Happy Christmas everyone! My plan to get in a couple more blog posts before Christmas didn’t exactly work out, those pre-Christmas days are just so busy and Christmas shopping with a baby – well, that deserves a blog post all of its own!
I love this time of year though and this year, with our little man, it’s more special than I could ever have imagined. It still doesn’t feel quite real that I was able to buy a Christmas card for my son – not that he has a clue but, even though he doesn’t know what’s going on, for us it was still so important to celebrate his first Christmas.
For us Christmas has always been a quiet family affair, I love being able to be cosy at home, chat, eat, watch TV, read and have a few days when work and the outside world don’t matter. And this year is no different, in fact we’re now into those few days between Christmas and New Year, apparently called “Twixmas” (and nothing to do with consuming a lot of Twixes – although each to their own if that’s what you want to do!), which is my favourite time of year. No pressure to do anything or be anywhere. Just perfect!
It struck me during the Christmas preparations that how we celebrate Christmas will become the thing of Christmas memories for our son in the future. After all, every year when it comes to Christmas it does bring me back to my own childhood and the magic of those Christmases of the 1980s and 1990s. And I want our little man to have that magic too – minus the abundance of tinsel and fluorescent clothing! Essentially we’ll be creating Christmas memories for our little man.
So what’s my idea of creating Christmas? Well, I like to keep it simple, I’m not overly religious but I was raised a Catholic and I do love the Christmas story and the message behind it. The thing that always strikes me about the first Christmas is its simplicity and the importance of love.
Should Christmas be about stress and spending money that you don’t have? I personally don’t think so. This year, with a new(ish) baby, a recently renovated home and the fact that I’m now working part time, we, to be quite honest, really don’t have a lot of money. But we wanted our little man to have something special and we kept gifts to each other very simple. I do buy gifts for friends and family too but again I had to keep it simple.
In terms of stress, how can it be such a happy time if people are going around totally stressed out because they have to have this perfect day? Why does it have to perfect? Especially if the stress of perfection sucks the joy out of Christmas! And means that people are exhausted by the time the day arrives. Of course we made sure that we had food in, the right things to make Christmas dinner (except sprouts, there was a bit of a sprout disaster this year so there were no sprouts, as I can’t stand them I didn’t mind, and it didn’t spoil Christmas dinner one bit). We had a delicious dinner, expertly cooked by my husband with my effort being the roast potatoes (I do make pretty great roasties!). As it was just us and my mum for dinner, it was a very relaxed affair and as much as I enjoy big gatherings, there’s something lovely about just keeping things small too.
We had a very happy day, we did presents in the morning, went to Mass (well, I spent most of the time outside the church as our little man decided about two minutes in that Mass wasn’t for him and started yelling so I had no choice – at least it wasn’t raining!), came home, cooked the dinner and then spent the evening chatting and watching TV. Simple but, for me, just perfect.
We did add little traditions too, my favourite being the Christmas Eve book tradition which my mum started with us when I was younger. As you may have gathered from previous posts I just love books so gifting books on Christmas Eve is my idea of heaven, in fact if I had my way Christmas would be just a book giving holiday! This is something I always want to carry on with my little man and I hope that when he’s older it’s something he looks forward to. Apparently this tradition is Icelandic and started during World War Two. It’s called Jólabókaflóð, which apparently roughly translates as “Christmas book flood” – what a fab idea!
I have ideas about other traditions I’d love to start when our little man is older but really all I want for Christmas is love, peace and joy (and a few books) which is what I got. They’re the important things and it’s that relaxed happiness that I want to bring into my son’s future Christmases – and not forgetting the magic of Santa too!
So wherever you are, however you celebrate or whether you don’t celebrate at all, I wish you love, peace and happiness. After all those ideals transcend any festival or religion and connect us all together as human beings, wherever or whoever we are.