The lead up to Christmas this year was slightly different to our normal Christmas build up. A couple of decent earthquakes, a 5.8 & 6 magnitude accompanied by a swarm of aftershocks 2 days beforehand closed down malls & shops....right as I was about to head for them.
Sometimes procrastination is good - & believe me I had procrastinated all morning about heading to the Mall & doing all those last minute things, such as....well, pretty much everything really! Gifts, food, you name it. I hadn't bought anything apart from my nieces & nephews presents when I was in Australia.
My intention had been to get up early Friday morning & get the last of my gift shopping done before heading to the supermarket. But I faffed around answering emails, reading a tutorial & just putting it off in general & I wasn't even sure why. I'm so pleased I did!
Just as well I came to the conclusion that Christmas will come regardless of whether I am ready or not a few years back, that it's not dependent on the trimmings & trappings or buying into the dreadful commercialism that it seems to have become.
Still, that doesn't stop me wanting to have the house looking a little like Christmas so this year, the first in many, I had splurged on a huge bunch of Christmas lilies & long stemmed red roses. Of course that was before I remembered that all of my vases had been broken in the February quakes - so then I had to splurge on a new vase (sorry honey, if you are reading this - I forgot to mention that part & the lilies didn't really look that great sitting in a blue plastic juice jug....).
More than anything I would have loved to have brought a really nice nativity set - but the only one I could find that fitted the image in my head had a price tag of $300.00+, so was somewhat prohibitive.
I did have plans of further table decorations, a lightly gold sprayed mossy branch hung with some small antique looking cream & gold angels that I have was to accompanied by a bird cage I had picked up in Australia that I had started decorating. Having to delay my shopping until the stores re-opened on Christmas Eve saw me run out of time to complete the mossy branch one.
Christmas Day came & it was wonderful. It was spent surrounded by family & I only say almost perfect as there were two key members of the cast missing. The Mailleman, who is of course in Australia & Baby Boy who is deployed to parts that don't observe this particular celebration. I missed both of them dreadfully as well as missing the company of my daughter in law, Kerry, as she spent the day with her family.
It's more than a little strange to think that this is potentially my last Christmas in New Zealand.
That said, more than ever this made me realise what Christmas truly means to me. It's not about the trimmings & trappings or the decor. It's not about the food, the drink or the gifts - especially whether you get or give the latest techno gadget. It is certainly not about the mass commercialism that seems to increase with every year.
Quite simply it is about being surrounded by those you care about & remembering what the day is truly celebrating; Christ's Mass. I hope that yours was as blessed as mine was.