I must admit that despite having a fabulous Christmas in the end, I actually struggled to feel very Christmassy in the run up this year. I think a mixture of Christmas creeping up too soon and then being over far too quickly didn’t help but I think some years are just like that, aren’t they? I was determined to grab some time to actually enjoy Christmas for myself this year and there is no denying that those small fleeting moments were absolute bliss. Maybe I should have tried to pinch more of them? I have been meaning to re-read A Christmas Carol for as many Christmases as I can remember and this year I finally got around to it. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. I think this will definitely have to be a new tradition of mine and one that I can absolutely recommend.
Christmas itself was all about the children of course (as it should be) and we had the best time. I swear I say this has been the best Christmas day ever every single year but actually, I think that’s because they just get better and better. When you have as many children as I do, people wrongly assume that Christmas must be mad in our house but actually it’s really rather calm and lovely. We had a slight false start when my five year old woke up at 1.30am in the morning determined that she could hear Santa downstairs. Having convinced her that it was just Daddy in the kitchen eating pork pie she thankfully went straight back to sleep. Minutes later my seven year old came bouncing into our room saying that there was something in the stocking! Argh! So I had to hush her back into bed in case he was still downstairs and we disturbed him. Ahem. Thankfully she also went back off to sleep okay and it was my fifteen year old son who was the first up in the actual real live morning just after 8.00am. We were laid in bed waiting for them to wake up!
Santa always leaves one stocking with gifts for them all upstairs and they open these in bed with us before we go downstairs for presents from us and family under the tree. This is a tradition that has been worked out over the years and means a much calmer start to the day. My absolute favourite part of Christmas. Good old Santa even wraps every one of the teeny tiny stocking presents and always uses extra sellotape. It’s like he is determined to buy us parents an extra few minutes in bed or something. Ahem. Then down we go to the kitchen to check if he’s eaten his mince pie. He would have been a fool not to, Heston’s all butter short crust numbers with a tangerine sugar dusting no less. Then into the living room for the presents under the tree of course. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of watching their little faces light up as they open their gifts, even when they are not so little any more in the case of my teenagers. That excitement never fades.
Christmas morning already feels like such a long time ago, doesn’t it? That said, I actually love those in between days after Christmas and before New Year. I never understand why people are packing away the decorations as soon as Boxing Day is over. They are doing Christmas all wrong! We’ve had the most mammoth of sleep-ins (or at least everyone else has, I have seemingly lost the ability to sleep in but laying in bed enjoying the silence has been really rather lovely) Mornings of playing with new toys and afternoons curling up in front of the tv. Living on a diet of mostly cheese and chocolate. Getting up to the Lakes to blow away the cobwebs and then coming home to do more of the lazy stuff all over again. The school holidays seem to have fallen really well this year as it has felt like a lovely long break this year. I can’t bring myself to think about them being back to the old routines on Monday. How will I ever get them out of bed? And who is going to tell them that chocolate coins are no longer a staple food group? Oh. That would be me. Happy New Year folks!