It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas!

Christmas is a time of joy, peace, great food and family……

I could start with this and go on about the perfect Christmas with my children all sitting beautifully around the tree... but I would be lying, one big huge fat lie!

For many overworked, underpaid mothers, Christmas is a time of endless commitments, dragging uncooperative children to the shops, buying and wrapping presents for nearly everyone you know (including yourself), preparing extravagant meals for extended family and what seems like an endless list of ‘things to be completed before Christmas.’

My approach now is to simplify everything at this time of the year.  

I have tried to slow down on creating the ‘perfect’ day, and simply enjoy the weeks leading up. The boys finish school, so instead of filling the week with play dates, shopping trips or Christmas based activities, I sit with them in bed in the morning, getting extra cuddles. Giving them a break from the rushed morning school routine is important, let them just play, rest, or annoy each other.

Gift giving for our adult friends and family is probably the only tradition upheld. For many years I have gifted handmade edible items varying from jam, chutney, traditional lemon cordial, Xmas puddings and cakes, fruit mince pies, even homemade ice-cream. This year was no exception, a huge batch of melting moments were individually bagged and tied with a pretty ribbon. Given to teachers, friends, family and anyone else I came across.

My advice at Christmas for all the busy families is to enjoy the time with your loved ones, don’t sweat the small stuff and if you do purchase rather than make, decant it and pretend that you have been slaving over the stove!