So this month, five things is essentially just an extended gratitude list. By the time December was over, I was feeling pretty snarky about the whole of 2021, but in front of you lie five awesome things, all of which I am so grateful for. And there was more! This could easily have been ten, or 15 things, but I’m happy and satisfied with my top five (so happy!) A pretty good way to end 2021, as it happens.
1. Walking at sunrise
We had a busy month in December and in order to not completely neglect Theo, it was necessary to change up our usual routines somewhat. There were a couple of days when I headed out early with him for a sunrise walk by the water before returning home to get ready and get into our day, and those walks were so lovely and peaceful. It’s usually all hands on deck to get the family ready for the day in the mornings here, but carving out that peaceful morning walk was so worth it (and will remain so – this is something I intend to continue!)
2. Christmas decorating and preparing
I have to be honest – getting in the mood for this Christmas was a real struggle. I went with a ‘fake it until you make it’ method, ensuring we celebrated with all our usual traditions (decorating with champagne and pfeffernüsse, making Christmas cookies, visiting Santa, listening to Christmas music for almost the entire month of December…) and by the time Christmas Day itself rolled around I felt…well, considerably less Christmas-sy than my usual self, but thrilled to have (hopefully!) given Amelie a magical season. Huge props to the World’s Best Christmas Playlist and Ecoya’s pine candle for getting me there!
3. Visiting Auckland
In mid-December the internal (Covid-related) boundaries dropped and we were able to visit Auckland for the first time since August! I am just so, so thankful for that time. Covid raged in Auckland for those months (raged is relative – raged by New Zealand’s standards!) and the boundaries were a bid to buy time so the more poorly-vaccinated parts of the country could get it together and get vaccinated. Necessary, but so hard. It was definitely much easier for those of us who were locked out of Auckland, than for those locked into it, but all the same – nearly five months of no culture is not optimal! We went back as soon as we could, and had the loveliest time going to the Art Gallery, visiting Albert Park, eating at Depot, shopping at Smith and Caughey’s for various Christmas necessities, and – the highlight for sure – visiting friends that we hadn’t seen in months!
4. Seeing Santa at Smith and Caughey’s
Sixth year running! There was definitely a minute or two when I was sure this wouldn’t be possible this year, but we got there. Can’t quite believe it happened! We had such a nice time seeing Santa – obviously all very different from previous years but no less amazing for it (and not dystopian…). Smith and Caughey’s were running a super-responsible, fully vaccinated and masked situation and I felt very safe and very happy. This year’s Santa was the best ever. So glad we didn’t have to miss this!
5. Meeting our new nephew
BEST. FOR. LAST. This little dude landed earthside back in October but because of the Auckland lockdown, we couldn’t meet him until mid-December. We had an early Christmas celebration with my family and there was so much to celebrate. So thrilled and excited for my brother and sister-in-law!