Christmas is my very favourite time of year and this Christmas was even more important for me because it was our Charly girl’s first! And it certainly didn’t disappoint
For my extended family, Christmas starts on the 16th of December. Because there are so many of us (on my mom’s side), we never all get together for Christmas Day, so we started a tradition of Extended Family Christmas every year. We all bring a roast dish and dessert and exchange gifts and basically celebrate as if it were the real thing. There are generally about 16 of us plus 10 kids under 18.
This year everyone (except me) decided to buy gifts just for the kids. I kind of wriggled my way around it (I am SO that person) because there was no way I wasn’t giving my grandparents something small (their favourite Xmas cake) or my aunt who has helped out enormously over this year (a “thank you” gift for all she had done); my cousins were easy as their birthdays are the 29 December and the 1 January, so birthday presents. We usually just do “family” presents, so boxes of biscuits or chocolates or the like; so what they actually did was give me license to properly spoil all my cousins kids for the first year, which I did with glee. Making people cry at their gifts made all the reprimands so worthwhile! I ROCK at gift giving 🙂
And Charly’s response to this preview Christmas was perfect. She happily wore her reindeer antlers and smiled and danced for everyone and loved every single one of her gifts – tearing open the paper and squealing and hugging them. Everyone was so chuffed, nobody more so than me. I was concerned she might be a little young to really get into the spirit of it all, but she is MY child after all.
Fast forward 8 days to Christmas Eve. After getting Charly down to sleep, Brett and I went to work downstairs. We finished wrapping some of the last presents for Christmas Day, finished decorating the lounge, hung the beautiful stockings, put up Charly’s princess castle tent, put together her MooCow YoYo Rocker, blew up her beach ball and took some photos of the present pile before packing them all in a box for transporting to my mom for the next day.
We also exchanged gifts and I was totally spoilt with a brand new MacBook Air and 5 Angsana Spa vouchers! I will be sharing the gifts I got him in another post where I share all the amazing online shopping fun I had. There really isn’t any reason to leave the house to buy the most amazing personal gifts anymore.
I took a little time sitting by the tree to send out as much love and warmth and virtual hugs to the people whose hearts were breaking at this special time of year; particularly LM and I, whose loss has haunted me and stayed with me since I heard of it. I can’t quite explain why this particular family has gotten so into my heart, but they have and I sent my heart out to them next to that tree.
Christmas morning was amazing. All the effort and all the time I spent desperately trying to find the perfect gifts for Charly; while purposefully ignoring everybody’s “gentle reminders” that she wouldn’t really appreciate them yet; was SO worthwhile. Does this look like the face of a child who doesn’t understand or appreciate her gifts??!
And she still loves and plays with it all a month later!
We had Christmas Day at my parents this year and it was everything I wished for. It was just my parents, my sister and her family including her mil & gil; my oldest friend/sister and her family including my gorgeous godson and my second mommy and our little family – just the way we wanted it. The food was amazing and Charly discovered gammon for the first time (made by daddy and loved by all); she even snubbed roast potato in favour of gammon – an unheard of thing! She loved all the food and the even more piles of presents. I spoilt everybody rotten and loved every single squeal from all of them. I got my niece and my godson a pile of presents each and watching them play with everything the rest of the day made my heart explode with happiness. It is official that I will ignore every single “rule” put in place about gifts for the rest of eternity. The joy I get from finding something special for someone and watching their faces when they see it for the first time is literally priceless to me.
Charly was a little bit serious throughout the day, possibly a little overwhelmed; but she still played with the other children and ate beautifully and loved all her prezzies. She fell asleep on the way home and then played with all her gifts from us again til bathtime and bedtime.
It was a perfect Christmas. I loved all of it and I loved learning that my baby definitely got that gene from me!
I hope you all had a very special Christmas. xxx