A Different but Happy, Blessed Christmas 2021.

Last year, our Christmas shrank from thirty to six, and this year it was down to four humans, and the three dogs were very much appreciated, even if they were plotting a grand ham heist as I carved it up on the bench.

It wasn’t sad, or disappointing. It was just the sensible thing to do. Moreover, our teenagers have been out and about a lot lately so it was good to spend time with them and have a family meal. There could well be a time round the corner where it could just be down to Geoff and myself home alone for Christmas once the kids move out. Yet, I couldn’t see that happening. I’d be opening up our home.

Our Church cancelled all services this year. They were only having Christmas Eve services anyway, and with covid going through the roof around here, they cancelled Christmas Eve as well and didn’t have a plan B. The call was made afternoon. However, we had dinner with some friends from Church and communion. I ended up doing a bit of a Church hop on Christmas Eve st5arting out at St Mary’s Cathedral (Catholic) to St Andrew’s (Anglican) both in Sydney and then hopping over to Westminster Abbey. None of these services were “me” but they were meaningful and quite beautiful. Indeed, those voices of the young boys sound quite ethereal and potentially rather reminiscent of our heavenly hosts. I don’t know. Perhaps, they could be more of a baritone.

Meanwhile, I headed out with our daughter after dinner driving round to check out the local Christmas lights. You have to love people who make over the top look lacklustre in whatever it is they undertake. We found this house that looked like a one stop carnival. It wasn’t a big house, but there were so many little nooks and crannies packed with dazzling Christmas scenes, a model train layout and even a snow machine. I felt like a born again five year old standing there taking it all it and it really energized my spirits on what was shaping up as a lacklustre Christmas (especially at this point our kitchen table was piled sky-high in Christmas cards, wrapping paper and everyone’s laziness.)

What most of you would probably notice about our Christmas, however, was the scorching heat. It was 30 degrees celsius by lunchtime and I’m sure you could’ve fried an egg out there. A few friends are looking a bit red and fried in photos today. We didn’t get to the beach, even though it’s just down the road. I was too busy with cleaning up the house, cooking and cleaning up and just wanted to fall into a chair and relax. Ditto for today. My dad’s always been one to lock the doors and bar the windows on Boxing Day.

Have you ever considered how much time, effort and money goes into Christmas? As parents, it can feel rather overwhelmed not to mention crippling especially when the kids are younger and you’re having to provide two sets of presents. Have you even wondered why? After all, Jesus was born in a very humble manger in Bethlehem and anything but Westminster Abbey. Scrooge gets a bit of bad press about being all bah humbug about Christmas, but have we one too much the other way spending buckets of money, especially when so many don’t even believe in the reason for the season?

Miss and the Grinch- photo updated for another year.

However, quite aside from honouring Christ’s birth, Christmas Day provides that day once a year for families to draw together and reconnect- especially those big extended families of aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and multiple generations. That’s our usual Christmas and I love it. Would never trade it in, but at the same time, I am grateful that we’ve had a few Christmases at home with the kids. It would never have happened without covid. It also made me much more appreciative of all the work my aunt and family do each year as hosts.

What did you get up to for Christmas? I’d love to hear from you.

Love and blessings,


7 thoughts on “A Different but Happy, Blessed Christmas 2021.

  1. lindamaycurry

    Things are certainly heating up Covid wise, aren’t they? At least our son is able to visit from Canberra, unlike last year. Our family had three days here in Wollongong before Christmas but then we all trooped up to Sydney for a bigger gathering (8 adults, 6 children) at my daughter’s house. She decided to make the most of her Jetstar credits and book a trip to Tasmania to visit friends for the 27th December. They had the requisite Covid test here In Wollongong and waited anxiously for their results which had to arrive in 72 hours. Early this morning at 1.00 am three results arrived but granddaughter’s is missing! Panic! So they have gone for more tests and are contemplating two going and two remaining behind until the results arrive. Of course the missing result could arrive before take off tomorrow morning at 6.00 am. It is certainly very stressful for everyone, even us grandparents 76 km down the highway.

    There is a lesson to be learnt here but who could have predicted the combination of obstacles that would arise when the borders reopened?

    I love reading your blog. It is one I never miss when it pops up on my screen. Have a happy post-Christmas and New Year.


    At least we are peacefully at home with cricket in the background and the start of The Sydney Hobart to keep us entertained.

  2. Dan Antion

    I’m glad you found some benefit in the pandemic. I think there’s always a bright side to things, but they sure have been hard to identify lately.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Rowena Post author

    Thanks so much, Monika. Same to you. We’ve enjoyed driving round looking at the local Christmas lights. So beautiful. I feel like a five year old again totally bedazzled.
    Love & best wishes,

  4. Rowena Post author

    I am also struggling to find a bright side lately. I kno0w we’ve been spoiled here in Australia. However, the grand covid experiment has hit a huge hitch here and the stat graph has been vertical for over the last week. It’s pretty steady around the 6062 mark now although hospitals don’t seem too bad, although I’m not working in there or trying to get treatment for something else!
    What I hadn’t factored into my sanity-saving research project, was that being so focused for so long, I was rewiring my brain in all sorts of ways and also getting inadequate exercise for a very long time. It’s been raining a lot for the last couple of months too which hasn’t helped the exercise front.
    On the rewiring front, of course it’s been my weakest of weaknesses (my sense of direction) which has been affected most. I didn’t recognise a turn going to my friend’s house the other day and ended up caught in one of those dreadful suburban mazes. It’s happened to me a few times and I get so lost, that I get stuck in a never-ending labyrinth. Unfortunately, my gut instinct is usually the opposite to where I’m meant to be heading. I got onto my phone and it did help but it wasn’t pretty!
    How was your Christmas? Hope you’re doing well in spite of all this virus business,
    Best wishes,

  5. Dan Antion

    Christmas was good. We were able to have our daughter visit. Winter will put a damper on exercise, but I will try. I get out often enough on errands to keep me aware of the old routines. I hope you have a very happy new year.

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