Christmas traditions 2022 at beginning of Advent

Christmas traditions

Our Christmas traditions are tumbling into place and today we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent, the season of preparation for Christmas. Although we seem to be sticklers for tradition, it often amazes me that my family gets everything done.

An outsider might say we’re not very organised. Someone kinder, like a doting mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, might smile benignly. She’d say, ‘But everyone’s so busy’.

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Three new babies, travel adventures after COVID-19 lockdowns and visitors from overseas created turbulance, although most of it good. This end of the year brings extra rehearsals for children doing ballet and singing, concerts and performances, end of year celebrations.

Elizabeth tells me the orientation to her new high school was ‘so fun’. I can’t believe I have a great-grandchild graduating from primary school in a couple of weeks. Louisa will be home for Christmas from Canberra on Wednesday. I hope Alex will be here for Christmas.

My husband’s recent hospitalisation caused more waves, as did my falling over on a busy street and being out of sorts for weeks.

Christmas traditions on track

If it hadn’t been for the insistence of my granddaughter, Claire, we might not have made the puddings yesterday. Sometimes, they’ve been made with proper pomp and ceremony, by the end of September. Other time’s we’ve left it until ‘Stir-Up Sunday‘ (last Sunday).

No year ever seems the same. Our Christmas traditions maintain their ‘shape’ but the details change, it seems, every time.

Often many more family members gather for breakfast before we measure and stir and cook. Yesterday, a smaller-than-usual crowd appeared. Our venue changed from my house. Here are a couple of blogs about other Christmases ‘Advent preparations for a tough Christmas,’ and ‘Advent – time of preparation for Christmas.’

Photos I love

Some of my favourite images from yesterday and our pudding making adventures. Thanks to Jane for the photos.

More Christmas traditions

Puddings cooked, at home again, John and I set up the Christmas crib that I’ve used for over forty years. Sometimes I think a new, modern set would be nice. St. Joseph loses his head quite often, having never recovered completely from a fall. One of the Wise Men has gone AWOL. But then I remember all those other Christmasses…

And the Advent wreath this year has a new twist. I couldn’t find traditional purple or blue candles locally. I settled for pink. Different! But OK.

Christmas traditions
Untraditional Christmas wreath
Christmas traditions include a crib.
Oh so traditional crib

I’ve asked everyone to put the first Saturday of the September school holidays in their diaries for next year. Claire and I will buy the fruit in an orderly manner before that. On the day, we will have our usual breakfast before starting on the puddings. Well, that’s my plan for now!

Copyright, Maureen Helen 2022
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A Parainfluenza Virus knocked us sideways

human parainfluenza virus

A human parainfluenza virus (HPIV) illness recently caused havoc in our house. One of My husband’s relatives called it a ‘power virus’ and indeed so it seemed. Not Covid-19 or any of its variants. Not the dreaded influenza virus. But a nasty little bug that, for most people, causes the symptoms of a common cold invited itself to use our bodies as its hosts.

The HPIV is not an influenza virus, but related to measles and mumps, or so I read on Dr Google. There are four main types, each causing its own brand of related misery. No vaccine exists against it and no treatment exists, other than care of the symptoms.

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How to achieve goals by writing them down

How to achieve your goals by writing them down

Science suggests we’re 42% percent more likely to achieve our goals if we write them down in long-hand, share them with someone, and review them regularly. Forty-two percent seems an amazing figure, so it may well be worth trying these tips if you’re not in the habit of writing down what you hope to be, do or have within a certain timeframe.

Goals can be as varied as you like. But they usually fall into four major areas:

  • Health
  • Relationships and love
  • Vocation
  • Time, money and freedom.

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Birthday thoughts half-way through nineth decade

Birthday thoughts swirl on the eve of my eighty-fifth, the centre of my nineth decade. First, being eighty-five is much better than the alternative, as my dear Dad used to say in his later years. Second, it happened very quickly. My childhood sometimes seems like yesterday. And it’s only a few years ago that I reached a half-century. Then it felt as if my life opened up to new adventures. Third, I’m aware how few years may be left and how much ground there is yet to cover.

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Kitchen gadgets and minimalisation

kitchen gadgets and minimalisation

Kitchen gadgets, on the whole, don’t excite me. As someone trying to live peacefully as a minimalist, I find gadgets complicate my life. Sometimes, Luddite might best describe me and my life-style. My relationship with phone, laptop and earphones tests my patience.

But every now and then a hankering after something that other people have owned for years gets me. Occasionally I submit to whim. Then become the proud owner of a gadget I hadn’t previously known I wanted.

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Ten-year guarantees saga and reservations

Ten-year guarantees saga and reservations

Ten-year guarantees no longer interest me. Or at least nowhere as much as they once might have. My interests are different now. But twice in the past few days, goods have been offered with a TYG. That got me thinking about life as an octogentarian.

In ten years, I may no longer be interested in claiming new-for-old. It’s daunting to think that something with a guarantee that long may outlast me. I feel as if I need to proclaim my intention of living to 100, although I don’t care about a letter from King Charles III. That prospect isn’t highly motivating.

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Nature’s profusion of purple flowers

Nature's profusion of purple flowers

Nature’s profusion, in all its manifestations, should continue to surprise us. But if you’re like me, it’s all too easy to take such abundance for granted. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, talks about the abundance of ideas available to each of us. This applies especially when we are open and engaged on a project. She says,

Looking at God’s creation, it is pretty clear that the creator itself did not know when to stop. There is not one pink flower, or even fifty pink flowers, but hundreds... no two alike.

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Spring blossom excels at Dwellingup

Spring blossom, Dwellingup

Spring blossom was the pick-me-up I needed. A broken tooth-crown and consequent gappy grin (still under repair). Falling on a busy street. A head wound and concussion. They’d taken their toll and left me grumpy and out-of-sorts.

A drive on Sunday morning to Dwellingup, about 100 kilometres from Perth, and I found myself in what felt like heaven. You can read more about the little town in my blog, ‘Dwellingup, an old timber town with new life’.

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Scary hours in the emergency department

Scary hours in ambulance

Scary hours spent in public hospital emergency departments seem to be the norm in Perth. We’ve been proud of our ‘world class hospital system’, but that description no longer holds.

People with experience in other states assure me this condition is widespread across Australia. Several people, including a child, have died recently while waiting for an ambulance or hospital treatment.

I’m one of the lucky people. My injury, in the scheme of things, was not devastating and I had good support and care.

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Domestic drama for old folk

Domestic Drama for Old Folk blog

Domestic drama has had its wicked way with John and me over the past month. While I like change and novelty, I also like to pick and choose what happens. Holidays. Outings. New people. I’d like to keep all serious drama on the pages of books, or on television. That way we wouldn’t have to deal with it.

The title of this post reminds me of the delightful documentary series on ABC TV. ‘Old People’s Home for 4-Year Olds‘ and ‘Old People’s Home for Teenagers‘ touch me deeply. They deal with lonely old people whose lives we see transformed by the introduction of children whom they do not know.

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