Priceless Christmas Gifts

  • Two plastic outdoor chairs – $40
  • One women’s bicycle – $150
  • An iron – $30
  • One stuffed toy puppy dog – $20
  • A reading lamp and three puzzle books – $25
  • The thought, love and meaning behind each gift – PRICELESS!

Please excuse the skiting, but the hubster is a bit of a champion in the gift giving department.

Cherry rum balls

Long before we were married, I was a bit disappointed (okay, devastated!) with his Christmas gift of outdoor chairs for my front patio – because it wasn’t the diamond ring I had been hoping for!

But …  those chairs became our favourite spot for a cuppa and a chat … so really, the gift that he gave all those years ago was so much more than two outdoor chairs. He gave us the gift of communication, vital to any healthy relationship or marriage.

The hubster just seems to have a knack for thinking of a gift that is especially meaningful to me.

Sometimes it may seem a peculiar present to others, but not to us. One Valentine’s Day he surprised me with a new iron. This may seem the ultimate chauvinistic gift to some, but at the time we were really strapped for cash and he knew how much our old iron was annoying me. A new iron made my life so much easier, and I really hadn’t been expecting a gift for Valentine’s Day at all!

Sometimes, the gifts are for no reason. I was feeling quite low and lonely a few years ago, as the hubster was working full time, and studying part time. Despite these pressures, the hubster picked up on the feelings I was struggling to hide and brought home a very special gift – Sophie! Sophie is a large stuffed puppy, which he explained was to keep me company and give me somebody to cuddle on those long nights when he had to study. Awwwww! (You can meet Sophie and friends in this post, where I am pretending to audition to be a Play School presenter …)

Meet Sophie, a priceless gift at Christmas!

One Christmas, the hubster gave me a reading lamp and three crossword puzzle books. He had taken notice weeks earlier when I’d made a passing comment about how difficult I was finding it to read in the lounge room. Now I had my own little corner of the lounge where I could read or do puzzles with ease. Heaven!

I’m the first to admit that the hubster isn’t perfect – after nearly 25 years of marriage he still hasn’t learnt that dirty socks go in the laundry basket! – but I really treasure the way he makes me feel so loved and adored all year round, but especially at Christmas, birthdays and other special occasions. It’s a real gift (pardon the pun)!

Wonder what he’ll come up with for Christmas, this year!

What’s your partner liker, when it comes to choosing birthday or Christmas gifts?!

Cruising the South Pacific

It’s Wordless Wednesday … and seeing as how I’m cruising the South Pacific with some girlfriends,  I thought it would be timely to share photos from the last time I went on this cruise – with my family – in May 2009.

What a difference 5 years has made to our kids (now 20 & 18) – though the hubster and I look much the same!

On the Deck


Exploring Noumea, New Caledonia


Markets on Lifou


My Boys


All dressed up for Formal Night


On the streets of Port Vila, Vanuatu


How do you play this game again?


I always love a cup of tea …


 Have you ever been on a cruise?

Running Away from Christmas

By the time you read this, I will be in the middle of the South Pacific … running away from Christmas!

Not not really ;-) .

Actually, I will be on a cruise to Noumea, Lifou and Vanuatu* with my 3 best girls: my sister, my best friend since high school, and her sister (who just happens to be my sister’s best friend too – convenient eh?!).

Running away from Christmas on a cruise ship

Same ship, different cruise – when the family and I went to NZ in 2012

Every year we try to get away (usually with some other friends as well) for a girlie weekend, and we have the bestest time ever. It’s amazing how affordable a stay at the Coast becomes when you are sharing a unit with half a dozen friends! And there is nothing like it to rest and recharge the batteries.

Running away from Christmas on a cruise

Proof that I was just as silly on my last visit 5 years ago …

This year we decided to take it to the next level, and run away from our families for an entire week. I think the youngest of our assorted children is now 15; the oldest is 27; and there are a couple of grandchildren in the mix as well … so it was high time.

The only thing I wasn’t fussed on when we initially booked, was the timing: the week before Christmas. What a terrible time to be away! But as one friend is a high school teacher, and another is a school chaplain, we really didn’t have much choice.

Now though, I think that running away before Christmas might just be the BEST. IDEA. EVER!

As the pressure mounts, the shops become busier, the calendar over-fills, and everybody gets crankier … I can’t tell you what a relief it’s been this year to know that I will be away for most of it.

It would be all too easy to make running away a habit. After all, I’ve done it before – like when I ran away to a deserted island for a week to celebrate my 40th birthday!

So think of me as you read this, and I will raise a cocktail and drink your health from the deck of my cruise ship …

Day 2 - mocktails - Copy

On our last cruise, I introduced Miss 18 to the joy of mocktails (after all, she was only 15 back then!)

Do you think running away from Christmas is a good idea, or would you miss all the palaver?!

*I’ve done this cruise before (in 2009 with the hubster and kids) so I already know just how awesome it will be, but it is the first time for two of us.