gender roles or socially constructed mores around behaviour for 'boys' and 'girls'.

But you know what? I didn't know what to do. I was very careful NOT to say "Oh no, they're for girls". But I was stuck. Honestly, truly, stuck. Because, actually, I don't have a problem with you wearing pink sparkly sandals if that's what you want to wear. I don't want to stifle your creativity. I don't want to create barriers around you when you're still learning about yourself and the world. And quite honestly, I think more people could benefit from feeling confident in their own tastes and their own choices, without worrying about what other people think.

I want you to learn that what you think about yourself is a whole load more important than what others think of you.

But I couldn't help acknowledge that if I did let you have them, other people would start on at you with all of that gendered rubbish. I could just hear voices saying "why are you wearing girls' shoes?" "oh you funny little boy wearing girls' shoes" or even worse, "what are you doing to your boys, letting them wear girls' shoes".

And then I thought that would be worse. Because you'd be hearing it constantly from other people in an environment that wouldn't allow your dad and me to explain it properly.

So I did all I could do. Reminded you that we were looking for shorts, not shoes, and bought you these - in all their proud pink glory :)

You haven't taken them off yet, and they're currently in the wash so you can wear them again tomorrow. I love you my little men. Boys can totally wear pink.

All the love in the universe,

Your mama

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Christmas wish-list

I have been eyeing off some rather spectacular things all year - my own little wish-list I guess.

I love this Anthropologie watch.

I'm lusting after some blue and white china. I adore it. My gorgeous Nana had the most beautiful blue and white china dinner service. I don't know where it ended up after she died. Having some of this in my house would remind me of her I think.

In fact, that whole vignette would be divine!

I'd love a big porcelain milk pitcher to use as a vase. If only I lived somewhere that peonies were in season for more than a fortnight!

I'm dying to get my hands on this.

And maybe a chevron ginger jar.

That's it really. Not much. Just some pretties. And my Donna Hay Mag subscription.