This year we seem to be getting the hang of the 'Leave the tree alone' command! Last year was a different story. Fresh from just learning to walk on his squidgy little feet, my son was obsessed with running INTO the tree and then GRABBING everything he could get his hands on and pulling it off!
There have been no bauble casualties this year so far, phew!
But Christmas with a baby/toddler/any child that still believes i guess... feels so much more magical. I am the biggest sap when it comes to Christmas. My husband and i had many traditions every year before our boy came along... so now we've just accumulated more! Like the lovely elf on the shelf (yup we totally bought into that!). The first mince pie of the year was always an event too. We'd go out somewhere nice and order a coffee and a mince pie with ice cream and full on get into the festive mood. The last two years we've opted for some nice ones from the local farm shop and had them at home. Maybe next year all three of us will enjoy a mince pie out together! Ice-Skating, even though i am terrible at it, is also a must every year. And Tree Day, well... that is a big deal for me!
If you're not celebrating Christmas for it's religious meaning, what is it that makes it just so wonderful then? As a kid, yes it was all about the fact that some guy was coming down the chimney and leaving us a shed load of presents. But as i have gotten older, i just fall deeper in love with it every year. It's the lights, the music, the smell of the tree... all these things make me so happy. We were decorating the tree the other night with the old school Christmas tunes on and i was just smiling as i did it. I liken it to Nigella Lawson, you know how she just saunters around the kitchen slapping butter on everything and smiling away to herself. That was me with my tree.
I also think it's because for this one time of the year, every one is in the same boat. We're all about to be off work for a good amount of time, we've all braved the shops at the busiest time of the year and spent too much money and we've all decided that the healthy eating can do one for a few weeks during December. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!
Last Christmas was our first as a family, and it was unforgettable. To have our son wake up with us (or should i say wake us up!) was all we needed for Christmas. Gone were the days of waking up as a couple, popping the kettle on and coming back to bed with our coffees and sharing our thoughtfully planned out, expensive gifts. Last year i don't remember opening anything or spending that much (sorry Danny!). I just remember seeing my baby boy tear away at the wrapping paper, not really knowing what he was doing and shouting "WOW" with every new gift that was put his way. Nanny and Grandad gifted him a toy kitchen... he still plays with it every day a year later.
It was amazing to see the family spending this precious time with him, and share in the excitement. He is the first grandchild for my side of the family and i could tell it meant so much to them all. We hosted Christmas for the first time and it went without a hitch. We plan to host again this year (i say 'we', but Danny does all the cooking... i might bake a few dessert options on Christmas Eve though).
We're conscious not to spoil our son, i guess every parent says that, but especially at this age when he genuinely would prefer a cardboard box, you have to weigh it up against the huge gifts. Saying that, he has six pretty decent gifts from us already lined up and a little stocking of goodies filled which will come from good old Father Christmas... not to mention all the family and the presents they plan to get him. We might need to stagger a few through to Boxing Day you know...
I can't wait for the Christmas break this year. And not to wish the time away, but how exciting will next Christmas be when he'll be closer to 4 years old... he might even appreciate a Christmas film by then, enjoy a mince pie and understand more about the traditions and the time we get to share as a family. All the while stuffing our faces with chocolate for breakfast, because sod it... It's Christmas!!
What are you most looking forward to about Christmas with your loved ones? Do you have any random traditions that are unique to you? Share them below!