??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


Old, new, different

I’m really enjoying my time being dictated by me now rather than work driven. I’ve had a chance to read and now I’m taking time to write.

This Christmas was a new experience for me. It was the first where both my kidults no longer live in the family home. They have spread their wings and I must admit I’m proud of the responsible, caring adults they have become- not that I expected less 🙂 This year Christmas was organised around sharing their time with their new families too. Traditions were broken but new events filled the spaces.

The changes started Christmas Eve. As my elderly FIL had decide he would do Christmas with friends at his retirement home ( rather than our home), my husband and his brother visited him Christmas Eve. This meant I had the opportunity to hold the tv remote and chose to watch the carols broadcast from interstate ( Melbourne). By the time the carols ended it was too late to watch our traditional DVD of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

We kept our traditional Christmas breakfast going of pancakes and berries then set up the table filled with nibbles, in anticipation of the kidult visits. We were all here for that then my daughter and her partner left to visit his family. After lunch my son and his partner left to do more family visits leaving my husband and his brother watching ( what I’d call uninteresting) DVDs and me curled up in my ‘forbidden room’ reading and playing with my ( well my kids’ but I’m minding them) pets.
It turned out to be a relaxing day. I love traditions and must admit the thought of changes had bothered me. However I focused less on the preparation and presentation and more on time with the family. It was especially magical having my kids here, watching them both in a new light. I think this day made me really understand what I had been parenting for. I know I will always have that role ( in some minor way) but on this day it truly felt like friends – my best friends all together. I always thought my best Christmases were those watching my kids open sacks brimming with every new toy known to Santa. Maybe it’s a thing about getting older but the best gift I received this Christmas was love.


                                                                                  My family :))
In the true tradition of Christmas in my home wasn’t really gone. Our tradition is spending time together, it’s just taken me a while to work it out. The other activities are the trimmings on the tree- and I won’t dispute they really add the edge to the tree 🙂
Christmas night, when the tables were cleared, dishwasher was churning away, the lounges back in place, my husband and I watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We still recited most of it and laughed before parts happened. The dog snored peacefully at my feet and the cat…well she was off on her own, relishing the peace of the night.

What traditions do you follow at this time of the year? Have they been added to or changed with time? Any you just couldn’t imagine going without?


Rush the mall and buy the shops out …falalalalalalalala

Christmas stress
I ‘penned’ this after reading this blog post on mybrownpaperpackages.com .

Christmas… I know it’s coming for a whole year so why then am I scrambling to get organised just 3 days out from the event? Truth is I enjoy the rush, I’m the type of person who works best under pressure.



My last minute dashes are chaotic to others but to me they are stress free. I must admit I love the thrill of arriving early to get parking. I feel a sense of smug. I choose my car space so I can just drive out after my busy purchasing rather than reversing out trying to avoid pedestrians and (by that time ) illegally parked cars making it more than a challenge to leave.




Yesterday my arrival was timed perfectly. I glided around the shopping centre, my only list the names of my family and I hold that safe in my head. This year it’s gifts only for my immediate family. For the rest of the family it will be the getting together (sometime between mid December until mid January). With families spread and the circle widened as children become adults, this is the only way we can accommodate things.


This event is meant to signify joy but if the faces and antics of many are what we judge I’d say the significance of the event is being overlooked…big time!! People glare angrily as they push past, curse loudly in queues, snatch rudely to select a product and ensure their frown lines get a really great workout.

Me, I smile a lot, wish people a Merry Christmas as I wait in lines and enjoy the opportunity to chat with friends as I bump ( sometimes literally) into them in my travels. Most of them are happy to stop for a chat but to some they are on a mission and sadly being friendly isn’t what this season brings out in them.

Maybe I’m getting old but I believe the best and perfect gift is time…time to enjoy shopping if you want to buy gifts , time to enjoy selecting the food you want to share with your loved ones and most importantly time spent with those loved ones creating and reliving the memories. Christmas seems to be an exercise in irony for many.

Can’t wait until tomorrow (Christmas Eve) to join the lines at the supermarket for food for my family. I’ll be there ‘crack of dawn’. You will recognise me by my huge smile and pleasant conversations :))

So, while I’m the calm , yet last minute organiser , just watch my stress levels on the day. Oh did I tell you I’m a perfectionist in presentation? Will hold that for another post.