What If We Spared More Than a Thought?

Well, the festive season is here again and as usual most of us are pushing ourselves harder than normal to make sure everyone around us has a magical Christmas. We spend more than we should, eat more than we should and sometimes drink more than we should – guess that’s why it’s also referred to as the “silly season”!

The tree is decorated, the halls decked, some gifts wrapped and in position and the last minute hunting and gathering is about to commence where we will jostle with every other frazzled shopper for the best of the last fresh produce. Why do we do it to ourselves?

We went to friends the other night for Christmas drinks and to catch up with a few people we don’t see often enough and one of the conversations of the evening revolved around the madness of this time of year and sparing a thought for those who, for whatever reason, have to spend Christmas on their own. I know some people choose that option, but many don’t and when I contemplate that thought it makes me realise just how far, from the true meaning of Christmas, we have strayed.

Several of the participants in the discussion indicated their desire to support homeless shelters; community/soup kitchens etc. over the period and others gave examples of what they do to support services that provide some comfort to those not blessed with family and friends to share the time with or the resources to spend extra.

I don’t want to put a dampener on your celebrations, nor do I want you to stop fussing over or spoiling your families at Christmas. I could ask you to fruitlessly “spare a thought for those less fortunate”, but realistically who does that actually help? It just provides a salve for our own consciences.

My suggestion is; over the next twelve months, if you do not already, that you make a conscious effort to “gift” at least some of what might normally be spent (ensuring WE all enjoy OUR Christmas) to an organisation that actually does provide year-round assistance to those who need it most.

Your conscience, waistline and liver will appreciate the sacrifice.

What think ye?

From me to you, Merry Christmas! May it be all you want it to be 075-smiley-face-vector-art-free-download-l (2)

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Share the Spirit

BaubleLike all of you I am trying to wind down and get organised for the madness of Christmas, when we convince ourselves that we are looking forward to the break, when in actual fact we spend so much time readying ourselves with gifts, hanging the decorations and preparing the feast, we really don’t have a break at all.

Our celebrations of the Christmas traditions were a little early this year to accommodate a separation of our family; with the children staying home to mind “the shop” and their animals, whilst Jeff and I make the journey to Brisbane to share the season with extended family. If you’re feeling sorry for the kids, don’t; our departure won’t mean a toasted sandwich and chocolate milk at home on the big day. Marc is well trained in the marinating of the ham and Emma’s trial version of her Grandmother’s “hard sauce” was close to perfect. Josh’s gravy, although a little thick for my taste, has his siblings salivating before they’ve spooned it onto their plates and Roz’s damper dip is in big demand for the Boxing Day Test event. I’m tipping they won’t even know we’re away.
Christmas, however, can be a lonely time for some and as much as I can make light of being away from my children, they at least will have each other. It saddens me to think about those who have no one with whom they can share the spirit of the season. The gifts or tinsel or food are the trappings we share, but the feeling that surrounds Christmas is something totally different to any other time of year.

The celebration of new life, a new beginning, a fresh start needs to be shared to give it credence and establish its meaning in our souls.

So sayeth me, anyway. My near midnight musings are taking on a whole new significance; must be time to go to bed.

Before I seek the solace of my comfy pillow though, I would like to wish all of you in “blog-land” a very special Christmas and a thank you for following my rants throughout the year and for your comments to various posts.

I also offer a small gift of a bonus break from “Snippets” for the next couple of weeks. You deserve some time away from the screen, and I need to rest my fingers and what little brain power I have left, so as to annoy you even more in the New Year!

I do have one last favour before the silly season starts – will you spare a thought for the lonely and less fortunate, before ripping open the wrappings on your first gift or taking that first mouthful of whatever delectable delights you are sitting down to at your Christmas table? The power of positive thoughts is often underestimated.

Have a blessed and peaceful Christmas enjoying the things that are really important about this time of year.

Christmas – Rowena Style!

The Rowena Bush Sleigh with Santa and his Elves

The Rowena Bush Sleigh with Santa and his Elves

Rowena Branch Members of CWA have, for many, many years, hosted the annual Christmas party for children who attend the local school, pre-school or who live on the mail run. I’m not exactly sure how long the tradition has been running but Jeff says Santa was making the Rowena Run when he was at school….and that’s a loooong time ago! Our children (who must have been good at some stage) participated in this long running activity and still enjoy catching up with Santa and reminiscing about their experiences; I overheard Josh comment that he didn’t recall receiving any gifts as good as some he noticed this year!!

Over those countless years Santa has arrived via many modes of transport with possibly the most exciting being a helicopter! Parts of the district had, unlike this year, received huge amounts of rain and an impassable creek dictated the trip from Santa’s Australian home should include a boat, bike, plane and finally the helicopter, which landed on the school oval, with the reverse required for the return journey. A huge team effort by some very generous locals, including Santa!

The Elves

Santa’s Elves

Santa and Emma

My daughter Emma with Santa

 This year Saint Nick was again transported by the local Rural Fire Service (aka Santa’s elves) in the red ‘bush sleigh’ complete with siren and flashing lights; swapping Reindeer power for horsepower because the Reindeer get overheated once the thermometer passes 30°C. The photo shows this year’s Elf Crew of Jeff and our youngest son Marc with Tim and David Cameron (State Secretary, Jocelyn’s, son and husband), a family affair with Jeff and David being cousins. There are other volunteers in Rowena, but they were digitally recording alleged evidence of good behaviour by their children/grandchildren, which could later be used against them.

Gifts for each age and gender, specially selected by The Chief Elf Organiser (CEO), were merrily distributed by Santa to those on the good list which, miraculously, included all the Rowena children! The P & C then provided a sausage sizzle that, along with other delicious contributions, fuelled energy levels for the disco that followed, where the Macarena and mirror ball proved almost as popular as Santa and the presents!

On a different note, I plan to give you a couple of weeks break from my ramblings, but would like to take this opportunity to thank you for following my new ‘journey’ and to wish you a Christmas filled with laughter and good company and may the New Year bring whatever you need most.

HO! HO! HO!