Tuesday, 30 December 2014

::Ponderings:: Reflecting on a Christmas in four parts

This is an epic post. And there's lots of pictures.
I didn't want to divide it into more than one post because I didn't want to linger on the topic. This is more of a record than anything else, but I guess it also shows that there are many ways to celebrate Christmas. 
Again, this is an epic post; I totally get it if you want to skip this one :)

As the Christmas buzz dies down I want to reflect on it a little. Mainly because it took me a long time to get into the Christmas spirit this year. I didn't set up the 'Christmas Shelf' until the week of Christmas.  I think it's because I was trying to ignore all the materialistic advertising 'hype' this year. In the lead up to Christmas there are so many adverts, catalogues and sales; it can be overwhelming. I found myself doubting the gifts I had for others. "Is this enough?", "Will they like it?", "Will they hate it?"

Really, for me Christmas is about hanging out with family and friends and pigging out on way too much food. Presents are a pleasant addition to the season, but they are by no means the reason I enjoy Christmas events. The only reason I'm going to record presents here is because I have a terrible memory and I never remember what I've given or received on any occasion, let along Christmas. Which I feel terrible about. So this post is going to serve as a reminder.

So, this year my Christmas was really divided into four parts:
  • Pre-Christmas Christmas Dinner
  • Christmas Day
  • Post-Christmas Sales Purchases
  • Post-Christmas Christmas Dinner
Pre-Christmas Christmas dinner was at our house with The Mr, my parents, The Mr's parents, my Sis and her Mr and me. My parents live overseas and they have a business that gets really busy around Christmas time. So, they came to town in late November/early December so we could have some festive fun with them before Christmas.

It was really great to be able to hang out with my parents around this time and it was nice to see them get excited about doing a special Christmas dinner. On December 1st Mum and Dad arrived at my house with bags and bags of groceries for the dinner. I had trouble fitting it all into the fridge! That afternoon mum and I went about preparing for dinner. It was a really low key, low stress affair. Sliced cold meat, salad and cut fruits and sweets.

A few months ago my external hard-drive kicked the bucket and nothing could be recovered from it. So I lost all my music and some other files that I had been using to help mum and dad with promoting their business. So one of the gifts I received from Mum and Dad was a new hard drive. I started using it right away, but Mum insisted on wrapping the box to put under the Christmas tree. She's pretty cute like that :)
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While she was in town I mentioned to Mum that I needed to buy some bras. We didn't get a chance to go bra shopping but she gave me some money to go and buy one. I didn't get around to buying on before Christmas. More about that later.

I'm a terrible daughter and I didn't get around to getting them presents. I must rectify that post haste before I catch-up with them again. I have ideas of what to give Mum, but Dad is hard. Thinking of gifts for Dad is always hard.

I did a little bit of festive making. The cutest of all the festive making were these little stockings I made for the little people I was gifting to this Christmas. I used a free McCall's stocking pattern (go check it out, there are lots of free patterns that would make great gifts) and adapted it to what I wanted. I thought it would be cute to embroider their first initial on the cuff with some green yarn.

Between Pre-Christmas Christmas Dinner and Christmas I was able to catch-up with a few friends and we exchanged gifts. I got a lovely set of earring and a necklace from Sarah from her Etsy shop. Cute!

In the afternoon on the Eve of Christmas Eve she came around in the afternoon for a catch-up. I gave her an Omiyage sewing box that I had made that morning. Of course because I was in a hurry I didn't take any pictures. :( But here is a picture from the book I got the project from.

On Christmas Eve I had a quick catch-up with my friend JP and I gave her some coasters that I had made to go on her new table. I made them the same way as these coasters. I also gave her 2yo his little Christmas stocking.

JP gave me some gorgeous smelling handmade Cinnamon and Vanilla body scrub. It smells good enough to eat. And because it's all natural ingredients I probably could eat it :)

Christmas day was spent at the in-laws. It was a really nice low key affair. It ended being the in-laws' family of five, plus SIL1's 5yo, her partner and me. They had expected 5 more (SIL1's partner's sister and her family of 5), but they had to pull out at the last minute so it was smaller and quieter than expected.

On Christmas day I wasn't really expecting any presents from the in-laws and I hadn't really organised anything for them. I did get an oregano plant from the MIL a couple of weeks prior to Christmas and on Christmas day she gave me some wide mouthed preserving jars. Cool. I'm going to have to put make preserves on my list of things to do in 2015.

Post-Christmas Sales Presents were a nice surprise this year. On boxing day afternoon the Mr, SIL1 and I ducked down to Strathpine Shopping Centre just for something to do. We were surprised that there weren't hoards of people. While the Mr and SIL1 went to get her a phone case, I ducked into Bras'nThings to buy a bra with the money Mum gave me.

I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted - a Rose bra in black. I already have one and I have worn it nearly to death. You can never be sure with RTW sizing and so I tried it on just to check the fit and it fit well. In fact I was wearing mine at the time and it was a big eye opener to see how differently the well worn bra fit in comparison to the new one. I was hoping that it would be on sale. But alas, no it wasn't because it was part of their essentials range. I got it anyway.

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The next morning the Mr, SIL1, SIL2 and I headed to Chermside Shopping Centre early. We wanted to beat the crowds. There wasn't anything much that we specifically wanted but it was something to do.  We had a browse around and bought a few things. The siblings bought MIL a knife block set and the Mr bought some shorts. We weren't there for very long only about 2 hours, but by the time we left there where heaps of people there.

When we got home I was looking up some information on an adjustable dressform I had been handed down a while ago. I haven't written about it here because I don't really use it, you see, it's a Singer 150 (sizes 10-16) way too small. Anyway, as I was searching online I found that Lincraft was having a 40% off everything sale and they also stocked the Singer 151 dressform (sizes 16-22.5) much more my size. I'd been eyeing one off for a long time and I'd been searching on Ebay and Gumtree for ages, but hadn't found anything suitable. With the sale I was going to get about $100 off the price making about $150, so I just bit the bullet and bought one. Say hello to my new friend :) Hopefully you'll be seeing more of her in future. :)

While I was at Lincraft I also bought some overlocking thread, wooly nylon, pins and some sewing machine needles. I rummaged through the off-cuts bin and found some cream coloured satin crepe. I naively thought it was silk, but nope it's a poly. Unfortunately it wasn't part of the 40% sale, but it was 50% off the full price anyway. So I got 170cm for $11. Something to experiment with anyway :)

Post-Christmas Christmas Dinner was on December 28th at our house. My Sis and her Mr had gone away to visit her FIL for Christmas so we hadn't seen each other since before Christmas, so this was a nice chance to catch-up and swap presents.  I made quick and easy stir-fry for dinner and we finished with an apple crumble pie that they had brought for dessert.

I gave my sis these Pippy Slippers I made and a blouse I'd made. Her partner got a gift voucher for JB HiFi.

They gave the Mr Minecraft for Xbox. Funny story about this. The Mr got hooked on Minecraft (the PlayStation version) a while ago and one night when my Sis and her partner came over he showed them. They ended up buying it for Xbox and got into it too. They wanted to be able to play together with the Mr so they got him the Xbox version to play. From what I understand the Xbox version is better than the PlayStation version.

I didn't expect any gifts but wow I was spoilt. They gave me an Eggplant seedling and some fancy carrot and mixed lettuce seeds.

They also gave me some fantastic Kikki.K. goodies. A Monthly Planner Pad, a To Do List Pad and a very cute Notepaper Pad. Awesome!

And to top it all off. My Sis recently bought a new DSLR camera so she gave me her Canon EOS 450D. A-ma-zing! I've been lusting for a better camera for aaages but to get one as a gift is a massive surprise. I'm really excited about taking better photos so becoming familiar with this is going to be fun :)

~Final Comment~
What a crazy long post. So that's my Christmas in four parts. Considering I wasn't feeling very festive this year, I had a really good time. I really enjoyed making gifts for friends, and it was lovely to just hang out with friends and family.

I really had no expectations for gifts this year and so I'm very grateful for the things I've received/bought. I'm looking forward to enjoying them and thinking about the lovely people who gave them to me.

How was your Christmas? Did you have a good time? Did you have many of Christmas events or few? Did you buy yourself a Christmas gift? Do you have any tips for using a fancy camera?
I'd love to hear how you celebrated Christmas. Leave a comment below :)

Until next time,

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  1. Wow, sounds like you had an epic Christmas! I'm glad you got to spend so much time with family and friends, and I'm sure you'll be making great use of the dressform and camera. How exciting!

    1. Yeah, now that you mention it, it was pretty epic. I'm so excited by these surprise goodies :)


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