12.11.06

STRESSFUL HOLIDAYS ?

My cats are HERE

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HOLIDAY MADE EASIER Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Pookie likes chicken not only to eat but also to run behind them when she has the occasion.

When I first red "Holidays are special. They are also stressful. " I thought I were in the wrong book. Holidays for me means packing my suitcase (yes that could be stressful, but not for me) and going away to the sunshine and discover other countries. But then suddenly I understood what was meant, the weeks before "feed up" starts. Yes indeed, that is quite stressful for some people.

In Belgium there are two big feasts in December the 6th Santa Claus and then of course Christmas. In the flemish part of Belgium, Santa Claus is still much more celebrated than Christmas. Gifts are given for Santa Claus and not at Christmas. That is the same in Holland, all other European countries are celebrating Christmas with Christmastrees, gifts and a lot of food.

This year I am very lucky. No stress nothing only the happy anticipation of holidays, 2 weeks in the sunshine of Egypt. There will be a nice Christmas party in the hotel and as I could see last year in November, everything on streets is decorated with garlands, angels and father Christmas. It looks quite funny to me that the garlands are hanging on palm trees ! And even though it is a muslim country, nobody cares feast is feast and decoration, decoration even if it's a christian one.

When I were a child the weeks before Christmas were very exciting, above all for the forthcoming gifts ! My mother baked Christmas cookies like if the devil were behind her, were juggling around with pots and spices, had a red head, and chased me away whenever I wanted to look at what she were doing. I were not allowed to taste them, but that didn't matter to me, as I didn't like them anyway. But she did all this work for friends and neighbours, as a sort of competition between women "who has the best cookies".

When I had my own family Christmas of course was completely different because we had our son and with a child, Chrismas became fun. I don't remember that I were especially stressed, I started to buy Christmas gifts very early and never did it "last minute". As I liked cooking, it didn't bother me either to make a nice Christmas meal.

The only thing which stressed both of us were my parents who invaded us litteraly, meddling in everything and critizising everthing. They arrived with an overloaded car full of gifts, just to show what generous parents they were. Of course the gifts were chosen by my mother and at her taste, so I once got a green toaster with pink roses on it, for my red and white kitchen ! My husband and I had to escape from time to time, first him then me to our friends living nearby, just to relax and breath a little before the next attack. Yes that was more than stressful. Fortunately our son, little innocent boy, didn't realize anything and was very happy, he loved his grandparents very much.

When my parents both died, one after the other, we celebrated Christmas in my son's house in London and for me these were the nicest once. The only stress I had was to load the car with gifts ! He prepared everything, a wonderful Christmas tree, and a nice meal. I had nothing to do, just sit down and enjoy.

The last two years, we celebrated here again in our house with him and his girl friend, but as everybody loves a fondue, I only had to do the shopping, cut the meat and prepare a salad. Christmas gifts I buy now during the whole year, each time I see something I like and am convinced that my family will appreciate it, I buy it and put it in a special place, reserved for this purpose.

So I can't say that I am stressed now because of the forthcoming period of holidays.

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Before and after holidays ....

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13 comments:

CyberCelt said...

I rec'd your comment. I will link to your blog.

happy and blue 2 said...

I really enjoyed hearing about how you celebrate Christmas.
And the pictures at the bottom pretty much say it all, ha,ha..

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh about the toaster... that was hilarious.

My husband's parents were divorced (one married 4 times the other 3)... so christmas with his familiy was not fun for me. For one thing we were never invited. If we wanted to see them we had to invite them.

As for my family - when I was a child we had little money, but still it was a time for decorating the tree and singing carols.

Now I love to see my grandchildren during the holidays and watch their eyes sparkle.

Karmyn R said...

OOOH - Traveling to Egypt sounds like a blast to me. But, my kids would never forgive me if we didn't have a tree, lights, and stocking up.

I guess the traveling will have to wait until later!!!

Mrs Lifecruiser said...

Ah, that certainly made me jealous, a trip to a warmer place.... I'll think we'll go into hibernation now, as we use to do during winters ;-)

No stress here either. We do celebrate Christmas and not Santa Claus, but we have decied to go "light" with the gifts and only for our nearest - which means to Mr L's daughter in first hand.

I'm not sure yet, if we're going to meat my siblings or not and if we're going to do gifts, but if we do, there will be only one gift for each one.

We're doing a lot of Christmas food, but not as much as many people does. We don't overdo things. We just like certain food. (I'll write a post about our Christmas table in december I think).

Have a relexed Sunday evening :-)

Anna Venger said...

Oh, my, your pics! That looks like more than the average holiday 8 pounds! lol

That Cleaning Lady said...

I stopped "doing" christmas several years ago. Maybe if Americans celebrated Santa Claus and not Christmas I'd think different. I don't do any gifts, cooking, trees, lights, or stress. Good for me, HUH? I would love to go to Egypt, sounds like great fun to be in warm and sunny weather! We're going to get snow tonight, I think, might be 3 feet!!

DellaB said...

wow, Gattina, you sure are organised for Christmas. I loved it too when the kids were small, these days it is very very quiet.

also...

ROTFL:
Rolling
On
The
Floor
Laughing

and sometimes you see ROTFLMAO
which adds:

Laughing
My
Ass
Off

I wondered if you knew it, I am glad you asked...
;-)

mar said...

Very clever! ever since we moved to Spain we decided we would celebrate Xmas on our own, the three of us, skiing. The vacation itself and the forfaits are our Xmas present so I only buy little presents to unpack after our Xmas dinner, usually a fondue!
Happy day! I didn't know if I was supposed to leave my link up in front... :)

Mandy said...

Hello Gattina,
I know what you mean about Holland not celebrating Christmas the way I'm used to. It is very Santa Claus (Sinta Klaus) here and it's mainly for the children. Although, over the past few years, Christmas is becoming more and more like the UK here.. Tree's, decorations, food and gifts. We don't mind how they celebrate it, we have family over from the UK anyway, and we make sure it's just the same. I don't know where Aachan is, where is that?

There's a place we go to here that has many Christmas decorations, and Father Christmas life size figures.. so we go there every year, and there's other places too that we visit to buy all our festive stuff :=))

Oh and family are bringing over Mince Pies from the UK! I can't go without those hehe

Mandy

Carmen said...

makes you wanna lay off the pumpkin pies. :)

Pamela said...

Egypt sounds like a fascinating place to go for the holidays! Seeing different countries would be heavenly! I can't imagine what it would be like to lose both parents back to back. Sounds like you have a wonderful Son though. :)

Enjoy your day! :)

Bob-kat said...

Hi. I love Christmas. I think it must be because my childhood ones were so great. I hope you have a great time in Egypt in the sunshine. I am going away for the first Christamas ever and am heading for a bit of sun in Southern Spain. It will be a little strange but I need to be away this Christmas.