2018 was our first Christmas as a family of five. Eli was only 8 weeks old. So, we decided to do things a little differently this year.
Christmas normally goes one of two ways, we either host or we drive a car packed to the rafters with children and all their paraphernalia, clothes and presents (all of them under a blanket because of you know, Santa!) to family which we have spread across three counties. Both require planning, hard work and create a level of stress that contradicts what Christmas is supposed to be all about.
At the grand age of 38 and 39 respectively, we became rebels…without a Claus!
What we did NOT do:
Spend the majority of Christmas Eve either in the car or in the kitchen prepping food for the big day.
Instead, we went for a walk along the canal, watched the Santa Express steam train go past and had waffles with lots of ice-cream and chocolate sauce on the way back.
The afternoon was spent choosing old and unloved toys to put under the tree for Santa to take. Then it was time to put on our pj’s and leave goodies out for Santa and his reindeer before an early bedtime. After bedtime Santa and his reindeer ordered a curry and watched Christmas TV with a glass of something alcoholic.
Handpicked old and unloved toys Stanley & James put under the tree ready for Santa. He will take them back to his workshop where the Elves will fix them ready to give to children who need them more. We need the space and the toys will go to the @dougiemachospice charity shop.
Get up at the crack of dawn.
Ok, I don’t really know how this happened but we didn’t get up until 7.30am. Granted, there was an hour or so of four in a bed with an onlooker from a moses basket but it was just lovely all being cuddled up and whispering incase Santa was still around. With hindsight I think casually mentioning on Christmas Eve that the last person out of bed got to open the first present had some sway. After discussing whether ‘he’d been’ we ventured downstairs together.
Ready, Steady, UNWRAP!!
Now, don’t get me wrong I love a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings especially sprouts…yep, I’m that person! For previous Christmases I’ve gone all out, homemade soup and paté, sprouts fried off with pancetta and chestnuts…I gave M&S a run for their money. But not this year, there wasn’t a sprout in sight! We reasoned that a) it was a lot of faff just for us b) the boys wouldn’t want to sit down at the table when all their new toys were calling them from the living room and c) one of us would be stuck in the kitchen all day and miss out.
We enjoyed a ‘posh’ festive buffet instead. The humble sausage roll (a favourite with the boys) was now a magnificent festive crown and took centre stage. We had beef brisket in the slow cooker ready for some hot baps later, and lots of fancy nibbles from M&S that took minimal preparation and cooking. We grazed and nibbled all day and the boys casually carried loaded plates into the living room leaving a trail of flaky pastry behind them.
The boys stayed in their pj’s and we wore whatever we felt comfortable in (breastfeeding friendly for me)…no sequins or Christmas jumpers this year!!
Indulge in adult conversation.
Nope, we spent the day (mostly on the floor) playing. Ben built a wooden rescue centre tower while I was attacked by a Robotic Dinosaur. We all played Greedy Granny and Shark Bite. There were lots of fires that needed putting out, and sirens wailing. And every so often the Train Set made an announcement detailing which train was arriving. Skye surveyed the scene from her Ultimate Rescue Helicopter
Toys being tested out
It was all just too much for James who crashed out for an hour mid afternoon.
What we DID do:
Enjoy some quality time together.
We laughed (a lot), giggled, cuddled, smiled, and shared the excitement of Christmas with 2 little boys. We also marvelled at how Eli could sleep so peacefully in his bouncer with all the noise and play going on around him.
Once the boys were in bed, we indulged in some Christmas TV, ate more goodies and relaxed with a glass of something festive.
2018 was THE most relaxed, and one of the most enjoyable Christmases we’ve had!
Did you do anything unconventional this Christmas?
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