Here in my house, we could tell that Christmas was on its way as soon as the half term holiday was over, and big boy started shouting (he’d say singing) random snatches of Christmas songs. Since he went back after his week’s holiday things have been different... presently he keeps telling me he painted a box green and red.
The school (Foundation stage) show came and caused controversy... ‘what did that letter mean, that we couldn’t video it or take photographs during it? Why not?’ On the whole the show was wonderful, the message was given and... my boy was skilfully managed, both through what he had to do, and also disappearing at the end, so everyone could take photographs.
The Church nativity has been held, with one small shepherd not quite managing what he should do, going in and out of the scenes at will... but nevertheless, the nativity happened and as is said every year ‘wasn’t it wonderful’, ‘the best yet’ and lots of carols were sung.
The presents are brought and wrapped (mostly). The cards are written (mostly). The what are we doing when, is sorted (mostly). The we have to keep the grandparents happy plan has been put into place... it only involves me cooking for 14 people on one day! The tree is decorated, and has been declared pretty by those that matter...or at least one small boy.
And the excitement is building in big boy... he knows now that Christmas means presents. He also knows it means Father Christmas, which isn’t so great – as people keep telling him, if he doesn’t behave he won’t get any presents (which I gently correct with – if you try to behave well you will still get presents...trying is enough).
Christmas is coming, the excitement is building, and we have plans in place. Plans that include walks, outside spaces and calm. I don’t really want to curl up under a duvet (at least not totally), because I love this season, with all its nonsense and joy and hope. And all the way through our wilderness years, we hoped every Christmas that this would be our last without children... we’ve had two Christmas’s with just one boy, and our family has grown again. Come Christmas eve here, the Christmas Elf who checks that we are at home will be delivering 4 sets of pyjamas before reporting back to Father Christmas, we will be hanging out 4 stockings (in the living room, he is not allowed upstairs) and some of us will be watching a Christmas movie, until sleep takes over.
Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you all find joy in some way, however your Christmas comes. And for those who are living for January, remember that too will come.