“Ella, how many sleeps until Santa gets here?” I ask.
She extends her hand and pops three fingers in the air, a grin spreading across her lips, and I ponder that even when I feel organised for it, Christmas still comes along in a mad rush.
Our bags are packed and our passports are tucked in their special wallets. Favourite books have been slipped inside favourite backpacks (“choose only three each, you guys, your favourite three”) and it really feels like the countdown is on. Of all the things I’m looking forward to, it’s the looks on my kids’ faces the most. When they get to board the plane, when they finally see all the things we’ve talked about, when I get to see things through their eyes. But today, there are still stacks of things to do so I’m dumping a whole heap of pictures of things that made me happy this past week, and then I’m off to pack activity kits for plane rides and bring the fifty loads of washing in from the line.
High temps and pool days.
Ella takes her big sister role very seriously.
And my friend and I keep the day rolling with bubbles and cookie baking with the kids back home.
The kids were down for their midday nap, Bing was on repeat and I sipped tea and enjoyed so much this little December ritual.
Delivering cookies to our neighbourhood.
Which I love for time spent with my kids but more for the connection which follows.
The next day, we found hidden notes of thanks in our letter box and tiny gifts for the children left on our front stairs and visits from our neighbours across the road to say thanks and share connection.
It was lovely.
Nothing makes it feel more like Christmas to me than seeing entire streets lit up in twinkles and joy.
Kids spilled onto pavements and fake snow blasted through the air and bubbles shot from bubble machines and my children ran, ran, ran high on life. “Mummy, I don’t EVER want to leave,” my daughter said to me at one point. “I want to stay here forever.”
My brother’s girlfriend won’t be with us this Christmas so we threw an early one in her honour.
We went with pies, because why wouldn’t you?
I loved the buzz in our home as we cleaned and baked and decorated and made room for people we love.
And now we await reindeer food making plans with friends, movies and carols, settling in and cozying up, enjoying the last bites of this season before a great big plane takes us away on our next adventure.
I’ll pop back in on Christmas eve. Happy three sleeps everyone.