Okay, don’t shoot me.
I know it’s only October. I know it hasn’t been Hallowe’en yet. I know that posting about Christmas at this time of year is an Unforgivable Sin. I am truly sorry.
In previous years, I’ve been able to leave Christmas until pretty much the last minute. Decorations go up on December 1st, without too much planning or thought required, and then I can rush around buying presents, wrapping paper and pretty much everything else in the last week before Christmas. With the exception of last year, when we had Christmas dinner at home before travelling back to Daf’s parents’ house on Christmas day evening, we’ve never even had to buy a turkey before.
This year, organisation has had to begin early. Not only have we been contending with the financial hiccup student finance caused, but also – for the first time – we’re not going back ‘home’ over the Christmas period. We’re hoping to see family, but I don’t think it’s fair to drag SB all over the show when she’ll be wanting to play with her toys, so instead, there’s an open invite for family and friends to come and see us instead. It will be nice – it will definitely be strange, to spend all of Christmas day as just the three of us, but I’m looking forward to it. We’re ready to start making our own traditions, which is exactly why we’re planning early.
In terms of presents, I started buying early. Most of Daf’s presents are sorted, and we know what SB is getting too – most of it has been bought. I became the undisputed Queen of eBay over the summer, and have ended up with around £300 worth of Happyland toys for a little over £100. I’ve been lurking on bargain threads on Mumsnet, and have managed to find a few other deals, and at the moment lots of places are having toy sales – we picked up some wooden building bricks and some musical instruments
god help us in the 2 for £15 sale at Argos, and Tesco has up to half price on toys at the moment.
Another reason we’ve had to start planning early is the tricky topic of decorations. By Christmas last year she was crawling, but she couldn’t really pull herself up yet, so we were okay to have the Christmas tree resting on top of the pouffe (yes, we’re that family). This year, with a toddler who rambles about messing with everything she possibly can, that’s not going to work. We’re pretty strapped for space in the flat, so I’m not sure how we’re going to manage to put a tree up anywhere – but not having a tree is unthinkable! The tree may end up in our bedroom, and just move into the living room on Christmas morning, so that she can have her presents under the tree as tradition dictates.
Christmas dinner is going to be an interesting one too. We don’t actually have a dinner table – Daf and I eat sitting on the sofa, while SB sits in her car walker to eat. In the future I want to get a table, as I know how important it is for us to eat meals together as a family, but right now there just isn’t room for a dining table alongside everything else in the flat. We’ve got a foldaway table, so I’m guessing we’ll use that, and SB will have Christmas dinner on one of our laps. It may not be your conventional family Christmas, but it will be very ‘us’, and I can’t wait.
I think that’s what I risk losing sight of at times. It doesn’t matter if our family Christmas isn’t a Pinterest-Perfect Christmas, with homemade popcorn chains (whatever they are) and glistening trees and a beautifully decorated table. We’re starting our own tradition, and even if that tradition is just a walk in the park on Christmas Eve and bringing the tree into the living room at the last minute, so be it! It will be our first proper family Christmas, and I can’t wait! *
(*Okay, I can wait until Hallowe’en is finished. Put down the flame torches and pitchforks now. Seriously.)