19 December 2010

Week of Stillness and a Very Special Lady

A few Christmas scenes in my home

This week is pretty busy, some last minute stocking fillers need to be bought and the remainder of the gifts need to be wrapped in readiness for Xmas Eve night once the boys are in bed.  There is a bit of cooking to be done for Christmas Eve dinner which we celebrate with my side of the family (as is traditional in Portugal) and then Christmas lunch with F's family. Oh and the Chrissie cards are sent out on Monday.

Last week however was a different story.

One of the things I love about reading blogs are the traditions and ideas that many bloggers write about which touch something inside me. One such post, that I bookmarked, was last Christmas when Brooke from Inchmark spoke about taking a week to be calm amidst all the shenanigans in the lead up to the 25th December. Only last week Brooke wrote of how this new tradition in her family was working this year and it reminded me of how I wanted to implement this as part of our family Christmas tradition.

What a wonderful week, L spent three days at Cooking Club organised by his school and J and I just hung out together at home reading Christmas stories and playing with each other and then all three of us enjoyed the treats L brought home from his day of cooking. The late afternoons were spent paddling in the pool. Quiet nights in with F and simple meals of grilled fish and chicken with salad.

L's delicious gingerbread Christmas tree which he made

The only crazy event last week was on Friday with a trip with the boys into the city to visit Santa where we stood in a queue for almost 2 hours!!! Having said that we walked around the city and visited one of the city's many large Christmas trees, the Nativity scene, the David Jones (our department store) Christmas windows and our beautiful Hyde Park.  The boys were so excited with all the festive elements of our trip to the city that even the 2 hour wait for Santa wasn't so bad.

The week of stillness is a tradition sure to be repeated for many years in my household and I recommend it highly. Taking time to be with your family in a simple and intimate way is such a wonderful way to experience Christmas.

More Christmas vignettes

This time of year is also when we think about those who are going through a tough time and spare some time to help where you can.  One such person in need of our thoughts and prayers is Jane at My Pear Tree House who is facing a dark and difficult road in the coming months.  I only know Jane through her blog, but I hope she doesn't think me too presumptuous in saying I regard her as a friend. She is witty and intelligent and is one fantastic writer, plus she is a lawyer which in my book means you are a special person, a community minded person.   Her blog posts are always so thoughtfully written and I always learn something whether it be about food, art, design or just life in general.

So, in the madness of this Christmas week I want Jane to know that while I can't be there for her in person as she lives in Melbourne and I live in Sydney, I am there in spirit and she is in my thoughts and my heart all the way through her forthcoming journey.  Much love to you Jane.


  1. A touching post, Engracia. I share your sentiments about Jane. Martha at Jelly Shane has a linky going for posts about Jane if you'd like to add this post to it. J x

  2. A lovely post Engracia, thank you for posting about Jane (my blog reading is waaay behind). And thank you for introducing me to the week of calm idea - I am going to attempt it once we land in NZ in a day or two. Have a wonderful Christmas - best, Annie. ps: your house looks gorgeous!

  3. Hi Engracia - here's how you can make it snow -

    Have fun :) Annie

  4. What a wonderful tradition to start! I really like that. and your house looks stunning with all the Christmasy touches. Yes lots of thoughts and prayers going out to Jane today.

  5. Beautiful decorations Engracia! Hope you and your men have a wonderful Christmas, thinking of your friend Jane and hoping all goes OK for her.

  6. I think this sounds like a great tradition to embrace in the lead up to the busy Christmas week, one which I will definitely look to remember next year myself.

  7. love it. great idea. lovely decorations as well. Merry Christmas to you my special friend and your lovely family! xo