A three week break is only days old, Christmas in the morning, the Boxing Day test to follow. The youngest is more excited about Christmas than any previous year. She is convinced by the Santa-myth, Judeo-Christian or FMCG, and I'm certainly not going to spoil her fun. Family are relaxed, lunch organised, the forecast good. Friends will soon arrive from various parts, some close, others from afar. This feels like the makings of a great Christmas.
I thought about joining a Christmas Mass. Something simple and intended mostly for the kids. Bedtime's been dominated by carols this last few weeks and I need the refresher. Not being a regular church-goer however, I'm not sure where's best. Instead I've spun Lennon's And so this is Christmas a few times. It's long been our family tradition - many others' too.
I miss New Zealand. Russell Brown's mob are twittering about Tui, Kereru, Hot Water Beach, Piha, Te Anau and Pohutukawa. I have such vivid memories of the northern hill side of Mount Victoria, Wellington, drapped in crimson flowers circa 1995/6. More memories of the first Tui starting to venture out from Karori Wildlife centre all the way to Brooklyn in 2000/01 (I think it was the Kowhai that attracted them).
I'd've loved a lengthy trip away, even just down the South Coast but we left it too late. Day trips and possibly a weekend will suffice and Sydney without traffic has plenty to offer.
I'll avoid the usual round-ups, I might do a sort of summary in the new year. In the meantime, I wish all a great Christmas. A safe Christmas. A break that rejuvenates you and permits relief from your watch, your emails, meetings and deadlines. The occassion of a new year means less and less except for that break in between and the chance to relax with family - even those not so near.
5 days ago