So, at this point all of the important things are done, like the Christmas shopping, which is 95% completed. The tree is up, some decorations are out, the Christmas cards have been mailed and I have celebrated the season over a couple of pre-Christmas dinners and tipples with my friends. I have one week of work left and then I get an almost 6 week respite from all work responsibilities, which is exciting beyond compare. I have a couple of lovely day trips and events planned over January but I am sporting a mostly free calendar for the better part of the Summer and I have serious plans to start 2022 happier and healthier than I was in January 2021, which I feel very confident that I will do.
And now the really fun stuff starts! Like menu planning for my Christmas gatherings and putting all of the finishing touches on the joyful and time consuming things. Things like table decorations, gift wrapping, baking treats, spoiling my friends, colleagues and neighbours with goodies and just generally spreading happiness and good cheer. Like I said, the best stuff!
I have a pre-Christmas dinner, a wreath making session, two brunches and a Christmas movie night planned in the days leading up to Christmas with my dear friends and I am sure that a few more delightful events will crop up before the big day as well. As for Christmas, well my mother will be joining us for Christmas brunch, Zoe and Ben will share a dinner feast with us, Craig's folks will spend Boxing Day with us and my nephew and his family will see us on the 27th of December for post Christmas luncheon. A busy, lovely, exciting and wonderful Christmas to look forward to this year.
I have actually been doing a lot of things in the last couple of weeks that have nothing much to do with Christmas at all if the truth be told. Things that I have been doing just because they make me happy, like going to the movies (twice), restocking the bar and learning how to make some new cocktails, chatting on the phone for hours with friends, taking long walks in nature, doing yoga every morning, catching up with people who will be busy over the silly season for an early Christmas dinner and drink, having cocktails at a local bar with some friends, making cupcakes for my work colleagues because it's good to give treats, going shopping in Daylesford, travelling to Bendigo with Seth and experimenting with various forms of meditation practise. And, maybe most importantly of all, trying desperately to be kind and gentle with myself during this hectic time of the year, which can sometimes mean saying 'no thanks' or 'not right now' and putting boundaries around what you can physically or mentally manage at this time of the year.
However you may be travelling, do remember to be kind, gentle and caring with yourself at this time of the year. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas, there is no ideal gift and there is absolutely no need to stress about any of it. Just do you, be you and enjoy the ride to the finish line, the holiday season is just around the corner!
Release Date: 2021
Rating: PG - 13
Running Time: 99 mins
A musical, computer animated feature film from Walt Disney Animation Studios that delivers another magical and culturally aware tale that will entertain crowds of all ages. With a musical line up from Hamilton's renown Lin Manuel Miranda and more colourful delight than a gumball machine, Encanto left me in very high spirits indeed.
The magical Madrigal household has delivered gifts and magical support to their family for decades. An enchanted candle sits at the centre of all of the magic and is kept safe by the family's matriarch Alma. Mirabel, the only Madrigal to never be bestowed with a magical gift, has a vision that the house is going to lose it's magic and in turn she sets about a chain events that will change all of their lives forever.
I particularly enjoyed the message being conveyed here about the power of being yourself and being accepted for who you are. I also really enjoyed the focus on community and family, forgiveness and understanding and I especially appreciated that no-one was actually playing the villain or bad-guy either, which is always refreshing to see in children's cinema. The women were all very empowered and the tasteful cultural nods were excellent.
Overall, I had a lot of fun watching this film and I can see it becoming a family favourite for generations.
FINAL SAY: I can't do this on my own.
4 Chilli Peppers