??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness

Modus Operandi


I love Christmas. It’s a time of family for me, a time to be together, laugh and eat excessively. I love the Christmas lights at night, the house being dressed up, singing Christmas Carols and the excitement and magic this all creates.

I was reading a blog I follow Part Time Monster and the post was about shopping efficiently at Christmas with some great ideas. It got me thinking about the way Christmas preparation has changed over the years for me.

                     So, just how do I prepare to create Christmas?

I’m a Christmas Eve girl. I love nothing more than battling the stores, smiling and greeting those other shoppers (many wearing a grimace) as they pass by me.

When my kids were younger I had to help Santa out in the toy department. As we never start Christmas organisation until December (due to my son’s November birthday) the first few days of December were a mad rush to fill the Santa List. I would scour the stores after work and on the first weekends of December and always found what was needed, even if it meant driving from shopping centre to shopping centres.

 One year stands in my mind as I hunted down Bratz doll heads. My daughter wanted Yasmin ( the princess of Bratzs)  but as a popular gift, I was having trouble finding it. I found Chloe first (blonde head) and decided a Bratz head in the wardrobe was worth two in a store and so purchased it and popped it up in the wardrobe (I’d return it for a refund if I found Yasmin). Hit the stores again still searching for Yasmin but found Sascha ( dark brown hair). Bought her and popped her up on the top wardrobe shelf. Again I trudged the eternal Yasmin search and found Jade ( black hair) – yes by now my wardrobe was an eerie place to walk into! This was when I began phoning frantically, finding Yasmin in a store far away. Hit the road purchased her with great delight (stashed her on arrival home in the wardrobe) and began the ‘returning of the Bratz Head’ pilgrimage.

Yasmin Bratz Head          yasmin                                            

                   ( You can imagine the creepy wardrobe loaded with these )

 Fortunately for me, Santa never visited again, so precision in gift choice was replaced with gifts purchased from a very long list. When Santa gave the gifts the children were very specific with their wants. Let’s face it, this man was magical so how could he not find a Yasmin or a Star Wars toy or a Thunderbird Island or a Barbie car.

And so my Christmas Eve food AND gift extravaganza was born. I only do a cold Christmas fare and so doing it on Christmas Eve seemed logical (it’s a true shopaholic’s delight in my opinion). Christmas Eve tradition started at literal crack of dawn. Our local Woolworths opened then and so I would push one trolley around and my kids would push another, loading them with all delights from seafood to ham to salads and treats. After that, with the cold food in eskies, we would have a quick breakfast at Maccas and then head home to organise the food into cupboards and fridges. I’d trek back to the stores then (this is still before 9 am so parking wasn’t an issue ) alone to purchase gifts. I lie a little about doing it all on Christmas Eve because sometimes I would purchase my children’s main gifts the day before. But, it was Christmas Eve for everyone else.

Picture 799Lunch Feast

I still do it all Christmas Eve and I must admit I love the excitement – I always work best with a close deadline. My daughter gave up the food pilgrimage two years after Santa stopped visiting, in preference for extra sleep. My son and I still do the run, but the Maccas breakfast is replaced with a nice café one and then he drives off to work and I head home to unpack it.

Then in the evening I sit wrapping gifts before the whole family gather to watch Griswold’s Christmas Vacation. We are ‘Griswold’ in our own rights. 

P1010091 (2) These are my pets dressed up for Christmas 2012

What’s your modus operandi for Christmas preparation?


Author: Travelling Macs

A mum to 2 grown up children who always make me proud, a wife and a full time school teacher. I love eating great food but am not motivated to cook. Love traveling around this great country in which I live. Often found traveling with my husband Brian. I write for pleasure and if it's read (and enjoyed) by others then that's a bonus! 2014 saw me begin the 'new' me. Working hard at leaving the fear of 'what if' behind and replacing it with YOLO adventures. :)

12 thoughts on “Modus Operandi

  1. I can totally relate to your Yasmin Bratz Head ordeal. We always have Christmas Eve at my mums, it is the best!! We have a gorgeous meal with stuffed Turkey and seafood and then we gather around the Christmas tree and exchange gifts. Christmas Day we do it all again with the extended family. It is all food, festivity and presents galore. Now that my kids are older, the presents are a lot more expensive so I tend to lay by them earlier and pay them off slowly.

  2. Thanks for the mention! As an anxious introvert, I detest the Christmas Eve crowds, so I try the opposite strategy (buying online and from small businesses).

    My son is 4, so we’re just getting to the stage where he’s got some specific things in mind that are the toy-of-the-year and might have to be searched for, so I’m sure I’ll soon have a Bratz-head-similar moment or two. 🙂

    • I gave the link because you got me thinking and I believe credit where credit is due. :).
      I just discovered an online store from a friend’s FB share called Hard to Find ( or something like that). It looked good, reasonable prices and free Australian shipping so I’m a bit tempted to try it. Sounds like an ad but this isn’t haha. I’d still have to wander the stores Christmas Eve just for my ‘shopping Fix lol) . Merry Christmas to you and your family

      • Indeed. 🙂

        I’ve developed a list of sites, like Uncommon Goods and Our Name is Mud, that have products that are fun but not terribly expensive, for my hard-to-buy-for gift-getters.

        Merry Christmas to you and yours, as well!

  3. I could never do what you do, not in a million years. In fact, I try to get all my Christmas shopping done before the middle of November. I’ve never hosted the Christmas feast. I do act as one of the main contributers for the side dishes though.

    • I’m a ‘last minuter ‘ in just about everything I do. I work well under pressure. Do you have any traditional side dishes you do each year or do you choose new recipes? My mum always had set dishes and I tend to follow that for my Christmas feast . This year though I’m going to choose a new salad to include.

  4. I’m generally at work on Christmas Eve so that rules out that idea for me 😉
    In our house, Santa always bought little things to put in the sack and anything big always comes from Mum and Dad. I spend most of the year putting the little things away for the sack. The Tween still expects is but the quantity of items is diminishing as her tastes grow more expensive.
    Our traditions are:
    Dinner at our home on Christmas Eve with the children and grandchildren. Lots of noise, presents and fun.
    Christmas morning after we open presents around the tree we have breakfast of croissants, ham, cheese, fried tomato and onion and eggs. All served with a glass (or two) or Asti Riccadonna. Generally we go to the in-laws for lunch but this year everyone is coming to our home for a cold lunch. Got the fish man on stand-by for the sea food already 😉

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