It took me quite a while to find the time to write this post. The Christmas period was such a busy time and I just never got round to doing it. So in April, I am looking back over photos and remembering the great times we had and how this Christmas was my son’s first proper Christmas! He is 2 years old and technically it is his 3rd Christmas however it was the first one that he got excited about and kind of understood some of what was happening. It was the first one that he could properly open his presents and the first Christmas that he could talk to Santa.
Anyone who has children will understand the excitement for a parent when they get to experience that first proper Christmas with their child. It is like being a child again and you get just as excited and you have an excuse to do all the fun children’s activities and days out round Christmas time…without it being a bit weird! It is also the time when you probably go totally overboard on presents because you just keep seeing things you know they will love and get excited about and you just think..what the heck. Then you get home and actually look at the millions of presents you have bought and think, oops.
Christmas for us starts pretty early. With my mum having an event company and my partner being an event manager for that company they start planning/organising Christmas events in Summer. The office always has some mad, crazy props/costumes all Christmas themed and from a certain date in the Summer, Christmas is all they talk about. For the last couple of years they have started running their own christmas event too which starts in November and there were many times I popped in to the office to hear my partner answering the phone as ‘chief elf’ on the ticket booking line.
The Christmas event runs from November to 23rd December and with it being a family business everyone gets involved. I always get roped in to do something and this year I was an Elf guide for a small amount of time and then one of the performers which was fairy tree topper. Both jobs are equally difficult but equally fun. As an Elf guide you are pretty much on your feet all day in the cold taking a group of up to 50 people to and from their activities. There is a morning session and an afternoon one so it is an all day thing where you have to repeat in the afternoon. After a few weekends of doing this you start to know all the words to each performers show. The other job as a fairy was difficult as I was one of the performers. It meant that I had to do my half an hour performance over and over again from 9am – 4pm. I also had a very bad cold/throat infection so this was particularly difficult. However making the children smile and laugh was just priceless and was definitely enjoyable.
My partner worked all the days apart from the first weekend and we decided to take our son to the event (because obviously we got freebie tickets..he did get to go a few times). He absolutely adored it and we had a great time although the weather was horrendous. We were dancing and singing and joining in with everything all morning and had a great time. The best bit was meeting Santa which was truly magical and my little one being completely in awe of him. He adored him and It made me want to cry seeing his little face. We then came home and put up our decorations as it was the only day off my Mr had and we wanted to do it together. My little man couldn’t quite get the hang of putting the decorations on the tree and kept taking them off instead. He also wanted to eat all the chocolate ones instead of hanging them and we did have a bit of a meltdown when mummy said no to the 4th Chocolate decoration he was trying to open.
The lead up to Christmas was an extremely busy and stressful time with the event being on and us not getting much time to do other things. Most Christmas shopping was done on-line with hope that things would arrive in time. Also trying to find time to wrap presents was difficult and I think it may have even been Christmas Eve before we had chance to wrap anything. We had just bought our first home in November and moved house so we were also trying to find time to do things in the house and get it ready for Christmas. It was definitely a tough month or so but we just kept thinking ahead to Christmas so that we had something to look forward to.
We had Christmas in our own home since we had just moved in to our lovely new house. That morning was so exciting, I think we woke up before our toddler and actually woke him up. We had set up the lounge the night before with all the presents in big Santa Sacks, seeing his excited face when he opened things was just priceless. We had a nice family morning and everyone was thoroughly spoilt including me! We spent Christmas with my family last year so to be fair on my partner’s family we had them over in the day for Christmas and cooked a big lunch..well my partner did as I am a terrible cook. It was a lovely day and then we had my family around on the evening for a party. My mum brought party food and we played games and got a million more presents.
With my family being about 20 minutes away from us and my partner’s family being about 40 minutes away it has ended up being quite difficult for me on Christmas day having to drive us between the too and usually stressful and tiring. My Mr has just recently passed his test which will definitely make things easier however trying to be fair on both families and ourselves is definitely a difficult one and something I just am not sure how to manage yet. All I know is that we will probably have to alternate each year but whether we spend the morning in our own home every year or spend it with family I am uncertain of yet. We normally every other year on my mum’s side of the family all stay in some big house (there is about 25 of us) all the cousins, aunties, uncles and our grandparents. So whether I will still be doing that I don’t know and when I haven’t a clue, I also need to make time for my other grandparents on my dad’s side whilst being considerate of the Mr’s family. It certainly is a tough one and something I can see causing me stress. Hopefully I will be able to work out a good routine that everyone is happy with, here’s hoping!
Christmas day was a really busy day but the rest of the Christmas period was not much quieter. It was full of parties and seeing family. We hadn’t seen my aunties, uncles, cousins and my Grandparents on my Mum’s side, as well as my partner’s Brother and Sister and his Nephews. We went to a party at his Sister’s to see all of his family and we decided to organise a housewarming/christmas party for the rest of my family at our house a couple of days after (mad I know). We had set up the house ready for the party and bought lots of party food, it was a success but was an absolutely exhausting day. I then came down with Tonsillitis that evening which wasn’t fun but luckily was a short lived thing.
We went to my mum’s for a New Years Party as she had a secret she wanted to share with everyone and it was that she had been awarded an OBE which we will be going to Buckingham Palace for In June to see her being awarded (Yes, I get to go to Buckingham Palace!) I was still not feeing my best but certainly didn’t let it hold me back, singing karaoke and eating lots of food. I was one of the very few sober people at the party however was still up with all the drunkards at 4am playing games and laughing hysterically at the drunkenness. It was another good night that finished off the super busy Christmas period of parties and eating and drinking far too much.
It is apparent that Christmas for us is about spending time with family, even if it means having very little time to ourselves. We did have a great time with everyone but if there was one thing I could change it would be that we had a few extra days between Christmas and New Year to just chill. When my partner went back to work we both felt slightly broken, run down and just generally a bit pants. We needed more time to relax and give our bodies a rest and catch up on sleep. We needed to eat proper food and not just party food which we pretty much lived on for the duration of the Christmas Period. My son was exhausted too but somehow his body coped better with it and he still had plenty of energy (which I struggled to keep up with!). It did take some time to explain to my son that Christmas isn’t every day and when we took decorations down he was very confused (bless him). It did snow a few times before and after Christmas and he kept saying that it was ‘Christmas’ every time it did. We definitely made the most of the snow and played out in it whenever we could!
The best bits about Christmas 2015 was seeing my Son’s face when he opened his presents, him meeting Santa for the first time and being completely star struck, spending lots of time with family, making children smile when I was Fairy Treetopper at the Christmas event, having Christmas in our own home and the amazingly kind gifts myself and my family received from everyone. But the best best thing about Christmas 2015 was being a parent, having my own little one to spoil and having the magic of Christmas come back alive.
Some of my favourite photos…
Make sure to comment below and tell me all about your Christmas and New Year. How do you manage dividing time fairly with your family? Do you go completely overboard or do you have a much more relaxed time? Did you have a good time or a bad time last year, any funny stories are welcome!