Monday, 5 January 2015

Amongst other small gifts, I also gave my kids tooth decay for Xmas

Amongst other small gifts, I also gave my kids tooth decay for Xmas
5 January 2015

Christmas stocking fillers.  They can be problematic.  Fun, yet one has to put a bit of thought into it.

Generally we give our kids one big present for Xmas.  Something super special, and perhaps a bit pricey.  A real Xmas present gift.  Maybe some huge box under the Christmas tree, tempting them mercilessly.  And causing them to pick up said box, perhaps shake it a bit, and turning the guessing before the time, into almost as much fun as the actual gift itself.

But then, we also do stocking fillers.  And the thing with stocking fillers is this – the gift must be small enough to fit into the stocking (ideally - though occasionally, I’ve plopped a gift on the floor just underneath the stocking), and affordable.  Cause here’s the thing – I have to fill up three kids stockings for them. 

So this is my dilemma – how to find something marginally nice costing between R5 – R50 for three kids, when you need to do at least a few gifts in each stocking to give it some body, is rather challenging.  I scour the markets before the time.  Buying silly bracelets, cheap make-up, balls, water balloons, swimming goggles, chocolates, etc.  Hey, they got lucky.  Growing up, my mom was sneaky enough to fill our Xmas Stockings with stationary for the next year at school.  Though possibly, her thinking process was inspired.  Pens, pencils, erasers, rulers and pencil sharpeners are small enough to fit into a stocking, and do help to give it some shape.  Though there were treat items too.  (Thanx Mommy!)

Food items are also always hugely popular.  I tend to try and put something unusual in it.  Perhaps an odd nice sweetie or two, they wouldn’t normally get.  Still one year, they each got a block of Mozzarella cheese – their favourite.  Another year, they each got a bottle of olives.  Yet another, a tin of condensed milk.  So yes, I try to think out of the box.

And then this year, I decided to veer off the track a bit.  In addition to giving the kids water balloons, comics, balls, bracelets, etc.  I thought I’d up my game a bit.  And give them something unusual.

So I went with tooth decay.

Each of them got their very own bottle of Nutella chocolate spread. 
Much to their delight.  They were charmed.  They’ve kept their jars in their rooms, and have resorted to initially dipping fingers, and now long stemmed soda spoons, to get some chocolate gooey goodness.  They’ve also proven to be rather resourceful, exhibiting some as yet unwitnessed before culinary skills… Adding Nutella to Hot Chocolate or Milo.  Even as an Ice Cream topping.  Or better yet – straight from the jar.

A lot can be deducted about my kids, from their approach to their jar of Nutella.

Luke indulged in thick lashings of Nutella on fresh white bread.  Stirred into his hot chocolate.  Dribbled over Ice Cream.  Self-indulgent spoiling – just for him.   

Amber shares with everyone.  Her numerous friends and cousins.  Inviting everyone to grab a spoon.  Making sarmies for all.

Cole showed his usual lack of self-restraint.  No time to wait for a spoon, instead fingers stretched to the max.  He’s not a great advertisement for the merits of delayed gratification.

Anyway, the delight my simple bottle of R28 per child has given them, has been a joy to behold.  It really is the simple things in life.

Tooth decay and impending dentist bills aside, I could’ve save myself a fortune in expensive Xmas presents.  Or aimlessly shopping around for stocking fillers.

I should rather just have knuckled down, and bought them each their own crate…

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Cole with some of his loot - delighted, happy little boy
My beautiful, beautiful tree - filled with many decorations collected over many, many years


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Fare thee well 2014, and hello 2015!

Fare thee well 2014, and hello 2015!
1 January 2015

Oh my word!  Firstly, huge big apologies for being so scarce.  I’m missing my writing terribly.  I started a new job towards the end of September, and am finding it increasingly difficult to juggle work, my family, my home, my Jumping Castle business, daily walks and blogging.  And thus walking and blogging have taken a bit of a backseat.  And oh how I miss it!

It is amazing how fulfilling and creative writing is.  How it opens a space in my head and truly taps into my core.  Making me take stock of my life, on a daily basis. 

The end of an old year and the dawn of a new year, is also traditionally the time when others take stock of their lives too.  People reflect on the year that has been.  Some set goals for the year to be.  It is also a time to ponder.  To give thanks for the good that was.  And wave goodbye to the awful that’s passed.

For me, 2014 was a challenging year.  I’ve taken a few knocks along the way.  Some hard.  Some even harder.  Others a mere blimp, yet they caused ripples nonetheless.  But there was great joy too.

My motto has always been to not dwell on the things and situations that have brought me sorrow, discomfort and pain.  I’d far rather embrace the good.  Rejoice in the wonder, the magic, the best bits of life.

For me, 2014 shall always be remembered as the year I fell majorly in love with my Grantie again.  In a really big way.

We hit a few doozies in 2014.  Faced a few obstacles.  But we’ve grown stronger.  Closer.  Become more connected.  Enjoyed one another more.

I’ve realised that he will always have my back.  As I have his.  Be my staunchest supporter.  And that we make a really, really good team.

And thus, I’m not setting any major goals for 2015.  I just want to come out at the end of it all.  And think to myself, that despite the many ups and downs, I’ve still got my Grantie.

And in my book that’s great.

Perhaps at the end of it all, life is not about the experiences you’ve had.  The places you’ve been.  The things you’ve accumulated.  The stuff you’ve done.

It’s about the people that have joined you on your journey.  And I’ve clearly picked a great crew.

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