So this is Christmas… what have we here? Basically me. Someone who has lost all her Christmas spirit and wants to scream ‘STOP the world I NEED to get off’.
Anyone else struggling with this time of year? If you could WIN one thing this Christmas, what would it be?
Me? I’ll get to that soon enough…
December 1st. I can now officially look a Christmas decoration in the eye, speak of all things jolly and host our annual tree trimming party. A party that kicks off on the December 1st each and every year since I joined forces with hubby. So 23 years. An occasion for our family to stop, take a minute to reflect on the year and well basically trim our Christmas tree, discuss Christmas gifts and wish lists.
This year, my hubby is away at sea. On a survey ship in the middle of
nowhere the Indian Ocean. A two-month stint for his job, broken in two parts which will see him home briefly for Christmas. He departed early Sunday morning and I’ve been missing him like crazy ever since. Our tree trimming party is going to look a lot different with him away. If it goes ahead at all.
These work trips, now thankfully have intermittent email contact but even still by the time a reply email hits my inbox, you can guarantee I’ve moved on from the initial question/email/family dilemma. There is no phone contact, there is no opportunity for him to pop home, even for an emergency.
If an issue arises or I want to chat with hubby, I hit send, hope for the best and wait. I am effectively single parenting during these stints and with extended family over 5000 km away, the parenting (& everything else) buck stops with me.
We’ve been doing this ship-in/ship-out stint for a long while now. Our girls are now so much older (15, about to turn 17 and 18), so the parenting side of things is a whole lot easier in some regards. In other regards a whole lot tougher. This week, our eldest having just graduated from Year 12, is about to head off on her toned down version of schoolies with a group of friends. I’ll be at home, trying not to worry too much and distracting myself with work, as well as Christmas preparations with hubby away.
ARE WE THERE YET?
I must confess, when the Christmas decorations hit the shops in September this year, I was all kinds of over Christmas by October. Nothing to do with being organised just completely over it. The chaos that descends with the silly season at this time of year, almost had me wanting to cancel Christmas completely. Something I broached with my family over dinner before hubby left.
Rather oddly, not one person put up any real fight or staged an intervention and for a very brief moment, it looked like my cancelling Christmas wish might actually come true. Our girls up until this week, have all been rather distracted and exhausted with their major exams, as well as their part-time jobs and I get the general feeling they are just as exhausted and over things as I am right now.
There’s also the fact that we are still in smaller, temporary accommodation, while we look for our dream forever home. This means, there really isn’t that much room for our massive Christmas tree. It also means if we do decide to put it up, I need to tackle our storage shed or go shopping for something new. More work for me, when I already have too much on. It also means our Christmas traditions, like our annual tree trimming party are out the window.
Told you I’ve lost my Christmas spirit!
OUT WITH THE OLD
I’d like to say ‘out with the old, in with the new’ but I’m not getting any younger and I’m probably the ‘old’ that needs to be taken out here.
We’ve never been a family to go too overboard at Christmas (apart from my menu) and that’s not about to change anytime soon (the overboard approach, not the menu) but I’m wanting something a little different and even less fuss this year. Decadence with a difference springs to mind. Only I’m not entirely sure what that looks like.
I think with our girls so much older, it is time to throw some of our Christmas traditions out the window (like my Christmas Eve Menu above). After years of being the one and only person that makes an effort to make the day special, I’m wanting time out.
I’m wanting someone else to do the hard yards. I’m wanting to be able to click my fingers and have it all done. Which kind of sounds like a Christmas cruise but as hubby goes to sea for work and suffers from terrible seasickness, he won’t entertain that idea. Not one bit.
Given that just isn’t going to happen (the clicking a finger scenario or the cruise), and we’ve all had a relatively tough year, I think I might have found the next best thing… Maggie Beer.
When life gives you lemons… make a Maggie Beer Lemon Tart and ask her to adopt your family for Christmas.
A Mystery Christmas with Maggie Beer
Yes, that’s right, I asked Maggie to help me find my Christmas spirit by adopting me and sharing all her secret and not so secret recipes with me. Starting with Maggie’s lemon tart, the one with the sour cream pastry because right now my lemon tree is dropping lemons at 10 to 11 kilos a week.
Maggie has also perfected a gluten free pastry that is possibly the best I’ve ever tasted. I’m in gluten free, lemon tart heaven right now, so is my family and my friends. The even better part to this equation though, my girls are in the kitchen with me, whipping up a lemon meringue storm and helping with the mess afterwards.
It’s a WIN WIN… for you as well. Keep reading!
So while wishful thinking would have me lunching with Maggie at her property on Christmas day, reality means I’ll be home with my family feasting on treats from Maggie’s online store. Treats that you can also find at nearby stockists, including your local supermarket freezer! Have you tried Maggie’s ice-cream?
Maggie’s hampers, starting from just $25.00, make the perfect Christmas gifts for my family far and wide, as well as provide some much needed inspiration for our Christmas feasting.
There’s also the option to choose your own hamper adventure via their online pantry or through their mystery box collection.
I love, love, love a good mystery. You could say it has my name on it, even if I’m gifting to hubby. We have a tendency to overlook the Indian giving aspect in our house when good quality gourmet food is involved as long as the produce is shared equally and hubby isn’t left alone for too long with any chocolate or cheese gifts because given half the chance he would inhale them.
WIN – Maggie Beer Mystery Hamper
As a special Christmas treat, Maggie Beer and her team have put together a mystery hamper for one lucky reader. Not the hamper pictured but keep an eye on Instagram in the coming days for sneak peeks of the actual hamper on offer.
HOW TO WIN…
To be in the running, all you need to do is head over and case the hampers currently on offer at Maggie Beer’s online store (HERE) and then let me know which one is your favourite by commenting below. TOO EASY!
As a Christmas BONUS… I’ll also be including a small mystery prize with the hamper. In order to get the prizes to you in time for Christmas, this giveaway will be short and sweet.
- Game of skill.
- Comment below letting me know your favourite Maggie Beer hamper.
- One winner – drawn 10/12/16 at 9 pm (Perth time).
- Winner must make contact within 24 hours or there will be a redraw.
- Open to Australian residents only.
- Mystery hamper will vary from one pictured.
MORE, MORE, MORE with Maggie
Now just in case you decide, like me, to do a little Christmas hamper or gourmet produce shopping while you are visiting the Maggie Beer website, make sure you sign up as a VIP. It opens your inbox to special offers and keeps you in the loop for worth casing promotions. Keep in mind, the cut-off for Christmas delivery for your online orders is December 9.
Now for even more winning…
AUSSIE GIVEAWAY LINKUP
Both Kell and Jody will return as co-hosts next year and we are all of the feeling that in blogging and giveaway terms, there really is no rest for the wicked. This mean the January Linkup will kick off on the 1st! I’m, oddly enough, reviewing a musical on New Year’s Eve this year, which will hit the website around the same time.
Aussie Giveaway Linkup Guidelines:
If you’re a blogger or business wanting to take part in the Aussie Giveaway Linkup:
- Only link directly to the giveaway post/s.
- Include the prize and end date in the linky tool below.
- Link each giveaway separately.
- Giveaways must be open to Australian residents and be run by Aussie-based bloggers or businesses.
- Grab the AGL button to add to your post or sidebar (optional but much appreciated).
- A new list is added on the 1st of the month so bloggers and business owners need to add their links monthly.
- Start entering the giveaways! Entry is at your own risk. We do not take responsibility for unfulfilled prizes or a blogger/business not abiding by their own terms and conditions.
- Leave a comment each time you link! It really is the quickest way to notify us of your giveaway, so we can start sharing the social media love your way!
Are you looking forward to Christmas? Do you have any family Christmas traditions?
This is not a sponsored post but Maggie Beer has very generously donated a mystery hamper for this giveaway. I just really admire Maggie and love, love, love her produce, her way of living and approach to life. Any talk of adoption by Maggie, while welcomed is very much wishful thinking on my part. I’m also waving to Mrs Woog, who introduced me to Maggie (& her team) in a way, last year with her In the Bag featured post.