Thursday, 26 December 2013

The hardest part about Christmas is...


The hardest part about Christmas is...
26 December 2013

Aaahhh!  Christmas!  A joyous time of the year.  In fact, my very favourite time of the year.

A time for family.  A time for gammon – always a winner.  A time for giving gifts to those that you love.  A time for Xmas carols.  A time for celebrating over a giant Christmas meal with your nearest and dearest.  A time for picnics.  A team for year-end parties.  A time for hot weather and cold meals.  A time for Christmas crackers.  A time for decking the hall and Christmas-i-fying your home.  A time for cello tape and wrapping paper and wrapping of gifts.  A time for everything red and green.  A time for splurging – on gifts and food.  A time to reflect and give thanks for all that you’ve got.  A time for connecting with people.  A time to indulge in yourself (Merry Xmas from me to me) and in others (Merry Xmas from me to you).  A time to believe in Father Christmas.  A time to watch festive, holiday, Christmas movies.  A time to set your table most beautifully for the coming festive feast.

A time to rejoice in the wonder of Christmas – the time, the people, and all that it means for you. 


There are a few downers to Christmas too. 

In my family we speak of “Krismis Voete”.  And mainly the womenfolk, suffer from these.  Translated into English, it means “Christmas Feet”.  And what it refers to, are the sore, achy, swollen feet that are usually part and parcel of Christmas.  These are due to standing for long periods of time in front of the stove and in the kitchen, preparing the great Christmas feast.  Running around the shops, getting last minute gifts and groceries.  As well as the seeming never ending list of things that simply must get done, so that everything is just right.  Lengthy periods of time, standing, walking and just being busy, lead to very sore feet.  However, in my family, us womenfolk have found, that “Krismis Voete” are not only indigenous to Christmas time alone.  Any large family celebration, induces the same symptoms.  Especially if organisation and cooking on a grand scale is required.  And hence, “Krismis Voete” have also been known to make an appearance at family weddings, big birthday celebrations, etc.

Another downer of Christmas is shopping.  Holy Toledo!  There is just so much of it to be done!  Apart from the gifting (even little token gifts, have to be bought after all and don’t miraculously appeared wrapped and ready), there’s the increased grocery shopping too.  Somehow one tends to eat differently at Christmas time.  Conventional cereal and rusks breakfasts, simply won’t do.  Added to that list, is things like getting Christmas crackers, wrapping paper and that blasted cello tape that so often seems to run out, way before the wrapping is wrapped up – so to speak.  Braving the shops at Christmas time, is truly for the brave only.  Parking is a mission, Malls are crammed and queues are long.

The great gift debate.  Exactly what should be bought and for whom?  Speaking of which, how expensive everything suddenly is!

Every single Christmas, I miss my Dad.  In fact, I long for him.  But then again, I long for him, most of the time.  A physical ache because he no longer is there.  He was a huge, big, much larger than life presence.  And hence, almost fifteen years after his death, his absence is still felt.  And as a great big extended family, we still speak of him often.  Wishing he was still here.  Though it would be a bit awkward, what with my mom now being remarried and all.  But perhaps my Dad and my stepdad could come to an arrangement of sorts?  After all, they were best friends.  Alas, I digress.

But perhaps, the very hardest part about Christmas is…

Faking Father Christmas’ handwriting.  It is rather challenging.  Mostly, because Father Christmas’ penmanship lends itself to the cursive writing style.  Not my first choice, admittedly.  But it’s what I’ve been left with.  Cause the Easter Bunny writes print in capitals, the Tooth Mouse writes really small, and the Tooth Fairy, writes print in a glittery purple pen. 

Do you feel my pain?  My cursive writing skills left me in about Grade 6, when I was eleven.  Never to be found again.

And thus, in an attempt to elude my kids’ perceptive skills, and put them off the track in terms of the style of writing and handwriting, I tend to focus on the content of these letters. 

And this Christmas was no different.  As per usual, the kids put out little Christmassy trays with eats and treats, for Father Christmas and his reindeers.  And on this occasion, the treats were little cutie delicious biscuits, a glass of milk, carrots for the reindeers, as well as a glass of Amarula Cream for Saint Nick.  A wee bit of alcoholic fortification, sounded about right.

But on this occasion, the Amarula Cream was on the same tray as the reindeers’ carrots, which rather predictably led to that naughty Rudolph indulging in some Amarula instead.  Naturally, he got quite pickled and was presumably giggling and stumbling about in the garden.  And what with the statistics on drinking and sleighing, Father Christmas had no choice but to take a load off, put his feet up and wait for Rudolph to sober up a bit.  Rather inconvenient, as he was on a tight delivery schedule.

And luckily for me, I seem to have pulled it off once more, to great excitement.


Facing the fact, that this is my last Father Christmas letter I will ever write.  At nine years old, it is a miracle that Cole still believed.  By next Christmas, when he’s ten, the magic will be gone.  Even writing this now, is making my eyes well up and my throat feel thick.

My kids are getting way to big.  And without believing in Father Christmas, a little spark will be gone.

Which is why I’ll start ploughing into them now - It is alright to not believe in Father Christmas anymore.  As long as you still believe in Christmas presents.

I will always fill their stockings for them, regardless.  Cause Christmas stockings are the best!  Irrespective of who fills them.

Father Christmas or Mommy Christmas.

But just perhaps my sweet kids will indulge me, and allow me the privilege of writing a letter next year once more.  Most especially as I seem to get the most amount of enjoyment out of doing it.

We can call it their gift to me.  The kindness of pretence.

Please click and LIKE on Facebook - Thanx!

The letter from Father Christmas to Luke, Amber and Cole

Luke - delighted with his gifts. Already stuck in his David Beckham biography.

Amber's best gift? A wig for R35 from China Town. Go figure.

Although Luke and Amber quite obviously no longer believe, they dutifully listened while Cole read the letter to all of them

Cole engrossed in the letter

Our beautiful table - simple yet effective

Love the colours!

Love, love, love!

My beautiful Berry - all ready for lunch

The one and only Cole, about to tuck into his food

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Helene. Your table setting is lovely!
    Impressed that Luke and Amber keep the illusion alive so well for Cole.
    Our Loubser Christmas at your house was wonderful. Incredible to have the Aulds back and one can hardly believe they were gone.
    I also miss Daddy a LOT at Christmas.
    Rob just doesn't get it.