The build up to Christmas this year has been a difficult time for me. The death of my Nana hit me harder than I realised and I've been struggling a little to come to terms with that. I was full of enthusiasm and excitement for Christmas in November but, following our sad news and the funeral, it rapidly became a chore. The fact that my festive spirit had departed was really hard as Bud was really starting to understand about Christmas and I was determined to make it special for him. I tried. I'm really hoping for a better December next year when I won't have bad news and illness to contend with, I've had tonsilitis on and off for about five weeks and am so run down.
Christmas itself has been lovely. Christmas Eve was a busy day and I was very relieved that we had managed to get all our deliveries done earlier in the week. I'm definitely going to repeat that next year, hopefully it will just be an exciting family day and we won't have any shopping or wrapping to do either. Bud and Little Miss both had special Christmas Eve clothes. Bud had a fab reindeer long sleeved t-shirt and Little Miss was described by her Grandma as Baby Christmas in a very pretty dress. I snuck off to Church for the Carol Service while Bud played with his Daddy and a family friend and Little Miss snoozed and, when I returned we sprinkled reindeer food and left our 'Santa Stop Here' sign in the back garden. Both children got new pyjamas as a leaving present from out elf, Merry. He also left us a brand new book - Aliens love Panta Clause which we read before Bud went off to bed. I am very ashamed to say that we forgot to leave a treat out for Father Christmas and, if you are reading this, we promise to leave out something really nice next year! Red Rose Daddy and I were up until 1:30 am making sure everything was ready for the next day.
We had a wonderful day on Christmas Day. We were up at 8, the usual time for Bud. I suspect that might get earlier over the next few years! Bud got to grips with present opening very quickly. He knows what to do now and was very excited to be greeted by a nice pile of gifts when he went downstairs. His main presents have been a balance bike and a Thomas the Tank Engine Trackmaster set. Sadly we've not been able to get the bike out yet as we have had dreadful weather but he has loved 'building Thomas' with his Daddy. The other big hit was a tub of second hand Playmobil people and animals that I bought from a local Facebook Buy and Sell group a few weeks ago. It only cost me £3 but that may be the best £3 I have ever spent. The horses from the set have been a permanent fixture in Bud's hands since he unwrapped them. It just goes to show that children really don't need a lot of money spent on them! I loved that he took time to look at every gift as he unwrapped it. He really reminded me of myself when I used to open presents. I would always be about a third of the way through mine when my brothers had finished because I would inspect each gift carefully before moving on to the next one. Little Miss had help to open her gifts, mainly from me. She has a few toys to grow into, like a Leapfrog walker and a Hape brick truck (both prizes!) but I'm sure she will be making good use of them soon.
At about 11 we headed down to my parents to see them, my brothers and their families. After a yummy cooked breakfast (seriously, my Dad's breakfasts are the best!) we opened more presents and did quite a bit of playing. It was lovely to see Bud and Little Miss' Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins and to spend time with them, especially as the older of my two younger Brothers lives in Staffordshire so we don't get to see them that often.
Christmas Day culminated in a family party at Red Rose Daddy's Uncle's house. Thankfully we live on the same street as them so we could have an hour with them before taking two very tired children home to bed.
As usual I seem to have taken very few photos, I think I was enjoying it all too much. I resolve to do better next year!
We've had a few more family parties and spent time with the Cousins over the last few days and we missed Red Rose Daddy a lot when he went back to work on Thursday and Friday. We have a big family fancy dress party to look forward to on New Year's Eve. If I'm feeling brave I may even post a photo of myself in the Mary Poppins outfit that I am currently cobbling together! Not sure what Little Miss will be going as. If anyone has any bright ideas for an easy costume for a four month old baby please send them in my direction! Bud will be the Grand Old Duke of York and RRD will be V from V for Vendetta. The official theme is Book characters.