Christmas 2019 With My Family

While much of the internet seems to be struggling with the period between Christmas and New Year I am trying to make the most of it. There have been a few times when I have thought excitedly about the 1st January (mainly so I can start filling in my new Bullet Journal), but I keep batting the feeling away because that day also means the end of G being on leave for 2 weeks and I’ve rather enjoyed having him around.

3 children in Christmas pyjamas playing with toys on Christmas morning

Baby Boy turns 1 at the beginning of January and we have just celebrated his first Christmas. He couldn’t have cared less about it being Christmas, but he did enjoy trying to eat all the wrapping paper and the small things that were left on the floor as well as making a grab for champagne, beer or tea which were left in ill advised locations.

Cracker hat's and Christmas jumpers for Christmas Eve Dinner

When Your 8 year old Says She No Longer Believes in Father Christmas

It was my year to have M for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning before taking her to her Dad’s at midday. It was lovely to see her after several days apart and we had a nice afternoon until things turned sour. About an hour before bedtime I mentioned that I had purchased new, smaller, stockings so that the 3 of them could have matching ones. M was not happy with the “smaller” aspect. Let’s ignore for one minute how spoilt she is by having 2 stockings anyway (one here and one at her Dad’s) and how when I was small I remember us leaving out one of my Grandad’s socks each, but the tears and grief about missing out on a few potential presents soon turned into her dropping the bomb of: “I don’t think Father Christmas is real”!

So there we were shortly before bed on Christmas Eve, with an impressionable 3 year old in ear shot and my 8 year old is saying she no longer Believes. I just didn’t know what to do. She wanted proof that he existed, but you never will get proof of magic. I know you can get apps to take photos of Father Christmas delivering your presents, but I don’t think belief in that sort of thing should be dependent on photos.

M said it didn’t make sense that presents in her stocking at her Dad’s house are wrapped and here they aren’t (she has a point there) and then she went on to complain that Santa treats the elves like servants. That last comment reassured me though. Through the tears and shouting there was clearly a girl who still wants to believe, who hasn’t quite given up yet, but one who has a whole load of questions about what doesn’t make sense. That’s fair enough and I can answer those with her to help her see the magic as I do, but not at 6pm on Christmas Eve.

Fortunately I left her to calm down and by the time she joined us again she was in a better place. I offered her a dry wipe pen and a plate so she could write a message to Father Christmas and she happily chose some tipple for him with her sister (we moved her away from the very old bottle of pink vodka that has never been opened to some rum). Together my daughters arranged the stockings in front of our fireplace with the rum, mince pie and carrot then we read "The Night Before Christmas" together and eventually got everyone up to bed.

At 10pm M still couldn’t sleep because of the excitement so I decided I would give up on waiting for her and just go to bed myself. G always comes up later than me so I got him to wake me up when he did. I needed the toilet so went downstairs and did the business. Heading upstairs I took a last look in the lounge and saw the stockings were filled and the snacks were gone. The house was quiet and it was a relief to go to sleep again.

A girl with long hair writing " To Santa" on a plate
Preparing the plate for Father Christmas (or "Santa")

A 3 year old in PJs and a cat sitting next to 3 stockings and a plate with treats for Father Christmas
All ready for Father Christmas

3 children and a mum Reading The Night Before Christmas together on Christmas eve
Reading The Night Before Christmas together

Christmas Day

The girls were both awake and downstairs by 6am on Christmas morning, but Baby Boy was still asleep in our bed (as normal) so I couldn’t join them downstairs.  G was up and filmed them opening their stockings, but I was disappointed not to have been there, especially as I wasn’t even asleep. Baby Boy woke up soon after and I went downstairs to attempt to get some photos. 

Some how this escalated to me making G angry before I yelled at everyone they would be better off without me ruining Christmas and I would just go, which resulted in the girls crying and clinging to me. Eventually we all calmed down, M said some really lovely things and we managed to move on and have breakfast (bacon sandwiches).

I had done most of the food prep the night before so Christmas morning I could just focus on family. Around 10 am my Dad and out laws came over and we had a couple of hours where the girls opened their presents and we enjoyed time together before I took M to her Dad’s.

Cooking the Christmas lunch in the afternoon was less stressful than normal, probably because everything had been prepped. The potatoes took longer than expected but otherwise it all went to plan. I spent large chunks of time standing around in the kitchen thinking I should be doing something, but there was nothing to do. 

It was the first Christmas in a long time that I could drink what I wanted having been pregnant for 3 of the last 4 Christmases. I often give my Dad a lift home too, but my out laws were doing it this year. I still didn’t drink much, but it was nice to have the option.

My Trio is Christmas PJs posing for the camera on Christmas morning
Excited children on Christmas morning

3 year old in PJs brushing egg on to sausage rolls
Making sausage rolls on Christmas morning

My daughter's opening their Christmas presents
The girls opened their presents first

Baby Boy in Next Christmas jumper hiding behind a present
Baby Boy needed help opening presents, but his sister was happy to help

A plate with our Christmas dinner: ham, chicken, roast pototoes, roast parsnips, pigs in blankets, stuffing, braised cabbage, sprouts and carrots
Our Christmas dinner: ham, chicken, roast pototoes, roast parsnips, pigs in blankets, stuffing, braised cabbage, sprouts and carrots

Baby boy in a high chair with mushed up sprouts and potatoes visible wearing a christmas bib
First Christmas dinner wearing a Father Christmas long sleeve bib

Post Christmas Lazing

The rest of the week has been pretty quiet. M came back to me on Friday for the second half of the school holidays. She has used Christmas and birthday money to buy an iPod touch which I set up for her so she has mostly been on that apart from when it’s charging. There has been a lot of playing with toys and a fair bit of over indulging on food. We were given some money to buy Christmas food so we have had more treats in the house than for a long time. All of us have been enjoying this and pretty soon G and I will need to watch what we eat again.

The most popular presents have been Little’s Paw Patrol Mighty Jet*, M’s iPod Touch* and my Bullet Journal* (* affiliate Links). While the last 2 presents have only been used by the recipients the Mighty Jet has been well played with by all 3 children. We bought a couple of pups to go with it and had some already so it makes a great play station. It also has a little plane which pops out of the front and fires disks. I won the toy in the raffle at Blog On knowing it was something both girls had expressed an interest in and even if I had bought it full price it would have been well worth it. 

There have been a few other toys that have been well played with, but for some reason the girls were more interested in Baby Boy’s stockings and toys than their own! It’s early days though. 

We have only been out to the local shops and to the playground so there has been lots of time for playing. Of course there have been arguments, but generally the girls have been getting on well. Baby Boy has enjoyed being at home because he has freedom to crawl around and practice his standing. He keeps looking like he is going to start walking, but he isn’t ready just yet. I am torn between loving spending so much time with them all and desperately needing alone time. I am grateful that right now Baby Boy is napping and I am hidden away in my bedroom with no one touching me or demanding food. Bliss. I might even have a few minutes doing absolutely nothing before I have to rejoin them all. 

January title page in a bullet journal with hand drawn blue snowflakes
My January title page with snowflakes in my new bullet journal

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas.

Me in a Santa hat

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