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VIEW FROM HERE: Eat, laugh and be chilled – we are in my house

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We have declared today Family Chocolate Day. We will do nothing but eat left overs, watch Bond movies, walk the dogs and lie about the couch. Precious times indeed, not productive but who cares?

The run up to Christmas is always a busy time, sometimes fun, sometimes not so much. The business commands a lot of attention and so do the kids. I also happen to be the kind of fool that wants the house completely cleaned before the decorations were put up.

This was a mammoth task after weeks of ignoring it because it was going to be done for Christmas. My foolishness continues by wanting their wardrobes sorted, garden cleaned, shed gutted. What is the matter with me?

I believe it’s due to the desire to spend this hallowed time between Christmas and New Year doing nothing. The mister and I are both actually OFF for once, together, off. Isn’t ‘off’ a beautiful word in this context? No actual work until just after New Year.

MJ’s wee one making jam.

Pandemic restrictions remove the kids’ ability to scatter to the winds and they have to spend time with us too. I am in my happy place. Let’s watch Elf for the eighth time wearing our matching Elf jammies (yes, we are THAT family) shamelessly eating selection boxes for lunch.

This time is to be a safe harbour for the kids in the same way it was for my brother and I growing up. To put all the time usually spent dashing about to work or school to good use and forge memories of nothing but togetherness. To let ourselves off the hook, simplify and shed extraneous ‘things’ that would normally distract us from in each other’s company. To release demanding the inner voice prompting me to meal plan and gleefully announce it’s a party food mash up for dinner, again.

To do, or not to do

Let’s use our spare time to do something creative!! Or let’s not. Let’s use this unallocated, arduous down time to learn something new! Nah, no thanks, pipe down brain, please feel free to pop that onto the 2021 ‘to do’ list. Let’s all take the time to get everything said. To trail through old photos purely to remember. Reminisce. Laugh. To stop overthinking.

Our decorations will remain firmly up. None of this getting them down and packed away for a fresh start to the New Year. Crisp clean sheets can provide that feeling with much greater ease. Small achievable goals people, let’s aim for those.

Making endless cups of tea. Thanking the washing machine for its hard work. Is there anything more satisfying than the low hum of the whirl when you turn it on? Being grateful for Netflix, Kindles, jigsaws and board games. Taking the time to phone people and actually chatting rather than firing off a quick text or scrolling through Facebook.

I want to feel relaxed, warm, fed and surrounded by the people I love. Will I miss seeing the extended family we usually dash round trying to squeeze in? Absolutely, but we’ll make a 2021 catch-up plan and have something to look forward to.

I’ll nap if I want to

I’m halfway through a chemo treatment so if I’m tired I will walk the dogs at a slower pace and nap on demand without guilt. And I will nap on the couch while my gang watch some film or other so I can nap with the background noise their company brings.

Our week off before New Year will not drown in a lack of time. My longing for more time will be the Christmas gift of dreams, the feeling of constantly living my life in arrears can be dismissed and the non-negotiable currency that is time will not evade me.

The only thing that will be jam packed will be making some jam with the smallest one. And we’ll make fancy Christmas jam laced with gin because, why not? Nothing will be complicated. For example IF I want to rewrite recipes it will be because I choose to and not because I’ve spilt something all over the book and have to remember it before it fades.

This is not the time for a bucket list. Do we want to do the things? Absolutely. Do we NEED to? No. How glorious is that? Merry Christmas from us to you.