Setting up the Christmas tree was once upon a time my favouritest thing to do at Christmas. I could use pretty words to gloss over it but I'm pretty anal about the lights being just so, the red glass balls being perfectly graduated from smallest teensy ones at the top to the gorgeous corpulent ones hanging at the bottom like ripe fruit. I would put on a Christmas CD and have Bing Crosby et al crooning to me while I pondered the perfect location for each keepsake ornament.
This year however I could barely get near the tree with the insistent efforts of 2 junior decorators, who between you and me, need some serious improvement. I had to sit on my hands to stop moving the carefully placed ornaments (all on one branch) and my tongue was almost bitten through as I gently suggested that the Elfling perhaps put some bells on the (VAST EXPANSE) other side of the tree. With much "gentle encouragement" we reached what I have dubbed the Compromise Tree which is beautiful and special, and looking at it from here with its decided lean and rich lower left corner is making me feel some seasonal cheer.
We've had 3 break up parties, my graduation, unpacking from both the girls' trip and our own, making of Christmas gifts for all the daycare/kindy teachers and staff as well as Christmas shopping in the last week. I've barely slept either thanks to a nasty by product of foolishly eating airline food (damn you unconsidered 3am decisions!!). So to be finally sitting back on the couch with a plate of home made rumballs (don't drive afterwards!), Natalie Cole entreating me to get into the spirit, and the twinkling tree is a huge relief.
Yesterday was my graduation and the end of my era as a uni student - one that has stretched 10 years making it the longest epoch in my life. So for it all to end, is not so much a relief, or excitement, but at this point, more a little bit of sadness. I've loved my time as a student. Of my purpose every year to learn and to study and to expand my mind. I know these things will not suddenly grind to a halt now that I'm going to earn an income, but there's a purity and naivete about being a university student that I will miss. It is nice however to be able to say unequivocally that I am Dr Jenn, with another couple of letters to bang onto the end of my name as well.
I have a list of things to do over the next week, which includes such illustrious things as defrost the turkey for Christmas Eve dinner, print off photos, buy the last few presents (under 5), make some more edible gifts, make the girls' Christmas dresses and to send the gifts for those I won't see over the festive season. I am resigned to the fact that I'm highly unlikely to be able to send out my Christmas cards this year (no time nor inclination at this point to write to the 50+ people on my list) which makes me feel guilty, but I needed to cull some things off the list. So therefore to all my friends who read this - please accept my apologies for being a slack bum!!
I also have to organise my registration fees for the medical board, clean up the rest of the house, do some sewing and tidying, and a whole stack of wrapping. Good thing I love this time of year. Mostly.