TMI Tuesday – Holiday Washup

1.What was the best part of your holiday season?

I feel like I say this wayyy too many times and I am sure but reconnecting with sailing and the ocean. Just in case you are not tired of images here is a selection from our holiday outings.

2. Did you have the opportunity to get down and dirty over the holidays? Please share?

The yacht has been ‘christened’ but in a very restrained way. All of our outings have included our daughter, The Unicorn, and so nude sunbaking and sex on the deck in the moonlight have not happened yet. We spent New Year’s at a vanilla party where there was some talk of sex but the participants openly admitted actually HAVING sex is not their thing. So yeh I am thinking I need to rectify this situation.

3.You receive a gift from a family member that is exactly what you DID NOT want. Do you:

a) Smile politely and bin it at the first opportunity?

b) Say thank you and re-gift it next year?

c) Do some detective work and return it at the first opportunity?

d) Try and tactfully suggest something more appropriate for next time?

Over time I have had some gifts given to me that were clangers to say the least. The usual go to for my in-laws is some kind of toiletry product of the cheap shop variety. I hate wasting things and so my bathroom cupboard has filled with tubes of cheap hand cream that smells disgusting. Recently I have been using some of the better products on my body and giving it to Mr Jones to use on his hands etc. I have even steeled myself and thrown the worst stuff in the bin!!

Famously my SIL gave The Unicorn a pantsuit that was awful. I tried to return it to the store she bought it from only to be told by the retail worker there that she had bought it from the bargain bin for $2. I was not happy but I didn’t go as far as saying anything to her about it.

4.Sex toys as gifts yay or nay? Was there a time when you unexpectedly opened something R-Rated in front of your family? Tell us about it.

Sex toys as gifts are good. If the giver has a good understanding of what you like. Mr Jones has bought a few things over the years that have been awesome. In particular a glass dildo that I quite like and use often. The most amusing sex toy anecdote is the time that he gave me a vibrator for Christmas. I opened it, along with all my other presents on Christmas morning in the company of my whole family, including my parents. I only opened the box a little way before he stopped me.

He wasn’t quick enough though. My mother then nagged me to find out what it was for pretty much the rest of the day. Even my own children knew better than to pursue it. I didn’t tell her even though it would have been a good lesson for her about putting your nose in other people’s business.

5. What is the best present your significant other has given you?

Mr Jones has exceeded himself over the years. By far the best present I got was for the second Christmas after we were married. I was heavily pregnant and expecting our son on 24 December (he didn’t arrive until 7 Jan) and he purchased the most comfortable recliner I have ever sat in for me to have in the nursery. It was the gift that kept giving for many many years and much better than any wooden rocking chair.

Bonus: Share your New Year’s resolution(s) or reasons why you do not make them.

I tend to avoid making resolutions. It seems every time I vocalise a resolution I sabotage myself by not following through. The best way for me to make improvements is quietly and privately without too much obvious effort. Over time I have learned that you have more success by making small changes every day and being kind to yourself along the way.

Dramatic changes made with much trumpeting tend to fall by the wayside. Besides. January 1 is not the only time of the year that changes need to be made in your life.

This post is part of this week’s TMI Tuesday. To see who else is sharing click here, or on the image below:

Christmas – A Time for Reflection

Christmas in Australia is confusing. As a child I could never understand the incessant references to snow, being cold and all of the things that most people living in the Northern Hemisphere associate with Christmas. In Australia Christmas falls just after the longest day of the year. It is hot. Melt the bitumen, spend the day under the air conditioner hot. Unless you live in Tasmania where it has been known to snow at Christmas, but what Australians count as snow would be what Canadians call dew.

Tasmania's winter coldest in nearly 50 years, Bureau of Meteorology says -  ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Christmas decorations make no sense in Australia. Poinsettias flower in June, holly is not grown anywhere. We have any number of other prickly plants, why would we want to introduce another? Pine trees do grow here but in Queensland at least they are tall and spindly; not the type that you see in the American movies. Besides, the significance of the tree that stays green through the winter is lost. Most Australian native plants are evergreen. Christmas lights have become a thing in recent years but as a child it was another thing that didn’t make sense. It doesn’t get fully dark until around seven-thirty, much later in the southern states.

As an adult I was able to understand the significance of these traditions and I was able to understand that our colonial ancestors kept Christmas traditions in an attempt to make themselves feel at home. I understand that these days it is about keeping up with everyone else in the world. Australians seem to struggle with being different and proud of it, many of us just want to be like the Americans we see on our televisions.

Tonight (7/14) We Are Recording Our Episode On The Christmas Episodes Of "Everybody  Loves Raymond" - Last Minute Discussion! : tisthepodcast

And so we celebrate Christmas. For me as a child Christmas has strong connections with the Christian feast commemorating the birth of Christ. For me as an adult that significance remains. We have a nativity scene on display in our house we attend mass. The Unicorn attends under duress because she is a self proclaimed Satanist. I don’t want to have that discussion with her grandmother so we have agreed she will go and not discuss it.

For the most part large family gatherings are not a part of our Christmas landscape. Distance has been the predominant reason for this. My parents live a six hour drive away. For many years one of my brothers has lived even further. My other brother wants as little to do with his siblings and mother as possible and so spends as short an amount of time at Christmas gatherings as he can. My children were the only grandchildren on my side of the family until The Unicorn was about five and her brother was eight. On Mr. Jones’ side of the family they were younger than their cousins by a similar gap so hanging out in the pool or bashing around the paddock with their cousins was not something they got to do.

Today we will be packing Christmas into the back of the ute and driving six hours to Grandma’s house to spend several days practicing being patient and dealing with heat and guilt trips while Christmas goes past for another year. It isn’t something I am looking forward to. I would rather be on the yacht if I am honest but Christmas is not about being selfish. It is about being kind and making sure your family is OK.

We have entered a time in our lives where our children are able to care for themselves but now our parents are ageing. Mr. Jones’s parents live with us and they will be spending Christmas with his sister and her family. In all honesty they would probably rather be at home with us than in a strange house with six rowdy great-grandchildren. His mother has a health condition that is not serious but does require constant monitoring. It also means that her life can be threatened by the common cold. It is hard watching a parent deteriorate.

My own parents live in a very small rural community with limited health facilities. Any health emergency results in a trip in either a helicopter or small aerial ambulance to the nearest large hospital. Located in a town not anywhere near where myself or any of my brothers live. They are in their seventies and my father insists on working his farm as he has done his whole life. Their living situation is not sustainable but at the moment no-one wants to make a plan.

So in short my family is not really OK. There isn’t a lot I can do to make it OK. I would dearly love to pack my parents up and move them somewhere closer to me, as painful as that process would be. It would certainly make my life much simpler, and possibly theirs. But it isn’t happening any time soon, if ever.

I read Marie’s Christmas post and found myself nodding as she described a preference for spending time with those closest to her in small, intimate gatherings. I feel that is the direction my Christmas will take as time goes by. I will always have a tree in my house. I will always have a nativity. I will always have ham but it will never be baked, who has time for that and it is freaking summer here! I will always buy some gifts for my immediate family and I hope I will be able to participate in crazy Christmas antics in the school staffroom for several more years.

My Secret Santa also gave me these cute covers for my nipples that actually fit!!

Thank you for joining me on my early morning Christmas eve ramble. I hope that you all enjoy your Christmases, whatever they look like. If surviving is your goal for this time then I empathize and wish you luck.

Merry Christmas from down under - Air Battles - War Thunder - Official Forum