So it’s over. The Christmas holiday passed in a haze of fun and frenetic rushing about and now it’s done. Last year I made firm New Year resolutions – this year I can’t be bothered to – except for one – be more sociable – invite people over to our house instead of being quite such a terrible passenger. What has driven me to this? Pure shame. I can’t actually think of anybody that I/we don’t owe a meal to. Oh and there’s one more thing which is more important; accept the fact that life changes and try to embrace those changes rather than fight them. There’s no sense in being miserable when there’s a lot to be grateful for. (Empty Spaces: When your kids have gone away to school).
Over the years, a pattern for our Christmas in Kenya has evolved and each year it seems to gain momentum – to the point where now I feel that we are experiencing it all at 100 miles per hour. We had a fantastic time, were so lucky to be spending the holiday with family and friends and the memory of it all already has a sort of golden glow but boy, it went way too fast.
Here is what the 2016 Christmas holiday in Kenya looked like:
- Get final school end of term stuff done and complete outstanding work commitments in snatched hours between dashing in and out of the house.
- Next comes crazed gift shopping, paying out bonuses, food shopping, finalising travel arrangements for you and your visitors and throwing up xmas decorations.
- Collect your overseas visitors from the airport once you have finally got the house in good shape: (See post: The cost of furnishing your Nairobi home)
- Once your visitors have settled in, drive them to the touristy attractions that you haven’t been back to for a year and enjoy it all again through fresh eyes. Oh those baby elephants are cute…
- Nip to the shops daily for pints of milk, loaves of bread and random items that you have suddenly remembered such as cranberry sauce.
- Combine these trips with the search for supplementary pressies. Curse the fact that you didn’t nail down all of the gift buying and wrapping before your visitors arrived.
- Say that you are popping out for milk then book in a sneaky leg wax.
- Look at the sky and wonder why it’s overcast. (“Is it normally this cold/windy/rainy in December?” your visitors will ask).
- Dream of lying on the beach once Christmas is over. Fight Christmas eve terrors that you have forgotten to buy a gift for somebody.
- Enjoy frenzied gift unwrapping on Christmas morning and then a huge lunch where at least twice the number of people who are sitting around the table have been catered for. If you are lucky, you are not hosting (yay! that was me this year and it was fabulous).
After Christmas – roll on New Year
- Eat leftovers and clear the fridge of perishables. Pack for the beach. Turn a blind eye to the chaos that surrounds you.
- Struggle to get to the beach due to domestic flights being all over the place, subject to delays, cancellations etc. Except we got lucky this year and travelled with Fly540 not Jambojet. (link: Jambojet admits overbooking, apologises to passengers). We flew down to the coast in a 10 seater King Air exclusively for our family group only, feeling like the Kardashians).
- Lie on the beach worrying about how late your teenager will want to go out at night, how she will get home and what dangers might be lurking out there.
- Enjoy the sun, Indian Ocean while posting multiple images up on Facebook, Instagram etc (Alison the Facebook Fiend – Telegraph) which are guaranteed to make family and friends back home green with envy. Spend the evenings nursing painful sunburn.
- Eat too much and pile on the pounds due to the fact that you have overindulged and haven’t exercised for at least a week. Beach body morphs into beached whale in a surprisingly short time frame.
- Get home and turn your overseas visitors around. Load the washing machine and plan a couple more meals – you are on the home run. Wonder why you are still drinking alcohol with every meal.
- Take down the Christmas tree, clear away extra guest beds, wonder where all the fun has gone.
- Resolve to spend January eating your way through freezer contents and spending absolutely no money.
So there it is. Let me know if I forgot anything. #feelingblessed
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