Monthly Archives: December 2013

Samuel’s take on Christmas in Texas

Baby goats are awesome:

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Donkey rides are pretty good:

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Tractor rides are so good, they warrant clapping:

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Chasing ducks? The best! Can’t get enough of it.

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And Santa? Santa is NOT AWESOME.

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Even with Mummy, Santa is not at all awesome.

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Happy Christmas.

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One moment, so many emotions

The scene:

I am at the Christmas party. It’s been a long, tiring week. There is is another, longer, probably more tiring week ahead. Then a break, and while my colleagues are relishing their Christmas holiday, I will be working over it (thanks double grant deadline). A fellow faculty member skipped out of the party, but I felt too guilty. I mostly talked about Sam (I have been out two nights this week, and only put him to bed once!). Everyone asked if he was walking yet, and I replied “He can, but he doesn’t”. We have seen two steps, three steps, four steps, five… OK. Not five. Sam’s walking was confined to a few wobbly paces when he was making a beeline for his bottle. Once he realized what was happening, he plopped straight to the floor.

I missed the little munchkin, but my decision to stay was rewarded when a student said that she appreciated me being there and she was “sure I would rather be with my husband and Sam”. Well, yeah. But also, not yeah. This is my School, and my students, and I feel loyalty to them and want to go and show my face, contribute a little bit to the School spirit. Plus I like the people – they are all my friends in one form or another.

Then my husband sent me this:

Aaaaargh! Real actual, proper walking! I was so proud of my boy! Everyone had to see the video – from friends up to the Dean.

And then I was gutted: how could I have missed this? Missed it for an optional work event? A work social event?

And how many more firsts would I miss? How many more moments would Sam and his dad share that I would partake in via text message?

I raced home, and Sam walked about the kitchen for me. Although not much as he was, touchingly, only prepared to walk if it was to get a cuddle from me.

Bittersweet.

Happy Advent

Christmascard2013_4 Ah Christmas time, always my favorite time of year. My ex-officemate Claire was at a work lunch many moons ago, when she mentioned my name. “Hmmmmm” said a guy I have never met “Is that the girl who is crazy about Christmas?”. Yup. That’s me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Basically I love the baking, the decorating, the crafts, the lights, the tackiness. The crazy excitement, the movies. I love it all. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But at Ecclesia (our beloved church home) 2 weeks ago, I saw this video which moved me deeply:

(It actually moved me to tears, but I seem to have a broken my tear switch when pregnant and never quite mended it).

Look, I am not going to stop sending cards, stop getting presents, or do anything drastic. Yet. But this video was the first time that I really sat and thought about what Christmas should be to a Christian. The celebration of the birth of Christ. To me, that used to be about going to church throughout advent, going to Midnight Mass, and remembering why we have this festival (unless you are Wiccan or Pagan… totally different reasons then).

Loved coordinating this nativity in 2008

Slowly (and I can be slow) I am realising that it is about more than that. It is about celebrating the birth of Christ. Which surely can mean nothing less than enacting what he stood for: love, charity, selfless giving, equality. I am not ready, nor willing, to make drastic changes to my celebrations (which I suspect I should do), but I have promised that this advent there will be some small changes:

No debt. No debt at all. We celebrate Christmas within our means. No excuses.

Charity work. Active serving of others. Active giving to others. Enough serving of and giving to others that it is inconvenient to me. That it is at my expense.

Christmas celebrations must not get in the way of more important things: serving others, friends, family. That means: no stress! I will build Christmas traditions that enhance my family. Other Christmas traditions: shopping / baking / whatever, happen with my son, or with my friends. Most of them should only happen if they are actively enhancing my family and friendships and bringing love, positivity and peace to them. At the very least, none of them may occur at the expense of them (so no: “Wes, can you take Sam, I have to do such-and-such”).

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I am looking forward to this season! I think this is what Christmas has to be about. Unless you are not a Christian: when you get to enjoy it without these thoughts, just for the party. Awesome 🙂

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