A good measure of friends

A heaped tablespoon of family

A sprinkle of card-writing & receiving

A large bowl of Christmas cooking

A generous dash of – ‘We must catch up before Christmas’

An overflowing cup of love . . . .

And a whole heap of STRESS!!!!

All of the above is about where I am with Christmas and my original thought was to write only about the Stress of Christmas, that feeling of ‘Am I really going to get all the cards written, all the gifts bought and wrapped and the turkey on the table, before the big day?’

But somehow, we all get there, every year, but I do wonder about the pace we go at – relentlessly, like little white mice on plastic wheels (at least that’s what it’s been like for me.)

So as I was thinking about writing a blog post about stress, I walked to my letterbox, passing the purple agapanthus along the driveway and among today’s cards was one from a friend who is very much a part of my life now (my writing life), one from a favourite aunt and another from my boss from many years ago, which made me sentimental and reflective and not at all in the mood to write about the stresses of Christmas.

So now I am thinking about other Christmases, ones when my siblings and I were small and went to sleep on Christmas Eve filled with the excitement and anticipation of what Christmas Day would bring. Then later, when our children were small and we would tiptoe about on Christmas Eve leaving ample quantities of Christmas treats for Santa and his elves – and a generous piece of carrot for Rudolf!

So we still have some catching up to do with friends, gifts to wrap, cakes to decorate and even more Christmas cards to write – but like everyone else, I’ll get there . . . I think!

One of the special things I do each Christmas is to make chocolates with my niece. Last Saturday was the day (hot and humid – not good for chocolate making) and not good for Santa’s Chocolate cabin (below) – which has a few major structural problems – hidden well with icing sugar . . . I mean ‘snow.’


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  1. Claire I love the house! And yes, although it's sometimes challenging to step back beyond the busyness, it's always worth it to remember the good things. And they are always there.
    December 21, 2011 at 10:35 am · Reply
  2. Chris Bell Sounds like a fabulous recipe for a wonderful Christmas. Your chocolate house looks brilliant and I'm sure it will taste divine. If it falls apart at a touch when you're ready to taste, it will just save you breaking it apart. I think you're really clever to get it to hold together at all. xx Chris. PS: Save me some please.
    December 29, 2011 at 6:39 pm · Reply

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