Stories of Friendship, Family, Fun and Food.
All the way from the Emerald Isle!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Nollaig shona duit

I think that when homes are filled with squealing kids and huge messes of wrapping paper and batteries it is easy to forget 'what' Christmas is all about. 

For us here at Chez Wise, Christmas is all about the kids. 

Santa Claus came last night and left a plethora of toys n' trinkets. The noise level has reached a new high around here.

The Chef and I had a few quiet hours fireside this morning drinking coffee and listening to Christmas carols while waiting for the kids to wake up and tear into all the gift wrap.

Once they finally joined us in the living room some of them did not even notice the stack of carefully wrapped presents under the tree. 

I am not all that wild about the gift-giving tradition at Christmas time. I know that as a child we got Christmas presents but my memories do not revolve around any particular item I wanted or got.  My memories of Christmas are of all the time spent in our living room playing board games, eating boxes of sweets and tayto's and watching movies like 'The sound of music' and 'Chitty Bang-Bang'. 

Our meal was always the exact same. An elephant-sized turkey -- that was home-grown by our neighbour Nora -- an enormous country ham and all the traditional side dishes like brussel sprouts (cooked in the ham juice) carrot and parsnip mash, roast potatoes and mashed potatoes too (we are Irish after all). Dessert was the traditional Christmas pudding with warm custard and of course Christmas cake if you were so inclined. Dinner was eaten early right after high noon and the rest of the day was spent in a total tryptophan tizzy on the couch drifting in and out of a food-coma.

The evening 'tea-time' was always my favourite. 'Make-yer-own' sandwiches with a large loaf of batch bread and some leftover turkey giving a Mum the well earned break from cooking. 

We are making and creating our own family-memories for our kids now and although I am living less than a half mile from where I grew up I am amazed at how different their lives are. The world has changed so much in the past twenty odd years and no matter how hard we try to raise them to be non-materialistic, kids want what other kids have. Stuff. 

Becoming foster-parents this year has taught us so much about how much excess 'stuff' we have and how little others have. The kids (including our own) have taught us how to be better parents. We want for less and we give more of our time and energy and our love. 

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas. I am so grateful to all of you for logging on and reading-laughing-crying-commenting on my crazy little stories. Adjusting to a new family-dynamic here at Chez Wise has been made all the easier knowing you are out there, tuned in and willing to share in the chaos!

So a great big THANK YOU to you all and Merry Christmas! 
Here's to a wonderful and prosperous New Year!

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today from a very sunny and frosty Galway where the house is quiet and toasty and all the squealing kids are outside with the Chef!



Lorna said...

Merry Christmas to you too Mona, good to see you feeling calmer - by the way, I can totally empathise with your previous post re spending a week and feeling like you aren't achieving anything but by the sounds of it, you have done loads.
I agree - watching films together, playing board games, reading them stories - are the memories I want my kids to have too.

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