The kids have stopped sleeping. We have intermittent and frequent tears over nothing. They are unable to concentrate on anything for longer than ten minutes. Therefore it must be nearly Christmas!
I am sure I was not like this as a kid. Although my parents assure me I was. My girls have dark circles under their eyes and have this vacant look about them. They are so excited about Christmas and our subsequent holiday on the South Island they are barely holding it together. I must say I am also pretty excited myself!
Thankfully we have lots to distract us at this time of year. We had a brief taste of summer with two days where the sun came out uninterrupted and the temperatures reached the mid twenties. It was gorgeous! The girls finished school at mid day on Tuesday and a group of us headed down to the beach and spent the afternoon soaking up the sun, sea and a lot of sand.
This gorgeous beach is unbelievably at the bottom of our road. We can walk there. Yes, I do know just how lucky we are!
A friend of mine has returned to the UK for Christmas and I just received an email describing how shocked he was to have to compete with the crowds in the local Waitrose just to buy a loaf of bread. He assumed it was just due to the nearness of Christmas but was told that this was just normal. Shops over here do get crowded at Christmas and I was shocked to actually have to hunt for a parking space this weekend at the local mall. But it is nothing like the manic rush and crowds I used to have to deal with in the shopping malls of the south east of England.
Christmas over here is still about the presents (don't want to give anyone an idealist view of Christmas in NZ - it is still the consumerist celebration it is elsewhere) but it is also about beaches, camping, road trips, tramping and being out enjoying the sun. Christmas dinners are planned but are lighter and less important that making sure you have packed the snorkel and boogie board in the back of the car for the afternoon trip to the beach.
Unfortunately the last couple of days have seen a return to the drab rainy weather you often get at this time of year. The air is warm and muggy but the clouds are dark and grey and emit the drizzly misty rain that can inexplicably make you really wet in a very short period of time.
The sea is also not looking very inviting.
However I am optimistic that the good summer weather will return for Christmas and we will get to enjoy the beach on Christmas day. We are so lucky to live in the beautiful Porirua.