I’ve always really really really loved Christmas and now it has changed!
Up until recently my Mum still made me a stocking at Christmas and bought me an advent calendar. I was like a very big kid well into my thirties (OK I still am really) I love singing Christmas carols, enjoy crying at the Christmassy films and I’d always open my presents on Christmas Day really slowly to make sure I still had ones left at the end to open. I loved getting lots and lots of little presents and just enjoyed opening them. I also loved Christmas shopping and spoiling everyone with lavish gifts.
My now hubby knew that Christmas was my favourite time of year and so one Christmas Day he made it even better, and he proposed. It was the best Christmas Day ever! As we’d got engaged on Christmas Day we looked round wedding venues when they were still decked up for Christmas and fell in love with the idea of a Christmas wedding. It was my favourite time of year so it all just came together.
We got married on 27th December 2009. We had an amazing Christmas, followed by our wedding and a honeymoon trekking in Nepal. It was an incredible Christmas and one I will never forget. Christmas was an amazing time of year but then it changed!!
I remember the first Christmas after Lily came along. She was 3 months old so we obviously weren’t getting any sleep. I still wanted Christmas to be ‘perfect’ and I remember being bitterly disappointed that it wasn’t. My Mum and Dad had gone to loads of effort for the babies (my nephew is the same age) and they just cried and cried and cried (probably at all the noise and fuss – what were we thinking), we couldn’t eat the dinner my Mum had spent ages cooking properly because they needed feeding and it just wasn’t the same! I feel a little like a spoilt brat writing this but it really wasn’t very successful.
CHRISTMAS HAD CHANGED.
The year after we were in a similar position. The twins this time were 2 months old and Lily just 15 months. We really really weren’t getting any sleep. After last year I decided Christmas lunch just wasn’t a good idea, so we had starters and pudding at lunchtime and Christmas dinner at 7pm after they had all gone to bed. This gave us time to play with the girls in the morning and be a little bit more relaxed rather than trying desperately to make a perfect Christmas dinner for 1pm whilst entertaining three children.
Christmas Day went a little better. It still wasn’t the boozy raucous affair I was used to, but I think I was starting to realise that changing Christmas around could work. Even if putting the girls to bed in reindeer costumes didn’t help them sleep it just made them overheat and cry! Lesson learnt!
CHRISTMAS HAD CHANGED
The following Christmas in 2012 I felt like a pro! Well obviously not (whoever does!) but we stuck to the same idea and invited not only the three Grandparents but my brother, his wife and their little boy too. We did lunch mainly for the children with Christmas crackers and nibbles and again made Christmas dinner for us after bedtime. The booze came out, the silly games were played and I saw a chink of the old Christmas.
CHRISTMAS HAD CHANGED
Time for 2013. My girls were now 2 and 3. Excitement levels were through the roof and I started to appreciate what Christmas was actually all about. It was no longer about me and more importantly I didn’t want it to be. I threw myself into the preparations and loved seeing my girls put out their plates out for Santa and hang up their stockings. They loved everything about it. They loved watching their little Santa videos, they loved everyone being around all their favourite people and they just loved opening their presents. It was brilliant.
But after a morning of chocolate and hyper excitement they were starting to get tetchy so we decided to go out for a walk in the woods behind our house. By changing Christmas we were making it work for our family.
CHRISTMAS HAD CHANGED
2014 and 2015 were amazing (although I get the feeling this one is going to match it or be even better!) With 6 children excitedly getting ready for Christmas Eve (well 5 plus one baby) our house was a genuinely lovely place to be. On Christmas Eve we read letters from Santa and his Elves, left glittery oats for the reindeer, watched videos, read Christmas stories and appreciated how truly lucky we were.
On Christmas Day we changed the plan a little, to include the kids in dinner in the early evening but we still decided to abandon the thought of Christmas lunch. My girls don’t want to sit round the table for hours at lunchtime and I don’t want to cook all morning, I want to play games of Frozen snakes and ladders or build lego castles! We went out for our now traditional Christmas morning walk and the fairies had thoughtfully left us chocolate coins to find. To top it off, it even snowed on Boxing Day!
CHRISTMAS HAD CHANGED AND IT WAS BETTER THAN I COULD EVER HAVE EXPECTED!