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Category Archives: christmas

Busy busy busy

I was shopping last week and saw a catalogue called LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS BARGAINS – which horrified me, as December had only barely begun.

I saw it again today and it horrified me again, but this time it was because I have not made any much progress on the (admittedly very small) amount of shopping I still have to do.

I changed any to much because I did get “teacher gifts” for the various adults who teach and/or care for our kids. A couple of years ago, I discovered that the local sheet outlet store has absolutely gorgeous Christmas decorations for sale, which they discount heavily after Christmas. I figured that a lovely tree ornament is a MUCH better gift than the ubiquitous bottle of wine or box of chockies, and bought a stack after Christmas at 75% off, for next year.

Then, I lost the box.

I think it is in the roof.

Each year since then, I have feebly mumbled “I know it’s here somewhere” – and then raced back to the shop to buy more ornaments. This year’s are lovely big glass balls that it almost hurt to give away, they looked so lovely when I was holding them all in the shop.

Meanwhile, today I picked up a copy of Dominion: Seaside, which made both my girls cheer. Fraser groaned, because I have succumbed (in principle) to the Need to Sleeve, so I spent 50% of the cost of the game again on card sleeves. Now I just need to Do The Deed.

Tomorrow, mum and dad’s dining table will be delivered. This is good, except that it means that we have to get our old table out of the house – preferably through the back door, as it’s going to go under the carport for a little while. We also get 6 very ugly green vinyl chairs. This table is somewhat wider than our current one and, most importantly, it extends to be a 14-seater or so. This will be good for Christmas and also for game nights, when we sometimes have to run 2 games – we will be able to extend the table and stay in place.

It is also more attractive. On the downside, Fraser will not be able to put a chair on top of it and then stand on the chair to change a lightbulb.

Hmm.

Now that I think about it?

That may not be such a bad thing.

Ladders seem infinitely safer.

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Posted by on December 10, 2009 in christmas, house, shopping

 

That was SO not the question I just asked you …

Me, by email, to inbound duty free shop:

If I pre-order (large item X) for collection next Monday morning, are you able to wrap it up so my kids don’t immediately see what it is, given that it is their Christmas gift and all?

Inbound duty free shop to me:

Hi Melissa, if you can just send us your flight details and credit card number, we can put one of those aside for you.

Me, to Inbound duty free shop:

Um, I kind of need to know whether you can wrap it up pls? Cos  otherwise, no sale.

Betcha they still don’t get it.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2009 in christmas, shopping, travel

 

A holiday week of gaming

Looking through my game journal at the last week’s gaming … Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2009 in christmas, essen, games

 

Bah Humbug?

I love Christmas.

I mean, I really love Christmas. I love the carols, I love the decorations, I love the smell of mince pies in the oven.

But so far, I am not loving this Christmas. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2008 in christmas, rant

 

hot hot hot

Happy New Year, my darlings!

It was a hot one for us – still 35 degrees (C) at 10pm. The overnight minimum was 28, around 7am.  By 10, it was back up to 35.

We have a cooler in the living room but not in the bedrooms. When we installed central heating, we considered the option of central air conditioning as well, but it didn’t feel justified for the very few days a year when you really (desperately) need it.

The kids’ room was almost unbearable last night, but I don’t really want to put a fan in there (little fingers, etc). Ceiling fans would be good but I am not sure that it would be possible to fit one around the existing light fittings.

We have a portable fan in our room, though – which led to my breakthrough discovery: A cold, wet towel.

Yep, that’s how I slept last night. Cold, wet spit rug (errm, cloth nappy) over my legs, fan going all night. I was my own air conditioner.

I realised how effective it was when Otto woke up and I had to go back into her room to soothe her.

Ugh.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2008 in christmas, house

 

Christmas

I hope all my friends had a wonderful Christmas and/or a quiet and relaxing day at home (take your pick).

After getting to bed around 2:30am, our day began at 7:30 when my alarm went off (oops – I had forgotten to deactivate it). Murmurings from the girls’ room suggested that stockings were being explored, and we dozed back off – until they ran into our room at 8:06.

“Santa’s been! Santa’s been!” Otto called in excitement – a far cry from the shyness and anxiety that we’ve seen in the past, even when she enjoyed her gifts.

Ten minutes or so later, we managed to drag ourselves out of bed. First stop was Otto’s bed, to see the vast array of stocking stuffers spread across the bed. “Biggie got more than me,” she commented – not in a sad way, just observing it as a fact. Two things contributed to this – first, some of Biggie’s items were bigger, and second – well, loyal readers will know that there was a problem 😦 We are still thinking about how best to deal with this.

Our family rule is one present only before everyone is dressed and breakfasted. Once the carols on my iPod had been turned back on, we set to it. For Otto, that was a set of coloured pencils and electric pencil sharpener from Smiggle – which is like crack for children. Biggie chose the parcel with a new swimsuit and pack of 6 pairs of ankle socks (it doesn’t sound very exciting, but she was delighted).

My children have rarely dressed so quickly.

Breakfast was pancakes with lemon and sugar, cinnamon sugar, strawberries and/or blueberries. Yum yum yum. I could have that again 🙂

After all that, it would have been close to 11 before we went back to gift-opening. We tried to be low-key this year, choosing things to keep the kids occupied during the holidays and things that they need, but of course there was extra stuff too. Not to mention the Santa stuff (craft supplies, hair trinkets and a couple more books each)

Gift summary:

Otto:

  • Smiggle coloured pencils & electric sharpener
  • Swimsuit and rain anorak (Biggie got one from her grandparents for her birthday, and when it was on sale at 50% off it was hard to resist another good one from kathmandu)
  • Books – Princess Tales from around the World and (how could I resist?) The Pop-Up Book of Manners (it was really REALLY cheap)
  • A soft, cuddly toy Fairy and a 3 cm thick colouring book
  • A Charlie and Lola DVD
  • as well as a range of gifts from her very generous auntie, including Smiggle gel pens, a Dora the Explorer dressing gown and beach towel, stickers and a calendar.

Biggie:

  • Smiggle electric eraser with refills, chameleon pens and highlighters and a pack of writing paper
  • Swimsuit and pack of 6 pairs of socks
  • Books – Magic in the Weaving (Tamora Pierce) and Sparkly things to make and do
  • a “Mystic Mummy Tomb Dig and Play” set
  • The Wisdom of Nancy Drew – quiz book and fridge magnets
  • as well as gifts from Auntie – more Smiggle (including a diary), a bracelet and a hairband.

Family gifts:

  • Trötofant
  • Beppo der Bock
  • Uno
  • Chicken Cha Cha Cha

Me:

  • Books, a DVD (The Devil wears Prada) and a 1.2m tall inflatable Dalek

Fraser:

  • Books, a DVD (Life on Mars Season 1) and a t-shirt with this cartoon strip on it (there is more en route for Fraser)

Apologies for the lengthy list. I always enjoy reading what other people get for Christmas 🙂

We played a couple of games, then it was time to make brandy butter and salad and head for my brother’s by 3pm (we were late). My theory of brandy butter is that it is essentially a science experiment to see how much brandy you can suspend in 250g of unsalted butter. My food processor got an A+ this year.

Christmas dinner was outside, which was OK until about 5pm when it started to get pretty chilly. Apparently it will be back to high 30s by the end of the week but yesterday hovered around the 20 mark which was a little too cool. The barbecue was good, although I kind of missed having turkey – next year, I’ll make sure I roast one.

The girls loved spending the afternoon with their baby cousin, who seemed to enjoy spending time with them too. She certainly enjoyed pulling the wrapping off her gifts!

We came home around 7.30 and managed to get the girls into bed in reasonable time before watching a DVD and turning in ourselves.

Today, I skipped the sales (we’re broke, and I really don’t need anything anyway) which is a big change for me. Usually I am there by 7 or even earlier. I was sorry not to go, but if I went I would shop. We’ve played Agricola, joined friends on BSW for other games, cleared up some of the Christmas chaos, and generally relaxed. Not such a bad day at all.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2007 in christmas, family

 

Reasons to love your spouse

Quote of the season.

Fraser, to me: “Sometimes I love you because you are so evil.”

The Backstory:

Ever since the DVD set of Dr Who and the Key to Time was released here, Biggie has been jonesing for it. It’s not quite up to pestering, but it is well into begging and beyond. Ask her what she wants for Christmas, this is what she says. Tell her we are going shopping, she asks whether we can get it. Etc etc etc.

Fraser and I saw it on special a few days ago, and caved.  Well, sort of.

Last night, we were wrapping Christmas gifts. Fraser picked it up and asked what we should do with it.

My theory – and the thought which won me the eternal devotion of my husband – was simple.

Put it on the shelf where we keep the other DVDs and see how long it takes her to notice it.

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2007 in christmas, parenting