Countdown to Christmas

The Advent Calendar has been given lots of interest this Christmas, I would like to say this is due to Charlotte’s love of numbers but suspect it has more to do with the chocolates!

We started December by meeting the deadline (just!) on postage of parcels and cards to dear friends and family overseas (with all our family in England, it’s ALOT of postage to send from New Zealand!). The girls loved decorating the Christmas tree (the youngest, Sophie, who turns one year on Boxing Day, attempted to eat most of the decorations and we’ll be lucky if it’s still standing by Christmas day!). And since we are celebrating the festivities in the height of summer the twinkling lights which adorn the tree can only be seen on inclement days (which, unfortunately, there have been numerous examples of this season).

I bravely baked some ginger bread Christmas treats (and am pleasantly surprised with the results, but have concerns on the affect of all the sugar on my girls!). The girls were fascinated with all the ‘gooey’ ingredients, in particular the treacle, and I of course tried (as all perfecting mothers do!) to make the experience educational as well as fun!

It will be a special first Christmas for Sophie (who is enjoying the daily arrival of cards and sampling them for their edibility and the envelopes for their tearing quality). Charlotte is beginning to wonder about the possibility of a man in a red suit delivering gifts worldwide in one night and understanding the real reason for the Christmas celebration, the Birthday of Jesus. She seems to understand Christmas is about a Birthday (she tells me daily that it’s her ‘trikes’ Birthday and her trike rules – it goes in the shower with her, ‘sleeps’ on the foot of her bed some evenings and demands to be fed – trike food naturally!). Well, she is only three!

It is interesting to be a parent of children celebrating Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere, having known all my childhood festivities hoping for snow. Charlotte already has strong summer associations with Christmas, with her favourite being the ready availability of strawberries, blueberries and peapods in the supermarket (thankfully Charlotte is learning to share, as a punnet of blueberries rarely makes it home from the supermarket uneaten… I drive home hearing the chant of ‘One for you, one for me…’).

As for me, I herald the bloom of the beautiful ‘Pohutukawa’ tree as the oncoming of Christmas ‘Kiwianna’ style.