I love the fact that we have a Christmas baby. Chiplet was born into a cold and grey Christmas Day in 2012 and we were home safe and warm by 9.30am in time for smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and the haze of new parenthood. It feels like a magical time of year, filled with promise, presents and family love.
In the run up to this time of year though, the pressure to fit everything in becomes more than a little stressful. Last year, I was determined to make Christmas Day all about Chiplet’s first birthday and was quite militant about Christmas itself being relegated to Boxing Day. You see, we don’t really celebrate the religious aspect of Christmas and we were never ones for lots and lots of present, so we figured that we could bump Christmas a day and ensure that our son has a special day just for him.
Then chatting on Twitter, Celesse from Mummy Logic said that this year, her boy was turning 3 and they were focusing on making sure he thought Christmas was magical so he loved having his birthday so close (he is the 20th). That planted a seed that just kept niggling at me. Was pushing Christmas out a little bit the best idea? Trying to balance everything got a bit too much on the Monday before Christmas and I felt frazzled, emotional and a bit broken. My tweets that day were a little sad… things like “I want to run far away” and “Saw a post recently about depression and Christmas not mixing… add anxiety into that mix!”
What made the difference when I put everything out there into the wonderful support network of Twitter, was a comment from Elizabeth from Rosalilium that said “Focus on what you love about Christmas and forget everything else.” The very people who were driving me mad (Family) were the ones that I most wanted to spend the time with. So I decided to just chill the hell out and let things wash over me a little bit more. Throw out the time schedule, the plans, the worries and the expectations.
This made for a truly wonderful Christmas Day which was is Chiplet’s birthday. We took some of his presents to the park and took some photos for the Me and Mine project. Then back at ours, the immediate family came around for sausage butties and cupcakes and presents. Watching Chiplet open his presents and understand a bit more about the whole process was great… of courses it was totally crazy for him with the sheer volume of presents – I am sure everyone had a similar overload in their houses…. consumerism seems to have taken hold – no such thing as one present, everyone has to buy a pile of gifts. We then moved down to our great local pub and I bought a round to say thank you to our families for the mounds of presents and oodles of love. We headed back to ours for a few Christmas presents amongst the adults and our now traditional Christmas curry (Chicken Vindail from the Rick Stein India Book… which is so delicious!).
What I have learned, is that if I enjoy the people around me and we are all happy, then Christmas can be whatever I want it to be…. and I want it to be all about family, love and fun.
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year… welcome to 2015.