Before I rush forward and explain how I am going to continue my gratitude practice into 2014 I am going to take the opportunity to post the last gratitude list for 2013. The festive season, especially the week that stretches from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day, is one of my favourite weeks of the year, and always serves as a reminder of all the things I am most grateful for in my life: the big things, the little things, and the moments that always rush by quickly every year.
Tuesday: Christmas Eve. A morning run and an afternoon of wrapping presents and baking before my family arrived put me in the festive spirit. My family is Danish so we host our biggest celebration on Christmas Eve. My Mum created a beautiful gold, white, and red tablescape and filled her finest dishes with our traditional fare of roasted pork, pork crackling, potatoes, carrots, red cabbage, and boat loads of gravy. I always pick and choose the vegetarian bits out of this because for me the main event is dessert! I was grateful to be surrounded by my family, to have the chance to share the table with them in the twilight of the year, and to soak in the love that surrounded us on that night.
Wednesday: This morning I woke up early – of course! Chris and I, Mum and Dad and Jess (Trent had to work) gathered around the Christmas tree and opened our presents from each other. I was grateful to start my day with those I love most, and for my wonderful Christmas present from Chris – and iPad! After a slow day Chris and I headed to the bay to share Christmas dinner with his family. We ate well, caught up with the cousins, aunts and uncles, and were merry and bright of spirit. I was grateful to experience my first ‘real Australian Christmas’ and that Chris’s family welcomed me along to their celebration.
Thursday: Boxing Day started out with a run and weight session at the gym – I had to work off those Christmas brownies somehow! Then Chris and I packed up the car and headed to the coast. Chris’s family have long had the tradition of gathering at Grandma’s house for a week or so after Christmas. This year Chris and his cousin John and I had the house to ourselves. We opened some wine, sat out by the water and talked and laughed until the sun went down and moon rose over the bay. I was grateful for the feeling of calm that always descends over me when we take the turn off to the Sunshine Coast.
Friday: I always sleep better when we are by the beach so this morning I set my alarm for a later wake up than usual and then set out for a nice long walk along the headlands. I returned sweaty and smiling and grateful for the chance to spend some time in one of the most beautiful places on this planet. Chris and I did some shopping and then wiled away the evening catching up with more family as they arrived steadily throughout the afternoon.
Saturday: Another run this morning. The rain started coming down in the middle of the night, but that was no deterrent, I love to run in the rain. Today was filled with reading (thanks to my now portable library on my iPad), a little more shopping, lots of naps and then Chris took me out to lunch. I was grateful to have so many cues for relaxation. I nearly melted into bed that night and dreamed of the stars over the waves.
Sunday: After breakfast with the family Chris and I headed back home. I was grateful for the days that Chris and I had spent away and grateful to see my family when I returned. I indulged myself and spent the whole afternoon and evening reading. I have been devouring books this summer, and I can’t wait to share them with you in an upcoming book post.
Monday: I started the week with a 15 kilometre run and then Chris, Mum, and I went to see The Hobbit! I refuelled with some popcorn and a sushi lunch, and then we let ourselves be swept away into Middle Earth on a quest for The Lonely Mountain. I was grateful to see such an amazing film with two of my favourite movie buddies.
Tuesday: The last day of 2013. This morning I spent time with the ladies of my family – Mum, my grandmother, and my sister – watching Frozen (I know, so many movies!). Chris and I spent the last hours of the year in the company of friends playing boardgames (the boys beat the girls at Pictionary) and drinking some champagne while eating delicious nachos and way too much cheese. I was grateful to celebrate the end of 2013 with Caroline, her husband Tim, and new friends Cat and Dave (and their two gorgeous little girls) – ended the year with love, and started it with love too. Long after midnight I fell into bed grateful for the sum of another year on this earth.