December was the first month of the kids' three month leave from school, so we could spend some more time together, check some of our bad habits (including mine) in terms of how we communicate with eachother and our attitude towards life in general.
I made sure to take on no photography assignments, and still a lot of admin creeped into my december days as it always is when you have to tie the knot on a completed year, both mentally and physically.
It was clear to me though, that by the end of the month, there were some changes. The kids could play together for longer periods of time without getting into fights. They've become slightly more helpful in general. And I have found myself yelling a lot less.
I think I have said this before, but Christmas is not my favourite time. For my sake, we could just skip it all. But I do LOVE winter. The darkness that begs for candlelight. The cold winds that beg for warm socks and a warming fire in the woodburning stove. The short days that encourages me to find the lamb roasts in the freezer or create a wild game stew that can boil away on the stove all day.
It was a snow-less December (as anticipated) but we made up for it by spending as much time as possible by the ice cold crystal clear sea.
The sun made very few and very brief appearances and by the end of the month it felt like unexpectedly seeing an old dear friend, and then as soon as it disappeared again, you weren't quite sure if it had really happened :-)
The kids and I made most of the christmas decorations this year, which is something we have not attempted before. We dried oranges, stringed pop corn, and baked cookies. They really enjoyed this and went about it with care and consideration which was a joy to witness, so I think we will do that again next year + it will give me another opportunity to simplify by getting rid of most of our christmas decorations. Yay :-D
For Ida's 8th birthday on the 27th I baked this gluten and dairy free cake for her, which ended up being the whole family's favourite dessert ever. So that's a repeat!
But now I really need to relax too. January is the time for that, more so than any other month of the year. I know some people feel that it is the hardest longest month to get through, maybe especially here on the island when everything is closed and hybernating. But i so enjoy the hybernating. For me it is necessary. A time to read and dream mostly, and snuggle with Molly, and just sigh and accept that the garden may look a mess right now, and that there were tons of things I didn't get around to.