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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas - Bali style

I come to you, Christmas night, from the restaurant/bar/lobby of my hotel in Bali.  The twins are asleep, thanks to the lovely Nanny.  Miss5 is watching the same episode of American Dad that she's watched non-stop since we arrived. Hubby is on the balcony enjoying a few local beers.  There are fireworks going off in the distance.  The rest of the family are in the pool or at the bar.  THIS IS BLISS.

Fitting of a Christmas post (albeit Boxing Day), I shall recap my first Balinese Christmas....try not to be too jealous, as you attempt to recover from slaving over a hot feast all day, wrangling your kids, and cleaning up the associated mess from both.

My day started at 8:30am.  Unlike the 5am start of many kids who are excited to find what Santa has left them - Miss5 finally rose at 8:30am because we had completely tired her out the night before, dancing up a storm at a restaurant.  Hubby and I were on the verge of banging cupboards in an attempt to wake her.  The twins finally woke at 9:30am.  That's right...9:30am.  This is normal for them in Bali.  You can see why I love this place more than my own home.


Having spent the previous afternoon madly wrapping presents in a covert manner (locked in the toilet, swearing at the bloody Zhu Zhu pet that kept talking back at me and giving my covert Santa present wrapping location away), I then spent a leisurely Christmas Eve at a top notch restaurant, being waited on, ordering anything I felt like eating - NOT COOKING A THING.  Miss5 was high as a kite on red Fanta, shaking her booty like a trainee pole dancer.  The twins were blissfully unaware of the significance of the day, as they were with their Quasi Balinese Mother - Tinah the Nanny, who I think they are developing more affection for than yours truly.  But I'm ok with that.  Leaves me more time to shop.

Christmas morning, and when the kids finally woke, presents were opened.  Miss5 totally enamoured with the Zhu Zhu pet she's been asking for.  Love that she only wanted a small, light weight and inexpensive gift from Santa that easily fit in my suitcase without taking up too much valuable shopping space.  She also got a Nintendo DSi (electronic Nanny!), but who'd know since she only bloody likes the cheaper gift that didn't cost a mint.  The twins were over the moon with their wrapping paper.  And that's about it.  They didn't give their gifts a second thought, just spent the morning screwing up, tearing, eating wrapping paper.  The only way I could've topped the wrapping paper was if their presents had been cat biscuits (for Miss2) and a megaphone (for Mstr2 to further enhance his enormous tantrums and screaching voice).

We meandered (and I do mean meandered) down the path to breakfast.  I only looked at the Christmas Tree once - and with my tree decoration symmetry obssession, this is quite a feat...but in the interest of honesty, I do admit to moving a few (most) ornaments around the previous day (for a good 45 minutes), only stopping when other guests stared, and hotel staff asked me if something was wrong.  The family Secret Santa went off beautifully in as much as we all knew who had bought for who, and we all got what we wanted because we bypassed the whole 'secret' part of the process and just told the other person what we wanted.  Happy extended family all round.

The morning was spent in the pool - me largely wondering how I could engineer the Zhu Zhu pet Miss5 received from Santa going all Kamikaze into the pool, never to return.  The bloody thing NEVER shuts up.  Karma got me a beauty, as I took Mstr2 in the pool - complete with my handbag slung over my shoulder.  Goodbye mobile phone, goodbye digital camera.  Hello travel insurance.  Seriously, who doesn't realise they still have their handbag on their shoulder, and walks straight into the pool?!?!  And no, I had not  consumed one Mojito or frozen cocktail at this stage.

Christmas lunch at the hotel was fitting of any traditional Western feast.  Except I didn't have to prepare, cook, clean. A. SINGLE. THING.  When the Nanny arrived to take the twins I was beside myself.  Life could not get any better than this - barring a significant lottery win to fund my permanent relocation to Bali.

Miss5 took out the main door prize at the Christmas lunch - a white water rafting pass.  Yep, she's on her own with that one.  The most strenuous and physical my Bali activites get is bargaining over a very realistic fake Prada bag.  Tossed up letting her go, but considering she's still mastering floating in the pool, figured it would be negligent to send her.  Told her father he should go, and then silently kicked myself for realising this meant I would be alone to look after the kids until the Nanny arrived - for all of 4 hours.  Woe is me.

As Christmas lunch got boozy, I enjoyed taking the proverbial out of the geriatric conga line.  Bless drunken Aussie's who don't care what people think.  They were having a ball, and even managed to get lost between the lobby and the driveway.  Seriously.

This was followed by Balinese Santa making an appearance.  Miss5 told him he had a nice tan (on account of the rather brown skin).  He was accompanied by the junior restaurant staff (ranging in age from 15 - 17), all dressed as reindeer, complete with face paint/make up - faces looking slightly more like demented clown versions of reindeer.  But you have to appreciate the effort.

By this point I'd had a few frozen dacquiri's - but don't think poorly of my Christmas Day parenting - the twins were with their Nanny, who had promptly arrived after lunch when they got grizzly / tired / bored, in that way where you wish you could look the other way like everyone else and pretend they're not yours - massive screaching and wailing from Mstr2, and even Miss2, who has apparently taken lessons from her brother because 1 ear splitting hollering tantrum throwing twin isn't enough.  So with Miss5 happily deep in conversation with her beloved new Zhu Zhu pet, who she has renamed every hour since she got him - and him responding at the appropriate time with a feral guinea pig style squeak - I was free to enjoy my Christmas Day.

We had a nap in the afternoon.  We didn't pass out from exhaustion.  We didn't collapse after cleaning up the mess associated with preparing a massive feast.  We chose to Siesta.  Like I said, total bliss.

Re-energised, we took another quick dip in the pool before going out to dinner.  To another restaurant.  Not preparing a thing, again.  Finding yet another new frozen cocktail, again.

I don't think I have ever been so happy and relaxed on Christmas Day.

I am currently working out the costing and budgeting for the Nanny's visa, passport, immigration paperwork, and associated fees and relocation costs to come and live with us.  She can have my room.  I will live in the car or the garage if I have to.  I am a much nicer and more patient Mum when I only have to perform my parental duties for all of 4 hours a day.

So Merry Christmas everyone, I hope your day was as enjoyable and peaceful as my own.

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