Christmas Magic. And Party Pies.

Another Christmas is finished.

It’s finished, but not over. The tree is still up, the decorations are in the lounge room, and gifts are sprawled over beds and stacked in piles on the floor.  Even though the shadow of Christmas remains, there will be no more Christmas.  Not until we begin to see the end of 2013 looming, then we all stare at each other and say “How can it be Christmas again? Another year gone”.

This year, this Christmas, showed me something.  Something about the magic of Christmas.  That the magic of Christmas is not in the magic of Christmas.  Or something like that.

Our family Christmas celebrations are big.  They probably always were, but on 2001, they took a leap straight into another dimension.  At 1am on Christmas Day in 2001, our son Tyben, arrived, despite my defiance on Christmas Eve that I was NOT having a baby.  But apparently, I was.  The first Christmas Day baby for the Sunshine Coast, in fact.

Ever since, every Christmas celebration with family has always included a birthday celebration for Tyben.  I’m so blessed that everyone in the family makes sure that Tyben still gets a “birthday”.  No combined gifts.  Always a separation of the celebrations within a mega celebration!

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There is our little family, my family and Dean’s family to celebrate with.  Years ago, we worked out with our respective parents that we would alternate years.  So one year is a Wakefield Christmas Day, the next year is a Hodges Christmas Day.  Whoever doesn’t get Christmas Day gets Boxing Day.  And on it goes.

Which works while it works.  Unfortunately not everyone has the flexibility that we, the self employed have, and so our system is a little imperfect.  This year, my brother-in-law needed to leave the Wakefield Boxing Day Christmas a little early to get to work, and we didn’t see Dean’s sister and her family at all because their commitments meant they couldn’t be here for a Hodges Christmas Day.

The end result of all of that juggling meant that our little family were at home, on our own, for Christmas Day lunch.  A couple of days out from the big day, we sat down as a family to work out what to have for lunch.  It didn’t need to be big, after all we were having bacon & eggs at the beach for breakfast and then turkey and salad for dinner, with Dean’s parents.  We talked about how we didn’t need much, but maybe if everyone made a suggestion, we could have a little “party” for lunch.

To my horror, the first suggestion I heard was “Party Pies”.  Which was followed up by “oh yeah, I love party pies”.  Times 5.  I was the only one who was seemed to stunned by the suggestion of party pies.  As part of Christmas lunch.  I started to talk about making it a bit special, “why don’t I at least make my home made sausage rolls”.  I heard someone say “don’t our votes count?  Are we only allowed to like what you want”.

Ouch.  Caught that.  Right between the eyes.

So, I bought frozen party pies.  For Christmas lunch.  I couldn’t look at the lady serving me at the IGA as I bought them.  Surely she would know that I was a terrible parent who wasn’t lovingly preparing wonderful food for her family for Christmas.  That I was buying a cardboard box of cardboard food, to put in the oven for 12 minutes.

Fortunately, Christmas began before lunch time.  Long before lunch time.  At 4.07am, in fact.  The morning was great.  We had fun at home, opening our presents, before meeting Dean’s parents at Mudjimba beach for bacon & eggs, followed by a walk on a beach and a play in the water.  Truly an awesome way to begin a family celebration.   Then we headed on home.

After a little while, I started to organise lunch.  Christmas lunch.  With party pies.  Coby was in the garage playing a Wii game.  Dean and the 2 older boys were watching The Dark Knight Rises in the lounge, and Sabrina was playing babies in her room.  And I was putting party pies in the oven.

I was so ashamed.  Why didn’t my family want something “better”?  Why didn’t they ask for something that only I could make for their most special family day?  Instead, they asked for a slab of frozen party pies in the oven, a quick home made cream cheese and salsa dip, and some lollies.  Those were the things that made the vote.

Of course, as mother nature would have it, I was being slammed by my lady hormones, right on Christmas Day.  Clearly mother nature likes pushing my Christmas Day buttons.  See 2001 edition.  Somehow, suddenly, there was yelling (by me) about some nonsense that I can’t even remember now.  I’m sure there would have been a reference to “Christmas lunch” and “parties pies” and “tomato sauce”.

And so I sat, staring at our lunch, swirling in my hormones, so upset.  When suddenly, I noticed.  Everyone else was OK.  In fact, more than OK.  Everyone (except me) was happy, coming and going and picking from food they were comfortable with.

Before we knew it, we were packing up and heading over to my inlaws, for Christmas dinner.097

And then the next day, we shared a lovely lunch, for Christmas on Boxing Day with my family.

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So, maybe the magic has nothing to do with the magic.  Parties pies were just fine.

K xxx

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About Kathryn Hodges

Hi! I'm Kathryn. I have many hats in this life. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother (of 4!), a friend, a keen try-er of yoga, a lawyer, a business owner, an avid reader and a lover of this electronic world and it's connections. As the Principal of a wonderful law firm on the Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia, I focus on seeing my clients as people going through change and I am committed to practising mindfully that I am dealing with people and their families. Precious stuff, hey! I hope you enjoy learning more about the things that impact on me, my life and my practice. Please leave me a comment, as I'm sure you have something you can show or teach me. We're all in this learning thing, called life, together xx Oh, and my professional obligations mean I have to remind you that my opinions are my own.
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8 Responses to Christmas Magic. And Party Pies.

  1. Vanessa moore says:

    Funny. Christmas has so any expectations and creates hang ups. I LOVE that our family wanted party pies. Seems they were more interested in being at home together and being a ‘family’ than having splendid food for lunch. You have taught them well methinks!

    We stay home, invite orphans and relax. This year we had McGrefor come to stay (his Dad introduced me to ActionCoach) and we had a really wonderful easy relaxed day. We bought our usual seafood feast of prawns and crays, it just didn’t have the excitement attached to it like it used to.

    So, it is what it is. Christmas is reflection for me as well as a break from my routine. Sometimes I miss the big family gatherings and other times I am grateful that Peter and I can do as we choose. That’s my magic, the choice.

    Thankyou as always for sharing. I get excited when I see the email or FBpost heralding the arrival of another of your blogs!

    Xoxoxoxoxo xoxoxo love

    • Kathryn Hodges says:

      Thanks,
      Imagine the idea of party pies for Christmas Day being some sort of reflection of a family success. What a weird twist on life that is!!
      Your Christmas sounds wonderful x Generous x Light x Real x
      I’m always excited when I see you’ve commented x
      Love you heaps,
      K xxx

  2. Amanda says:

    This is such a brilliant Christmas story. You are good at observing – even when you ovaries are demanding that you feel like rubbish.

    We had a day of just the four of us after breakfast and I was going to cook lunch, but we weren’t hungry, so I decided to cook dinner instead. My mother told me a couple of years ago that we had to go to her place because I never go to any trouble… it was the year of 2010 and I came down with something hideous – that I’ll explain one day if we ever meet that goes with the DM I just shared with you – and couldn’t get out of bed, so everyone had to put together lunch without me. NOT THIS YEAR! We are still eating the left overs and they are AMAZING.

    I reckon a Christmas Party is a brilliant idea and it should become a family tradition. xx

  3. Kathryn Hodges says:

    Thanks Amanda!
    Yes, my ovaries were being demanding that day.
    And what a great idea. A Christmas Party. That sounds like us! I might see how we can weave one into next Christmas.
    Glad your leftovers are amazing!
    I do hope we meet in person soon,
    K x

  4. Debyl1 says:

    This is a beautiful example of real family love.
    Christmas should not be about food…it should be just how you made it…
    You listened with your heart and so you all shared a wonderful day.
    Content with having party pies and not having mum away in the kitchen for hours…instead having mum right there sharing the joy of a happy day.
    I just love that you all know what is truly important….family.Xx

    • Kathryn Hodges says:

      As always Deb, you are too kind.
      We are just getting through doing what we can with what we know.
      I just hope that it is enough to launch our children into a life in their right direction, and that they want to stay connected.
      Only time will tell.
      K x

  5. E. says:

    I cooked Nuggets and chips for dinner on Christmas Day at almost 10pm. That combined with eating cereal for breakfast made me sad. But we had spent almost 8 hours on the road (round trip for a big Christmas lunch with extended family). We were together and happy. Glad you had good celebrations.

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