There is excitement in the air, there is talk of guests and holidays and parties...people are looking forward to getting together, going home, welcoming loved ones. Really what christmas should be about.
We are not dealing with gaudy decorations in every shop window, no christmas carols on repeat, no pushing and shoving in the streets as people desperately rush to buy something for someone. No panic about juggling dinners and lunches, trying not to offend such and such a parent or friend or colleague...
In fact if we weren't talking about it, I would not know it was only a few weeks till Christmas. I'm sure some people would miss that, I can think of one dear friend who is pretty much ecstatic from Hallowe'en through till the new year, it's the best time of the year for her, and she loves the madness. But for me, and I know for Matt as well, we struggle to get on the festive bandwagon with all its bells and whistles. Not that we don't like to celebrate or good food or presents (Oh I love presents!!) but we find ourselves also thinking about our impact, our choices and more recently what kind of family traditions and values we want to create for our little tribe.
As I mentioned earlier, October was rough. The excitement of the first month had worn down, life was becoming normal. but normal with water being cut off from 8h30 till 14h... occasional power cuts (no toast, no AC, no fan, no pasta, no coffee, no water cooler, no washing machine...), water shortages (no cleaning, no hand washing, no shower..) managing that for myself is one thing but with Sky it was a logistical nightmare! No family or girlfriends to go out of for coffee or lunch to give me some much needed adult conversation time! I missed home and getting a new routine up and running was hard. My grandfather passed away and our cat Tigger also died, I couldn't be there and I couldn't say goodbye. Getting a puppy is cute, no doubt about it but managing these two very excited mini-beings can be tricky to say the least!! Especially when you are sweating from head to toe! Trying to keep calm as Sky climbs into the boot of the car and starts eating the ripe papaya I had packed for picnic.. spreading its pulp on the car seats.. the dog then throwing up on the passenger seat and me trying to get the car started so we don't all cook in the heat and the car battery dying yet again.. and all that before 10h....
It was all a bit much.
But we wanted a change and thats what we got. So Matt and I made sure to stick through it, talk to each other, to share our feelings and disappointments and to eat cake.
That's how we get through a crisis.
How do we do Christmas without all that?
Well the fun thing here is that you never quite know how much you love something or miss it till its taken away from you. So the best gift I can receive this year is to see my friends and to hug my family. For the next two weeks we have good friends coming to stay (and yes they are bringing wine). So time to catch up, play some music, play some games, have our kids muck around and just share a slice of life together. We've already warned them that this is a no frills kinda place... so they are not expecting fancyness, we're just gonna keep it simple and enjoy these magical moments:)
And in December my mum and sister come. That is also a super treat, not only because I love them dearly but.. because family are the best babysitters in the world!! Yay! So we'll give them a few days to settle in and then we'll hand Sky over and just sleep for the rest of the holiday :)!!
After living with less I'd love to say that I've reached spiritual nirvana and that I no longer need any material possession. But it's not true. I just know better now what helps me be me and what makes me happy. So for Christmas this year I ask for only a few things;
New opportunities for us to see the people we care about and to share quality time with them, watching the world go by and seeing our little ones grow up.
More healthy food supplements to help us maintain a healthy diet out here
More wine (no explanation needed)
... and finally the courage to continue this wild and wacky adventure and to be able to accept and enjoy this beautiful gift that we have been given, this one life with all its ups and downs, power cuts and toddler mayhem.