20 ways kids make Christmas magical

It’s easy for Christmas BC (Before Children) to feel more about our hangovers and expanding waistlines (not to mention our overdrafts) than any real festive spirit. Then you have a child and all that changes. Not since you were a nipper, anxiously listening out for Father Christmas in your PJs, have you felt so infused with joy and enchantment.

Here are 20 ways that Christmas becomes magical when you’re a parent …

1. It used to drive you bonkers that Christmas started pretty much in October (oh, yes it did…) but now you can’t wait for the shops to bust out the Christmas lights and to hear Noddy Holder’s dulcet tones. Ooh, and the advent calendars, and the ads and the Christmas lists…  How many times have you rewritten yours?

2. Nothing can prepare you for the heart-melting sweetness of watching your little one in their very first Christmas nativity or school play, whether they have a starring role or not (it’s Gning’s first Nativity on 7 December).  Don’t forget your tissues!

Children's nativity play

3. Kids make it OK to sport clashing decorations and an OTT Christmas tree.  In fact, the more of mash-up of colours and styles of baubles, the better.

4. It’s FINALLY acceptable to buy chocolate decorations again. Just remember to leave a few for the kids, eh?

5. Their Christmas list to Santa reads like a stock-taking sheet of ToysRUs and Smyths combined.  But it’s the ‘and I’ve been soooo good’ line that really makes you smile.

dear-santa

6. Thank goodness this year you’ve got a good excuse for the misshapen mince pies.  All your toddler’s own work, yes?

7. You love channelling your inner-storyteller with stories of Father Christmas and seeing your children’s eyes widen with delight.

8. Creating your very own traditions is something you’ll share for a lifetime.  Maybe you write a Christmas poem together, or put on a little festive play for the grandparents?  Or leave one more present in the garden to be discovered – “Oh look!  Santa must have dropped it!”

9. Leaving a glass or milk (or something stronger) for Father Christmas, and a carrot for Rudolph, never loses it’s charm.  And neither does…

10. …drinking that something stronger on Christmas Eve, when the wee ones are safely asleep.

11. Nothing beats that amazing feeling of satisfaction on Christmas Eve when everything is wrapped and ready for the next day.  Savour the scene – because the next day it’s carnage!  Hope your recycling bins are empty…

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12. Not to encourage your inner bah, humbug, but it’s a great time of year to dodge any tedious social engagements: honestly, babysitters are so unreliable…

13. Family films are no longer an indulgence, they’re mandatory.  From the Muppet’s Christmas Carol to Home Alone, it’s the perfect season to snuggle up on the sofa.

14. Talking of which, make your brood hot chocolate with marshmallows. And have one yourself.

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15. Place your bets on what time Christmas Day officially starts.  And yes, it feels magical even though it’s 5am.

16. As you watch them open their pressies, you remember the fizzy feeling of thrill and excitement you had as a child.  And seeing the joy your children bring to their grandparents is priceless.

17. Eating together as a family is something to take time over and savour.  Who cares if the potatoes are a tiny bit burnt, or the sprouts a bit hard?  It doesn’t have to be perfect to be appreciated.

Family-Christmas-Pictures-2

18. Snow is what dreams are made of when you’re five.  And snow at Christmas…  Cue delirious children and giggling parents!

19. The pleasure of tumbling back into a warm and cosy house after a good old stomp outside brings the colour to everyone’s cheeks.

20. Knowing at the close of Christmas day that the hard work is over for another year – and despite the odd flurry of tears and tantrums – they’ve had a pretty wonderful day.  Well done, you.  Only 365 days to go…

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Sleigh bells ring; can you hear them?

No?  Me either.

It’s 2nd December, and no matter how hard I am trying, I just cannot get in to the festive mood.

Our Christmas tree is up and decorated; tinsel dons the picture frames, and lines the Welsh dresser; our fireplace is decorated with tinsel, advent calendars and stockings…

Then there are empty boxes scattering the floor; bits of “broken” tinsel lay uninterrupted where they landed…  Three wrapped Christmas presents are in the middle of the floor; amongst the yet-to-be-disposed-of boxes; because I just can’t be bothered putting them under the tree.

It could be down to hormones.  I’m still overly tired.  Even when I do the simplest thing, I’m convinced that I need to go to bed to ‘sleep it off’.  I know I can’t do that though because I have an amazing three year old little man, who is always on the go.  I have enough energy to play with him; in small bursts; but no energy to make the front room look “liveable” again.

In fact, other than the pregnancy thing, I’m fairly sure that I was in this situation last year too.  I just couldn’t get the Christmas spirit then either.

And I refuse to turn in to my “Scrooge McDuck” husband (only joking, ha ha)…  I really want the Christmas bug, but I just can’t find it to get bitten by it!

Anyone else feeling the same?  Is it too early in December to start worrying that I am turning in to the Grinch?

Hmmm…

It’s been one of those weeks.  It’s always the same to me when it’s leading up to a holiday / break / day out…  My husband, son, mum and dad are going to Cologne, Germany tomorrow for the Christmas markets.  We’re only going Sunday – Tuesday, but I’m really looking forward to it.

There’s still so much to do before we can even say we’re remotely ready to go…  We need to clean the house, nip into our local town, go to my mum & dads to pick up the budgie (more about that one later), come home, pack the bags, make sure we’ve got enough nappies, wipes, clothes, etc. for William, and probably lots more that I’ve not even thought about yet.

My wonderful BFF, Becki, has so very kindly accepted my request to stay in our house for the duration we’re away.  It’s not to look after the house (I’m fairly confident the house can look after itself ha ha), but to look after the birds.  I have two zebra finches – a girl named Mocha and a boy named Latte; and my parents’ have a budgie named Sweetie-Pie.

So, why has it been one of those weeks?  Well, I’ve been suffering with a frozen shoulder for a few days now, which is being generous enough to spread right across the back of my neck and over to the other shoulder now.  It’s not so much painful as it is stiff…  I feel like I’ve been stuck in the same position for a long period of time without being able to move.  It’s frustration more than anything.

That’s just one thing though…

This morning I heard the letterbox, with what sounded like a pile of mail…  Obviously the postman was just a little heavy handed, as it was just one slip of card.  “Your parcel has been left in the grey bin”.  A little annoying, as I didn’t hear him knock even though I was awake, but regardless, my parcel was safe and sound, and I now have an amazing little iPod docking station for the living room.

So, about 20 minutes later, we get out of bed and I think I hear a van…  I move aside the blinds to peer out, but it was just one of the neighbours in their car (yes, their car sounds like it needs a new fan belt and a bit of a tune up too), but I notice something…

I immediately start to panic.  “What an f*^king idiot!” I say outloud.  My husband immediately asks me what the matter is.  I explain that some d*ckhead had left a parcel on the doorstep, out in public viewing with all to see.  My husband quickly grabbed his keys and went to retrieve it.

It was something that I’d ordered from Vistaprint.  I’m not blaming Vistaprint for this at all…  But before I continue, I have to say publicly that I am loosing my faith in using them if they are going to continue to use this delivery company.

The parcel had been delivered from a company called ‘Yodel’.  Heard of it?  Well, the amount of complaints made about this company is a joke (see here: Yodel on Facebook).  There was a parcel, and no slip posted through…  So I wouldn’t have even known (and would have lost my money) if one of my (dodgy) neighbours would have seen the appealing brown box and taken it for himself.

A friend of mine had a similar problem a few days ago by this company – An item had been delivered to him by Yodel.  Yodel had very kindly posted a ‘could not deliver’ slip through his door stating “left under your car”.  What it didn’t mention is that is was left under his car in a puddle, and will definitely damage the box…  I’m unsure what the condition of the item was as I’ve not spoken to him for a while, but regardless of the condition, it should be down to Yodel to cover any expenses and compensation.

But, no matter of the type of week I’ve had, I’m going away tomorrow, and I’m really excited to be out of the country for a little while.  There are lots of other things to look forward to this month too – It’s my birthday on 21 December (thanks in advance for your birthday wishes ha ha), and it’s only 17 sleeps left until Christmas!

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