couples

One Family. 12 days of Christmas. Approximately 10,000 social events.

You’re busy. You’re really, really busy. You’re so busy, you probably don’t have time to read this.

We’ve been busy too. Last Sunday, it took a team of people to help us get our daughter to a birthday party. I’m not exaggerating. Our family was invited to an important lunch on one side of the city, but our seven-year-old was invited to a party on the other side of the city.

So, a team was assembled. There was much correspondence. They say it takes a village to raise a child. It took a village to support our social life last weekend.

Yes, I know. Poor us. Too many parties. Such a big city. Someone get out the tiny violin.

Welcome to December. The month that filled up two months ago.

December and January can be a logistical nightmare for any busy family, but for me, these months are especially problematic. You see, the rest of the year, I hold the family calendar in my head. My friends think I’m insane, but I see it as a workout for the mind. You should try it, but not now. Definitely not now. Maybe wait until March.

My mind-calendar gymnasium goes really well from February to November, but by the end of November, I always hit a wall. I need to make an actual calendar. A really big holiday calendar to put up on the fridge. If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening.

Size matters. A4 won’t do. It needs to be bigger.

Colour matters too. I need to write things in different colours to reflect multiple things happening on the same day.

Size matters. A4 won't do. It needs to be bigger. Image supplied.

And it needs to have pictures. Lots of pictures.

Pictures to remind us all that December 25 is Christmas Day...

Pictures to remind us that a New Year is like a brand new day...

Pictures to get us excited about all the fun we're going to have when we go away with eight other families to a Sport and Rec camp for two nights. Yes, I said Sport and Rec Camp. It's actually really fun.

summer schedule
Yes, I drew that. It's a canoe. Shut up. Image supplied.
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And so it goes that every year, sometime in late November, I find myself enjoying a calendar crafternoon. It's like I need to turn the hectic lead up to Christmas into something I can control.

I need one lovely, colourful artefact that I can put on our fridge. One place to put the pre-Christmas anxiety. A single, cohesive representation of all the things we have on in the next few weeks:

Christmas Parties, School Presentations, Year 6 graduation, Dentist, Cricket, Year 6 clap out, Futsal, Eyebrow Wax, High School Orientation, Cousin's baby shower, Choir Rehearsals, Choir performances, Band presentation night, Mother-in-law's birthday, Cousin's baby shower, Dinner with the futsal friends, Dinner with the mother's group, physio for the twelve-year-old....work.

WORK!

I normally work part-time, but this summer I'm working a few weeks full time to pull in some extra money. The plan is to work a very early shift and then get home around lunchtime and act like I'm on holidays. This plan will be fine for three weeks, while my husband is on annual leave, but then we hit mid January, where I'm back at at work part-time, my husband is back full time... and the children are still on holidays.

Who designed this system? How can it be that our children get triple the holidays we do?

I haven't even got to the what-to-do-with-the-kids-in-January part of my calendar crafting yet, but I know it's going to need LOTS of pictures.

Pictures of me calling grandma to see if she wants to mind three children and a dog for the day. Again.

Pictures of vacation care. That picture looks like this: $$$$$$$$$

Pictures of me wondering if it would be okay to bring three children and a dog into work.

Pictures of teenage babysitters texting their friends while my children play Clash of Clans and make 'chocolate mug cake' in the microwave.

Pictures of me in correspondence with my village. So much correspondence. So much planning.

Who knew holidays were such hard work?

'Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.' (from 'Beautiful Boy' - John Lennon)

How do you cope with a hectic December?

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