Is Christmas over yet?

 

Daughter with our grandsons

Daughter with our grandsons

Christmas Eve was spent at our daughter and grandsons place. It was a surprisingly good and enjoyable day. We arrived with four boxes. Two boxes of presents and two with food. It always helps to fill out the space underneath the Christmas tree with as much bulk as possible. Isn’t most of the excitement in opening the presents, especially for the boys? The sound of tearing  the wrapping paper a much anticipated relief from circular and endless Christmas carols. No more Bing Crosby singing ‘dreaming of a white Christmas’ for yet another year! I am definitely so over carols.

Our boys are getting bigger and so are expectations of presents with a bit more substance than water pistols or Batman paraphernalia. But we also thought that their request, ‘Just give us money’  was a bit too un-Christmas-like if not a trifle materialistic. In any case, we already  supplement their weekly pocket money as it is. We pointed this out to them. Grandparents have to use all their life-long attained wisdom to try steer their progeny through the rubble and maze of lax modernity and terrible addictions of consumerism. We always relate how we went to school with a banana or biscuit sandwich. They just ignore us.

Did any of you go to the Shopping malls on the last day before Christmas? I thought it had a nice vibe and people were generally friendlier than last year. A complete stranger pointed out a vacant automatic cash register to me. I thought that after I paid up for my bag of food and tinsel, the message of ‘Thank you for shopping at Coles Supermarket’ had a very nice and heart-warming ring to it.  A girl with a red sloppy father Christmas hat on was even offering me some very nice pieces of ham which were on the end of a tooth pick. I went around the supermarket and had another helping of the double smoked ham (Off the bone). This time I did not put the toothpick back amongst the rest of the offerings.

We now have a huge and almost  complete ham on the bone resting in the fridge. Helvi swears it is best to keep it wrapped in a wet tea-towel. The family did their best to eat ham. But, there was also an oven dish in which I cooked potato and leek in cream garnished with fried bacon pieces and of course the obligatory anchovies, half a kilo of smoked salmon, numerous salads and endless plates of nuts, olives and hors d’oeuvre   that some of us dipped in afterwards. A nice Pavlova with lots of berry fruit finished it off very nicely.

Despite my determination not to slavishly follow the hordes of shoppers in overstocking on food, I failed, especially in throwing all caution to the wind buying this huge slab of a Porker of a  leg-ham. I bet, it will be Milo who will get most of it. He already seen me taking it out of the fridge, hacking into it.

He knows!

Has anyone spotted Easter eggs yet?

 

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34 Responses to “Is Christmas over yet?”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Christmas isn’t over in Britain but it is something of a non event with half of us ill. We don’t do presents at all. We have too much as it is. We had a surprising number of cards. We won’t be over-stuffed with food either. Easter is a long way off. Chinese New Year next.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Sorry to hear family is crook. My grandsons gave me 3 kitchen towels and a cook book. Could not be happier. Also had two bottles of a very fine Shiraz. A good way to re-cover from Christmas is vacuuming the house. This is the plan for today…and eating more ham. Hope the family gets better soon, Andrew.

      Like

  2. petspeopleandlife Says:

    It sounds as if you and Helvi had a nice Christmas with your daughter and grandsons I am over doing up Christmas for the past 10 years and each year I am very happy to be alone and to go about life in a regular fashion.l I give my adult children (don’t have grandchildren) money and things throughout the year and they are warned ahead of time that I “don’t do Christmas” anymore.

    The day is so quiet, I could hear a pin drop. No traffic sounds filtering through the trees and nothing seems to be stirring -except my fingers on the keyboard.🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We had a nice Christmas Ivonne. Yes, I think more and more people are joining in with not doing Christmas anymore. I noticed it deadly quiet yesterday. And those antlers sticking out of car-windows were a lot less this year. In fact I only saw one car and the driver looked a bit sad.
      We went overboard on this enormous leg of smoked ham. I know you would dissaprove but it is the only mistake we made so far and will be punished by eating ham over and over again. Waste not want not!

      Liked by 1 person

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        I wish that I could eat pork and beef but my body is sensitive to it. I now eat chicken and I am feeling a bit healthier.

        Enjoy that ham. It will keep a long time and I think that you might be able to freeze it- but I’m not sure about that.

        Like

  3. Yvonne Says:

    Another quiet Christmas here, where I’m taking care of a nice cat while her owners visit family in England. It’s nice to see families arriving at the apartment complex to visit and celebrate together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes Yvonne, In Europe generally Christmas is more real. Here the spending of lots of money has the country in its grip. Today is boxing day and fighting in front of the large fashion shops has started in earnest. Footage of a woman being strangled by someone manically grabbing a handful of t-shirts shown on TV. and more footage of someone who had lost her shoes in a melee inside an electronic shop named ‘The Good Guys’ while trying to get a tablet on special.

      Like

  4. Julia Lund Says:

    Lovely Christmas day here. I’be been spoiled and this
    is me trying out my new tablet 😊.

    Easter eggs spotted in the corner shop last week 😕

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Julia Lund Says:

    No snow but plenty of rain. The army has been deployed in Appleby as it’a due to flood again for the third time in three weeks. My county of Cumbria and my hometown of Carlisle have been very badly flooded. So thankful to live on a bit of a hill …

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We have had cold weather here in the Highlands of NSW. We are about 800 metres up and thankfully will never get flooded. Even in Finland no snow as yet. Back in 1965 I experienced -34c during our year of getting married.
      Who would have thought? Cumbria has a very nice sound to it, and so has Carlisle…Are vowels more musical than consonants?

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Master of Something Yet Says:

    It is now….
    One positive of being incapacitated was not being able to do the last minute mad dash to the shops on Christmas Eve.
    I feel for you about gifts for the boys. Every year gets a little harder. This year we went for few but significant. No sounds of ripping paper however as my children have been trained as I was to unwrap carefully so that the paper may be folded and saved for the next year. Some of our paper is 20 years old.
    Happy Boxing Day. May you never tire of ham.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, wrapping paper is used sparingly by Helvi too. She does all the wrapping. She saves all the bags that are somewhat festly looking or have significant brand names, throuthout the year. We, generally save the bags within a larger bag for use next year.
    We are becoming bag-people but as yet don’t sleep in a park.

    I will now go downstairs and slice more of the ham.

    Like

  8. Big M Says:

    I empathise with you in regard to presents and materialism. Now that the kids are adults, theyet what they need, as they need it, not necessarily related to Christmas, birthdays, etc.

    As I was reading these comments, the eldest messaged me with photos of flat screen TV s for 40% off at the sales. I remember an elderly woman was trampled to death at Chatswood on the Boxing Day sale. A dangerous enterprise indeed. I will stay home, in the safety of the garden!!

    Like

  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes Big M. You are wise man. We know that those that shelter within the warm embrace of daisies, the humble geranium or even the feisty Spathiphyllum (and sensuous Lobelia) there will always be serenity and peace. Stay well Big M!

    Like

    • Rosie Says:

      You see – there you go about “Lobelia” again and now she is “sensuous” !!!! Glad to hear that so many are now not making a fuss of Christmas – damn good idea. Very over-rated and entirely so that greed can prevail. Ah, Gerard, you succumbed to the “ham on the bone” purchase – was Milo in mind from the time of purchase? How he will enjoy that bone.

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      • gerard oosterman Says:

        The aftermath of Christmas feesl ‘heavenly’ and I am now more in the cheer of Christmas than before or during. I even caught myself humming this morning which was noticed by Helvi.
        How are you going, Rosie?

        Like

      • Rosie Says:

        I keep remembering to be optimistic no matter what life throws at me – thank you for asking. I, too, am very happy that the Xmas ‘hype’ is finished for another year (including the carols in shopping malls). I object to the assumption that Xmas is a family get-together time – when we all know that that happens less and less. But I do wish all the best to you and Helvi for 2016.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Thank you Dear Rosie. We will have a good year. All the best to you too. Our family is a lot smaller and we miss that.

        Like

  10. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    christmas isn’t over in our house. We post phoned it this year and will celebrate on Monday the 28th. I will go Turkey hunting (in the store) today when they are all marked down.🙂

    Like

  11. shoreacres Says:

    I celebrate Christmas, but since I follow the church calendar, the four weeks of Advent leading up to the holiday are quiet, and now there are the traditional Twelve Days to continue celebrating. I’ve found that gift giving and commercialism don’t have to go hand in hand, so I enjoy exchanging presents, too. I’ve not been in a mall for at least three years, and maybe longer. Now and then I have to skulk along the edges, for visits to Verizon or Comcast, but those occasions are rare.

    A carol service on Christmas eve, dinner with friends on the day itself (we had ham, too!), and exchanging gifts with friends over the next few days does me just fine. I love candles and lights, so those will stay up until Epiphany, unless I suddenly get the urge to move on. Then, down they come. There’s no schedule.

    I laughed at the saved wrapping paper. The tinsel that goes on my tree has been removed and reused for literally decades. I’m using stuff that was on the trees in photos taken during my childhood. I had thrify parents. Thrift was one of the greatest gifts they gave me, although I didn’t know it for years.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You are right that gifting and materialism need not go hand in hand. Your post holds a candle to what a Christmas ought to be like (in between the spending furnaces of the malls, the main domain and twilight zone of the frozen turkey and cash machine jingle).
      Of frugality, I too had an upbringing of recycling and mum scraping the butter paper.
      I am reading a book ‘Elmina never again’ by Meindert Muller who is my father’s sister’s son. He is my cousin and a Theologian.
      I have become un-religioned through the years but do remember our nativity scene that my dad would put up each year at Christmas. I remember Joseph’s head been glued back on. All the pieces were painted clay figures.
      The Christmas In Holland filled me with wonder then. There was snow and ice-skating and hot chocolate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres Says:

        I grew up with ice skating and hot chocolate too, although in Iowa. In 1983, we had a freeze in Houston that was so bad all the pipes burst, and we ice skated in the courtyard of my apartment building. It was the best!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Curt Mekemson Says:

    I threw a rib-eye on the barbie, Gerard. You’d have thought I was in Australia except for the freezing weather. Good thing steaks cook fast. Peggy and I celebrated Christmas without the kids this winter, with one set being off in Alaska and the other in Alabama. Text messages, photos and videos allowed us to keep up with everyone, however. It was a very nice Christmas with just Peggy and I. Next up… Happy New Year to you, Helvi and Milo. –Curt

    Like

  13. gerard oosterman Says:

    The same to you and may we see many more of your adventures. Both past, present and future. Long live hiking, sleeping bags and tents! We are having a piece of roasting beef on charcoal as I write.

    Like

  14. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    There is too much gluttony, encouraged excess and decking the hall for my liking now. This is the first year that I didn’t even put up the tree! No lights nor bob bons nor Bing Crosby nor mad rush to the 36 hour shop.. No xmas cards (too environmentally unfriendly!) And yet it was xmas and felt like a good xmas. We had a smallish meal with family and a few treats. We gave gifts -small and practical and visited family and friends. I used to enjoy visiting the xmas lights’ entrants….now they just look garish and a waste of resources. Our frugal and functional xmas was proof you can enjoy xmas traditions without over doing it. Watch out for hot cross buns, back to school and Valentines day b4 we greet Easter!
    And there is loads of different ways to use ham!!!

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Easter is on its way. We are still to open the Stollen but the ham is getting smaller. We had one Christmas card from the Estate Agent who sold us our apartment and the other was from Dan Murphy who sells us wine, and another card from a good friend. Most wishes are now electronically conveyed with a reindeer that hops up and down a rooftop and neighs over and over again.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Intricate Knot Says:

    No Easter eggs, yet. But I’ve already seen Valentine Day candies and whatnots. Good grief!

    I do believe your grandsons hear you, though they appear to not be listening. Everything you teach them gets through, I just think kids aren’t always good at expressing it. They’re too busy being “cool.” Glad you had a nice Christmas!

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We still have Easter eggs in the cupboard from last year. We don’t eat chocolate. They are now banging on about Australia Day. We are supposed to run around waving little flags and go ‘oi, oi,oi!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Intricate Knot Says:

        Haha! Well, if people like doing that sort of thing, more power to them. There are worse things to spend your time doing. Oh, and if you don’t like chocolate, maybe there are places you could donate them to? It’s not nutritious, but someone might enjoy them.

        Like

  16. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Huh, what makes you think opening parcels is more exciting for boys? Or do you mean they make more noise? Pigeons proved a very economical alternative to the big meat options this Christmas.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, pigeons are good. I had them a long time ago together with….stuffed oysters…it was an expensive restaurant/ nightclub for the rich and famous. I was nervous about the looming bill and developed a rotten headache.

      Like

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