4 December 2010

tis the season. again.

at the monkey forest

statues outside a house in Ubud

a glimpse within

entrance to an Ubud house

Balinese fishing boats

roof detail

As Christmas looms ever closer and I struggle with the overwhelming number of 'end of year' functions and 'final for 2010' events flooding the calendar, not to mention the unbought presents and continued absence of festive decorations in my house, my mind continually turns to the serenity of Bali. The unhurried pace of life and default position of harmony and goodwill to others contrast so sharply with the push and shove and snarl at others attitude found in the Western world. I'm a bit weary.

Every year I say Christmas takes me by surprise, but I do usually manage to pull it together. This year however the house is a shambles, family time has been severely curtailed with extra curricular activities and various children away on camp, and Advent only cursorily acknowledged. Also, just when did Christmas become women's work, or has it always been and I've not consciously noticed it until now?

I hope to find some time this weekend amongst all the errands and chores to clear a space somewhere for the whole family to participate in setting out the Advent candles and Christmas tree, string up some fairy lights, and rummage through the box of decorations. Then maybe, just maybe, the Advent Fairy will show up with the stable. (She's awfully late this year, that slackarse fairy).

Next week I'll think about cards, making a 2011 calendar, and Christmas presents. One step at a time.

Delegation.

Mindfulness.

Breathe.

15 comments:

Sharon said...

I don't think you alone in your feelings about Christmas... As you know I work in retail and this year especially I have had customers say that they just wish they could 'sit this one out' The expectation of what sort of Christmas you should have is appalling... I had one customer nearly in tears as she was buying gifts for grandchildren she rarely hears from...Weary mums trailed by hysterical toddlers just adds to the festive soup...
My dream Christmas day would be in my pj's glass of something bubbly in one hand a good ham sandwich in the other and an entertaining DVD or too... I have been told that I am mean spirited but when I joke with some customers about my dream day they ask if they can join me!!!!
I am not religious by any strength however I think those wise men have been blown off course with their gifts and as for the rest - what was that about again???? That part of Christmas has been given a token exposure by retailing compared to the rest...
Regardless of what empirical evidence states - the world is spinning faster and we all chase quality time - these days an endangered species...
I wish I could find the joy and peace in Christmas again - for me its just another hard slog...
LOL I sound harsh don't I... :)

JOC said...

I so agree with the Bali picture of the season. When we were there in August the family we were staying with explained that on Christmas Day businesses shut down - even the market in Ubud and the streets are quiet. That I find hard to imagine after seeing the traffic! It's not that they celebrate Christmas but they do it out of respect to Western culture. I think that I would like to be there.......
Jan

Janet said...

G and I had a really big fight last weekend about why we didn't have Christmas at our place last year. He just couldn't see that pulling together a meal in our tiny kitchen with almost no bench space which is also the eating area might be stressful for me. Even if much of the food was pre-prepared. He also couldn't see that attempting to do this after working right up until boxing day might be stressful. And that would be on top of me negotiating all the family stuff, buying and wrapping most of the presents and doing the tree and cards. Lord, I resent it. I'm venting here, of course , now with crying child on lap, because I can't on my blog. Because if I complain, it makes it worse.

I'm really tempted one year, to just delegate the whole kit and caboodle to G and just do what I'm asked and turn up on the day.

Anyway this weekend I am shitcracking, writing lists, marking the calendar and G has been told that not having an opinion is not an option. Have also got family negotiations underway. Yep, shitcracking.

Bring on boxing day. Which is a compulsory day of relaxation chez scruffnut.

zephyr said...

i try really hard to remember just to breathe. in. out. in. out. and slowly.

And, a comment on your new blog look--i really like the "clean" spareness, it does make your photos more luscious...but i will admit that the font is a tad pale for my eyes. i find it quite difficult to read. will blogger let you make it just a little bit darker--if you wish? If it's just me, i'm sure i will adapt!

Suse said...

is that better? I've gone one shade darker.

fiveandtwo said...

Didn't some insightful person once say that Christmas is for children and men. How true.

Meggie said...

Yes, it is all for the Children.

zephyr said...

ah, yes. I find this much easier to read now. Thanks!!

Stomper Girl said...

Yes, if I didn't organise Christmas in our house, no-one would. I'm trying to give Fixit some heads-ups about what I expect him to do ie NEXT weekend is Christmas tree weekend, and at some stage I'll need you to fashion some wire for a wreath base. That sort of thing. Because otherwise he looks so put upon and I think geez you don't know the half of it baby.

Penthe said...

Have you seen that ad for Coles or Woolworths with the celebrity chef, Curtis? He keeps claiming the recipes, but only the women say that they've done any cooking. Gives me the screaming irrits every time I see it.

Fioleta said...

Since my family didn't celebrate Christmas when I was a child (we celebrated New Year), it always catches me by surprised. The upside of it is that I don't have to worry about getting presents for too many people and my husband spends much more time preparing for it and he is usually the one cooking Christmas dinner. So I get to experience all the fun of Christmas without having to stress about it.

shadygrey said...

YES BLOODY YES it is and has always been women's work, only maybe I should qualify that it is mother's work, cause that's when all that expectation and crushing responsibility really hits you. And the men in your life just sail through oblivious. I'm trying not to buy into all that crap, but I am looking forward to Boxing Day so much.

katiecrackernuts said...

Yes, I have been pondering the "women's work" as well. Started thinking about it when I saw a fella preparing what I imagine was a good idea for a Christmas present at the local hardware on the weekend. I think I might have followed him because I was in awe and hadn't ever seen such a being before. I wanted to ask him whether he'd been sent to perform said task or whether he'd thought of it himself.

travellersyarn said...

Sure is women's work. We have 14 coming for lunch and we move house on the 18th (I seem to thrive on deadlines). Fortunately most of the family is receiving (insert drum roll) "a renovated house!" as their present.

Carol said...

As my children have grown, and I am now working outside of the home, I have started asking them each year what is important to them about the holiday. What an interesting change in perspective. They are not all about things I thought they were. Though I haven't asked them this year.

When I talked about setting up our tree, my husband got the artificial tree out and plopped it up and considered that checked off the list. Nevermind that only a quarter of the lights worked.