Monday, December 25, 2017

All is Calm, all is Bright

For several years, my parents and I have been celebrating Christmas alone and since our festivities don't include any noteworthy "performances" such as reading (from the Bible), singing or playing an instrument, it's very quiet and unspectacular these days. Eating dinner (always fondue - of the meat dipped in broth variety), followed by lighting the candles on the tree and a few sparklers for added effect with some traditional Christmas music playing in the background (vinyl in the old days, streaming courtesy of Google Play Music and Sonos more recently) and posing for a few photos, then opening presents, with the Licht ins Dunkel live broadcast in the background. A plate of cookies would be on the sofa table and my Mum and I would have a glass of wine. A few phone calls or WhatsApp messages take place in between reading new books. I usually prepare myself an espresso around 9 p.m. to stay awake for "Midnight" (actually 11 p.m.) mass to which my Mum and I walk through the cold. Pretty straightforward and copy/paste from recent years and yet very enjoyable, because all the tensions of previous Christmasses, some of them imported by other guests, have long gone. Sometimes, calm and predictable is also not the worst...

Monday, December 18, 2017

Other People's Parties

image from here
Last night I hosted my (what has now become) traditional advent party chez moi. It's ladies' only and there are Christmas cookies galore. I am currently still scouting for a location, but I will also be inviting friends for my birthday, which is the second tradition if you want to call it that. December: party at my place. January, party elsewhere. I know that to a certain extend guests are counting on me to continue those traditions since they are looking forward to seeing one another. After all, for some this is the only time of the year they see one another. Even before I started organising these two parties, Frida had been hosting a much larger advent party at her place and at one stage got mildly annoyed that people kept counting on being invited without ever thinking of returning the favour, so this year she hosted the advent party at her gallery, combining it with their charity event. Many other people have told me they stopped organising annual events at one point when they felt that everybody was taking them and their hospitality for granted.
Myself, I don't actually mind that the motivation to attend is not so much about the host(ess) as about hanging out with the whole group of people. Despite all the effort involved, I want to host these two annual get-togethers that nobody is forcing me to do. I enjoy investing both time and money and it makes me happy to see when people are enjoying themselves. I am thrilled when somebody else invites me to their party, be it a one-off thing or an annual highlight, but I would still invite the same crowd regardless of their party-hosting potential.

Monday, December 11, 2017

No Stress Stress

I do know that Christmas is on the same date every year, of course and the people I exchange actual gifts with I can count on the fingers of one hand, but somehow I feel more stressed than in previous years. I don't know if it is just the fact that I only came back from my Big Trip a week before the first advent Sunday and was a jetlag zombie (or at least went to bed way earlier than usually) for a solid week afterwards, but somehow time seems to swoosh by at double speed this December. The Christmas cards I ordered have not arrived yet, I still don't know what to get my Dad (who of course does not want anything) and only got to bake my Christmas cookie staples this weekend. The fact that my new office is not conveniently located in a shopping district is not helping much either. I don't even want to know what real "Christmas stress" must be like, where you have to shop gifts for two dozens of relatives and fight over whom to celebrate with when with the in-laws. It's all very low-key and straightforward chez moi, but Stress's little sister seems to have decided to stalk me this season. (Oh, and if you feel like writing all my Christmas cards once they do arrive, please raise your hands.)

Monday, December 04, 2017

Out of Office Reply

...because of the usual seasonal baking-decorating madness. Now excuse me as I check up on the cookies.
eXTReMe Tracker

words and photos (unless otherwise indicated) and banner-design by retailtherapist