Christmas for us this year was exactly as it should be for my family! Christmas at the beach at my parent’s home, our family together, food, fun and laughter – but best of all was the weather, and being together. Memories of Christmas when I was a child always involved loads of cousins, hot weather and swimming. If it was hosted at our family home, we were in the pool. If it was at my Aunty Lorna’s in the bush, then we were in a huge converted corrugated rain tank that had been cut in half and filled up with water. At another Aunty’s, we used to swim in the dam – with the tadpoles, and a plank for a jumping platform. My memories of Christmas as a child were always full of heaps of cousins, Aunts, Uncles, and plenty of noise and a heap of fun, and always warm weather where we’d be able to swim.
Our family gatherings at Christmas are no longer as large when it comes to numbers of cousins – but we are still plenty noisy enough. This year – after quite a few years of cooler weather, the weather was perfect for a swim at the beach. My brother and my two children were up for getting wet and having some fun in the water. Mum, Dad and Stephen stayed home for a nap after lunch. So, while we waited for the cousins to arrive for the evening, Stewy, Daniel, Lauren & I all headed to the beach. I waded in the water enjoying the warmth in the shallows, while they braved deeper water and had a swim, threw the ball around, and then stood in the shallows chatting and enjoying the late warmth of the day to dry off before we headed back for more food!
This to me is what Christmas is all about. Not the gifts, not the stress beforehand, not rushing to get everything done on time and trying to catch up with everyone before Christmas Day arrives. To me – it’s about relaxing and enjoying each other’s company – and taking advantage of where we are and who we are with. The best thing was, we were able to do it again the next day as we enjoyed a full day together. If I had my way, I’d order the same every year! I hope you all had a wonderful festive season, and wish you all the best for the New Year and beyond. I plan on keeping things simple next year – no clutter, no procrastination, no baggage – a year of fresh starts, clean habits, fun times, and making the most of spending time with those I love.