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Here’s to endings, and the promise of better things to come…or not ?

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Cheers! We are creeping closer to Christmas day, and shortly after that, the end of this year.

We do Christmas softly and quietly, and New Year the same, maybe even more so. Weirdly enough, we do not have specific traditions at Christmas time, we sort of go with the flow. I do not do resolutions, ever. Not at New Year’s in any case. I often decide to change things, in my house, in my life – but that happens whenever I need to do it throughout the year.

I came across this post I did on Instagram nearly year ago, and it really shocked me. How is it that what I (we) felt about last year, we are feeling this year – x10!!!! I had forgotten all about it… :

I know, right!!! We thought 2019 was bad! I cannot even remember why… What I do know, is that it fades in comparison to what 2020 brought us.

There must be a lesson in that, surely?

  • Be happy with what you’ve got now, because you don’t know what’s coming.
  • Live every day as if it’s your last.
  • Live in the moment.
  • Appreciate the little things in life.
  • and really be thankful for everything you’ve got.
  • Never make any assumptions re the future.
  • You can make plans until you are blue in the face, that doesn’t mean it will come to fruition. “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.
  • Show and tell people close to you that you love them.

I will most definitely approach 2021 with a lot more caution, and a good deal of trepidation. I will let go of 2020 gladly but respectfully. I will absolutely NOT assume next year is going to be any better, but one can surely hope…

A gift that lasts…

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Daisy (L) and Roomys (R), my furry babies.

A puppy or a kitten is a very bad idea for a Christmas present.

Unless you have carefully considered every angle, that is.

  • For instance, do you know how big the breed will be when it’s fully grown? A Cocker Spaniel pup is the most adorable little thing, but they grow into good medium sized dogs. Labradors are large dogs, and not suited to small houses and gardens, etc.
  • Do you know the characteristics of the breed you’re planning to buy? Do you know that some dogs, like border collies, kelpies, Australian shepherds, blue heelers, etc., need to exercise everyday. They need space to run, and they need to be challenged. They are very intelligent dogs, and get bored easily. They will not allow you to ignore them – they demand attention. Are you up to the challenge?
  • Are you buying the puppy because your three or four year old has been nagging for a dog? Who is going to look after the dog? You or your child? Be sure your child is old enough to handle the responsibility, or you will end up doing the work. Are you okay with that?
  • Puppies and even older dogs chew. They chew on toys, shoes, area rugs, furniture, plants, anything they can get their teeth into. Can you deal with that? Without lashing out at the dog or hitting it with something?
  • Will you be prepared to give time and attention to your dog? It is cruel to get a dog, and then ignore it completely. They will love you with all their being, the least you can do is give it some love back.
  • Dogs eat a lot. Their food cost a lot of money. They also need to get shots from time to time. Can you afford a dog?

Please consider carefully, leave emotions out of this. And please make sure you get your pup spayed. Please get your puppy from a dog shelter or whatever it is called in your country. (Here it is SPCA or Animal Shelters.) These are dogs that people bought because they didn’t think it through properly, and now they don’t want them anymore.

Cats have slightly different considerations, but in essence they are the same. You also have to consider the breed characteristics and whether you want a short haired or long haired cat. They are slightly more aloof than dogs, and mostly they decide when they are ready for some attention, so keep that in mind.

And most of all, PLEASE do not become one of those people who leave your dog next to the road or thrown into a river in a bag because it has become a nuisance to you. It kills me to see where and in and what condition dogs/cats are sometimes found. No person who does something like that, deserves any kind of respect.

Dogs and cats are amazing creatures, they make wonderful companions, they are loyal beyond measure, and they deserve your love and respect as another living being.

Confession time…

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Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on Pexels.com

Oh, what the heck, I might as well confess…!

Remember my post about my love/hate relationship with Christmas? Well, fortunately I do not have the same kind of relationship with Christmas carols – I just plain LOVE them! I can hear you – oh no, she’s one of THEM! I can see the eye rolls and hear the groans. You know what – I don’t care!!! 😀

Boney M, Michael Bublé, Celine Dion, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Pentatonix – all of them, all the time. It makes me happy. Most of the time, in any case. There are the moments when my emotions take over and my eyes overflow. Mostly when I realize how long it’s been since I saw my kids, and I wish they were still small and all here with me every single Christmas. But generally I can suppress those sad emotions, and enjoy the music.

It conjures up images of cozy get-togethers around a warm fire. Hot chocolate or eggnog with some cookies, nuts and other snacks in abundance. Laughter and love all around.

In South Africa our Decembers are very different than those images in my mind! It is hot here at that time of year. I’m talking 30° – 35° C, so no snow, and we don’t really do eggnog either. We have lots of cold drinks and ice cold beer, wine and champagne, and we ‘braai’ (something like barbeque, but I’ll have to do a separate post to explain the difference!), and we swim a lot, but somehow in my mind that is not what I see when I hear Christmas carols…

So, whatever your loves and hates of this season, please leave me to enjoy my Christmas songs and music in peace, I promise I won’t bother you with my preferences. Except for this once…!!!! 😉

Until next time, stay calm and sing along. 🙂

Festive season – love/hate?

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Christmas Kitten.
Photo by Eftodii Aurelia on Pexels.com

Does anybody else have a love/hate relationship with Christmas time like me?

Do you actually enjoy the maddening crowds while shopping for food and gifts? The arguments about how much to spend on said food and gifts?

As a child I used to love it. It was always a special time, my mom made sure of that. But it started changing as I grew older, and the biggest change happened after I got married.

You know – you get married, and suddenly two different worlds collide. Two ways of thinking and doing. Two different people with different ideas of how Christmas should be. Each person feels their family did it the best way, because that is all they’ve known for or all of their lives. Up to now…

How does one solve this conundrum?

It is not an easy one. We ‘solved’ it by deciding from the start – one year with my family, the next with his family. That wasn’t too bad, it actually worked quite well. But, ‘my family’ was basically only my mom, so the years I did not spend with her, I had a knot in my stomach because I knew she was alone, and the festive season lost a lot of its sparkle for me.

Start your own traditions? That’s another good idea, but then you sort of have to shun your families and the way they do things – do it on your own. And it is fun spending Christmas all together, isn’t it? So, let everybody spend the day with you, and your new way of doing things. That means two families – moms, dads, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, dogs – all congregating at your house! Do the two families get on well? Will it be fun to have all of them around you? Or are you going to stress because my sister hates your sister’s guts? And my mom cannot stand your dad – how are you going to keep them apart?

Lets talk about the cost of a big, family Christmas. Even if you have small families, mom and dad, and a sister or a brother, with their respective spouses and children, it is going to cost you big time! Of course everybody can bring something to eat so it is not all on you, but what about gifts?

I can stretch this post out for hours, because it is a very complex and very real problem with lots of facets, and it is not a modern problem caused by technology or Corona. Believe me, this one has been around for a long, long time. Ask your grandmother!

I believe every family should work this one out for themselves. Obviously there is not one solution that is going to work for everybody, and it might take a few years to figure it out. But ultimately it is once again about give and take, compromising to accommodate most of everybody’s ideas and feelings. You WILL have to give up something, somewhere along the line – accept that.

For that very reason, I will always have a very serious love/hate relationship with Christmas, because every single year, something will not be quite to my liking, and some years more so than others. C’est la vie.

Until next time, stay calm and drink lots of eggnog, if you have to. 😉

Oh my! The lights are up.

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Oh my!
The lights are up!
Tinsel, baubles, holly 
and fairy lights
Everywhere you turn
everywhere you look.

Excitement
Dread
Pleasure
Pain

Family and friends -
together, joyful.      

Party time
drink- yourself -out -of -your -mind time,
running -away- from- yourself time.

Pleasure
And pain
Always together.

Oh my!
The lights are up -
It's Christmas time!