Having yourself a merry little festive season?

We’ve held onto some traditions that span 50 years. One of these is the little ones handing out gifts. A big hoo ha is made about the mound of gifts. The mound of gifts are lots of gifts big and small wrapped for them. We do adult gifts but watching the astonishment of the little ones when their names are called, with lots of fanfare as their pile grows is priceless.

The build up to the opening is torterous! The poor kids have to wait till after lunch to open the gifts because Christmas is not just about gifts. I however allowed them to open one gift before lunch after getting the girls all dressed up and doing their “princess make-up”. They literally lined up in my room to get glammed up. It’s wonderful making these new memories with my kiddies.

I applied the new strategies I spoke about in my previous blog. I ordered everything online and had it shipped to my dad’s place in Cape Town. Almost all gifts were bought. Delivered to Cape Town so I didn’t have to worry about carrying it with me on the flight. I bought gift bags so there was no back breaking gift wrapping for hours. I planned my cooking in a way that would not half kill me. Success! I urge you to check out the blog. You might find some of the tips/tricks helpful!

We now go away for Christmas. My brothers are both married with kids now and sleepovers don’t happen like they used to. This gives us time to be together. To all wake up together and spend some real quality time together. I’ve been blessed to have siblings I have always had an amazing relationship with. My one sister in law once said “You guys don’t need to invite anyone! You have so much fun partying alone!”. We all get along so well. Hubby has been around for 23 years. My siblings are his siblings. There is no brother in law business. You’d swear they’re blood. They may as well be. As couples we all get along and have a great time. I love this.

We spent 6 days together on holiday at Wilderness by the Sea. It was awesome. One of the best parts was all the love I got from my nieces, nephew and 15 year old brother. Apparently I’m the best aunt ever. I’m fun and get told that they love me often. I was on the bed trying to have a nap. Someone came into the room and my two year old little niece (the vocab on this one will blow your mind) came in and said ” Don’t make a noise. MY aunty is sleeping. MY aunty is SPECIAL so don’t wake her up”. I had to stifle my laughter but at the same time my heart just melted. I had a little bouncer making sure I got my rest. So much cuteness!

For me Christmas will always be about family, love and the wonderment and excitement of Christmas that the kids have. I love making memories with my family. We have become the next generation. I want my kiddies to have awesome childhood memories of the festive season that I have. Collectively, as a family I think we are doing a good job! The prank wars continue.. the teens have already taken up this tradition and yes as usual someone’s (My 15 year old brother) toenails got painted. You always have to be on your game with the Martin family. Everyone has been part of the prank wars. Decades of it and clearly no end in sight!

So when I hear the Christmas naysayers, I just think that it’s really sad that that’s the kind of Christmas they experience because mine has never been that way. Back in the day when my Goddaughter was little I went all out for Christmas. So what if I spent money on decor and stuff? It’s an investment because I can use it the following year. I wanted Christmas to be magical for her. Yes, one child, but my child. I wanted her to have amazing memories, which she has. It’s all about making memories. It’s a magical time of the year and I embrace that. How everyone else chooses to celebrate Christmas is entirely up to them. I don’t care. I care about making magical memories with my family.

“Oh but Jesus wasn’t really born on the 25th of December!” Who gives a toss. It’s a date that is used to celebrate his birth. I find things like this petty. Show me who hurt you. “Christmas has become commercial.” Maybe, it has but it’s cool with me because there are so much more cool things to buy to make Christmas even more magical.

It really comes down to how you choose to think and act regarding Christmas. So really, it’s a choice. I think my choice is abundantly clear. I love and always have loved Christmas. I’m passing this on to my kids and I hope that when they become the next generation they remember what Christmas was like for them and carry on with the traditions we have had for decades.

For now, I’m back from the amazing trip to Wilderness by the Sea. I’m extremely fatigued because I’m having a Lupus flare. I have so many events to go to and people to meet up with while I’m in Cape Town. I’m trying to rest in between but there is no getting away from the fact that my body is not co-operating.

While on holiday I had moments of frustration. I wanted to do certain things but my body wouldn’t play along. I even went for a massage. It was a reality check for me albeit sad and frustrating. Something I will be discussing with my occupational therapist.

Two years ago I developed a constant pain in my temple after a mini stroke. Finally we found that anti-epileptic medication worked. I was on a high dose but during the course of the year I was able to reduce it. The pain has amped up again. I’ve now doubled the dose to try and quell the pain. It’s been accompanied by problems with my balance. I took quite a bad tumble going up one step. Yes, you read right. One step. So as soon as I get back home I need to see my rheumatologist and get a referral to see a new neurologist. The other one became a horror story. I will definitely do a blog about how things can go wrong if you don’t have the right doctors.

Right now I’m in that twilight zone… the period between Christmas and New Year where you don’t even know what day of the week it is. I have stuff to do and people to see but I do need to slip in a self care day. My body is crying out for it.

I hope you all are having a happy time. A peaceful time. I hope you are feeling loved. Loved like you are the best Aunt! What an amazing feeling. Christmas did not dissapoint. I know we are missing loved ones that are no longer with us. I feel you. Sending you love and positive energy!!

Perhaps next year you can start new traditions for Christmas. Make it magical. We all need a time when we transport ourselves into a magical time. Create a magical space and time. If you don’t celebrate Christmas think of a special time of the year when you want to create a magical time and space where you can create amazing memories. Amazing memories are something that can never be taken away. They are something we can transport ourselves to when things get tough.

Sending you all magical vibes from my family to yours!