With both our wedding anniversary and my husbands birthday at the end of November, thoughts of Christmas and all things festive definitely don’t enter our household until at least the 1st of December. And then wham, bam, I find myself in the position I’m in now – somewhat flabbergasted that there’s now only 11 days until the day itself, and completely and utterly unprepared.
But slowly over the last 14 days we’ve been adding little festive touches to the house, indulging in those oh so fun family traditions and introducing Evie to all the joys of December (slightly concerned about how I’ll explain the lack of chocolate after breakfast come January!).
Preparing for Christmas with a toddler is a whole different ballgame than it was this time last year with a ten month old. I found myself hugely excited last year with it being Evie’s first Christmas but this year there’s the added joy of seeing everything through her eyes which really is wonderful and makes all the prep so worth it. There’s definitely more challenges involved – everything now has to be explained (explaining why we don’t open the presents yet, why we only open one advent per day, why we have a tree in our living room), every demand reasoned with (and then re-reasoned with when Evie seems to have an answer for everything) and new hurdles navigated (attempting to read a single Christmas card that comes through the door before it’s been covered in blue crayon, having to re-decorate the Christmas tree each evening after Evie’s ‘played’ with all baubles and so on), but it’s also a LOT more fun doing all of the same things we always do but with our little mini alongside.
From baking gingerbread to wrapping presents, to choosing the tree and hanging the stockings, Evie’s been right there by my side watching on with wonder and lapping it all up. I have a feeling that it’s only going to get more fun as the years go on too. We’ve been explaining little bits along the way, and she’s picking it up so fast. She loves visiting the polar bear and penguin display in town, she’s learned the tune for ‘Jingle Bells’, knows what snowmen and reindeer are, she keeps telling us that ‘Evie get a present from Santa’ and she’s DEFINITELY on board with the increase in chocolate snacks this month.
Evie – Jumper – c/o Boden | Welly Boots – M&S
Our annual trip to a tree farm to pick our Christmas tree was a much bigger day out this time around too, and admittedly didn’t come without a mild tantrum or two in tow. Last year we rocked up, took some photos and had chosen our tree within the hour, Evie bundled up in her snowsuit on my hip and happy enough to be part of the festivities. This year, she got so over excited about the prospect of this unknown day out that after a short run around the firs pointing out all of the ‘big Christmas tree, little Christmas tree, tiny Christmas tree’ and a stint of reluctant posing for the camera with Mum, it all got too much and the lure of a big red bus (a cafe on a double decker selling hot drinks) and a shop with a Thomas train circling the roof became a whole lot more enticing than a cold field of trees with two indecisive parents. That said, it was very cold, wet and rainy last year and this time we were treated to the most glorious of winter sunshine.
In the end I had to leave the husband the un-enviable task of choosing the right tree from a sea of green, while I gave in to Evie’s demands for a ‘ginger man bisc’ and a seat on the ‘big red bus’ and distract her from her tiredness by letting her choose a decoration to go on the tree (never been so thankful when she dropped the £5 ‘moo moo cow’ in favour of the 99p jingly house). It did take a fair bit of explaining why I couldn’t actually get the chugging Thomas down from it’s track on the roof and let Evie play with it, BUT we got there in the end and despite the odd bit of shouting and arguing, it was absolutely a day to remember. From us wrapping up in our matching Boden festive knits, to Evie’s glee at finding the tiniest of tiny Christmas trees, munching away on her gingerbread biscuit while sat on the top deck of a double decker and shouting ‘Daddy, Daddy, Evie bought a house’ to all who would listen as she came bounding out of the farm shop. Just in time to see Daddy crown a short, wide, traditional spruce as the tree we would take home.
I’m starting to see glimpses of how these little family traditions will evolve over the years, and it feels so good to be creating these memories together as a family.
Once home, refuelled and an episode of Peppa Pig later, the decorating could begin and Evie got thoroughly stuck in with the ‘helping’ (i.e. wanting to play with every single decoration and not letting us hang any of them). But our short, fat, slightly spiky friend is now fully adorned with our annual mish mash of favourite decorations both old and new and she looks FABULOUS if I do say so myself. Coming downstairs to the twinkly lights and cosy feel each evening makes me so happy!
Now that the tree is up, I’ve found my appetite for all things festive only growing by the day. I’ve since dressed every mantelpiece in the house and even added a mini tree to Evie’s room (just to make sure Santa knows which chimney to come down). My husband finishes work for the holidays today (early I know but he works such long stints throughout the year it’s a small perk) and I’m so looking forward to a week of Christmas baking (filling the house with the smells of the season), mince pie eating and festive film watching (what’s the first Christmas film on your list?)!
So now the countdown is on! I’m hoping to get a few more festive posts up over the next week to get us all in the mood and indulge my love for this season.
Please tell me all about your family traditions? Have you decorated yet? And do you enjoy the run up to Christmas?