There’s really no other way to start this post than with a great giant cup of egg nog. I was in Woolworths yesterday, forgetting to put things in my trolley like, you know, dinner, and instead I flung in mangoes and ham and melting chocolate and lychees and mince pies and pavlova bases and aforementioned egg nog because IT’S DECEMBER YOU GUYS AND I AM ABOUT TO PASS OUT.
If I was an emoji, I’d be that Spanish dancing woman. Or the jazz hands one. Or just that bomb explosion. “Do you just feel like you’re internally combusting?” my friend said to me yesterday, a friend who loves Christmas as much as I do.
“I can’t talk about it,” I said. “Do not make me speak.”
It has been a pretty wretched two months. I will never, not ever, renovate another house again so don’t even ask me. If anyone hands me another tube of gap filler or asks me to pick up some more chamfer boards I will immediately cancel our friendship and lock myself in a cupboard for the following month. I had NO IDEA what we were getting ourselves into, in the same way that you can tell expectant mothers what to expect but until they’re pushing that baby out and staying up all night to feed and forgetting the last time they took a shower and loving this kid so much they feel like they might die, only then do they do look at you and say ohhhhhhhhhhh, riiiiight.
Anyway, enough about that. I’ll put together a house reno post another time. Right now, there is a Christmas tree to my left, full of a million stories; how much Ella loved shoes when she was two, Billy’s obsession with garbage trucks last year, the first ornament Joel ever bought me when he realised he had to love my love of Christmas otherwise our marriage would most likely survive all of NOT VERY LONG. I remember who gave us each ornament and where we got the others from and why and it makes me happy to remember. I stayed up late December eve after everyone else had gone to bed, unwrapping every single one, laying them all out on the table for the kids to wake up and find the next morning, signalling the 1st of December, the time we could finally decorate the tree.
And though life is far from a story book or a perfectly constructed Instagram feed, that doesn’t mean we can’t mine for the very best parts of it and breathe them in. I breathe in deep in December, because the good is so apparent – good I’ve worked so hard to earn, good I know only exists because of the hard and the mess and the sweat and the tears but also because of the ridiculous privilege I’ve been born with.
When God said, “Let there be light”, I think he meant twinkly lights.
Stockpiling our Christmas memories, so far:
December eve. New pjs for Joel and the kids, ready to be unwrapped before they go to bed.
Ella’s kindergarten Christmas concert at the Town Hall.
My friend and I sat there clutching our throats, glancing at each other periodically, rasping “It’s too much”. I think the kindergarten was trying to kill us.
Christmas beds. Be still my beating heart.
And little Christmas slippers that will not ever be taken off.
The start of our advent.
And decorating the tree.
Their ornaments of the year.
And the return of Hiccup, our cheeky elf — by far, one of Ella’s main reasons to wake in the morning.
We unveiled the opening of our local Christmas village.
And at night we cosy up under fairy lights and watch Christmas movies.
And like Meister Eckhar said, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”
Dear god, thank you for this mess. Thank you for this good. And thank you, thank you for these children.
Merry December, friends.