Christmas is absolutely my favourite time of year, I love the build up, the songs, going shopping for all the family, and of course the big day itself. It’s been a little different this year though, Christmas takes on a whole new meaning when you have a child of your own and whilst Amelia was too young (10 weeks on Christmas Eve) to understand I was still buzzing with excitement for her first Christmas.
That was until I realised that all the things I love about the build up to Christmas are just not practical with a new baby; going to the shops to buy for the whole family is a physical impossibility. Starting with the fact it takes us 3 hours to get ready to go anywhere, then if you do make it to the shops the crowds of people rushing around is just not compatible with a pram. Who has the time to wait 20 minutes for a lift just to go up to the dinning level to buy a sandwich?
This meant that almost all of my Christmas shopping was done online this year, I know for some this is the norm but for me it’s not. I love strolling the shops, looking for inspiration for friends and family, finding bargains I didn’t even know I wanted and I just don’t get that feeling scrolling through websites. I know online shopping was the best idea though, I think I would have had a break down trying to do it all on the high street.
When it comes to wrapping gifts, I’ve always spent an evening or two at the dining table, Christmas songs playing and a small(ish) pile of celebration chocolates to keep my sugar levels up (it’s hard work wrapping and sticking) but when you have a new baby you’re lucky to get 15 minutes in a row to do something let alone a whole evening dedicated to wrapping so this year it’s been a case of wrap what I can, when I can and pray it was all done on time. I definitely wrapped a gift on Christmas Day before leaving to go to my parents.
All in all I was fairly organised, all the gifts (bar that one cheeky leftover Christmas day panic wrapping gift) were done and bagged up ready, all my cards were written and posted in time to reach family across the country, all I needed to do was remember to take my gifts to my parents and hand out my cards to my friends. Christmas Eve for the last few years has involved gathering at someone’s house to listen to Christmas songs, do a quiz, play a board game or chit chat with friends. We’ve all hosted it one year or another and this year my friends had volunteered as they had recently bought and moved into their first home.
I so badly wanted to go and spend the evening with them, mainly because it’s great to see everyone and catch up, partly because I now spend so much time at home on my own with the baby I really wanted an evening out and I’d also bought Amelia the cutest little outfit and needed to show it off. So we went, I remembered to take all of Amelia’s things and even took her moses basket and video monitor so that she could go to sleep up stairs when she was ready for bed. We turned up looking like we were moving in for a month but what had I not taken? Only the bloody Christmas cards that had been sat on the table for weeks in preparation! I can remember to take nappies, spare clothes, extra bottles and blankets but Christmas cards on Christmas Eve to give out at a Christmas gathering, don’t be silly.
The Big Day! It was finally here, Amelia’s first ever Christmas Day! I was so excited, she had gifts under the tree from friends and family and a whole load more waiting for her at my Mum and Dad’s house where we were headed for the afternoon and for Christmas dinner. The only problem with all my excitement? Amelia is 10 weeks old and frankly doesn’t give a shit that it’s Christmas Day. She was still up at 4.30am, she woke again to feed at 8am and went back to sleep. In the end we sat on the living room floor and opened all her gifts for her whilst she was still in bed. Having to wake her up at 11am to give her a bath and get her dressed so that we stood half a chance of getting to my Mum and Dad’s in time for dinner.
I’m not going to lie, I love food and I especially love Christmas dinner. My Mum always cooks and it’s always amazing! I was so worried this year that Amelia wouldn’t be asleep during dinner, or that she would want to feed or would be crying and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it but she was an absolute angel! She went up for a nap 30 mins before our dinner was ready and we didn’t hear a peep out of her for the next few hours. When she did wake up we had opened some more of her gifts and she was so happy after her sleep we spent the rest of the afternoon showing her the new toys and trying some of them out. Some went down better than others, she screamed when she lay on her new tummy time roller but she was fascinated by the V-tech crawling ball that sings and rolls around on the floor. It was so special for my parents to see her, play with her, feed her and spend time with her on her first Christmas.
All the excitement of Christmas Day knocked little miss out that night, she slept so well and napped all morning on Boxing Day which gave us a chance to tidy up and find new homes for her new toys and gifts, her first Christmas was a success and even though she didn’t understand I think she enjoyed all the extra attention and she will definitely enjoy all this beautiful gifts she received as she gets older and starts to play a bit more.
For me, the highlights of the festive season were seeing my parents enjoying quality time with Amelia, them laying on the floor with her and a pile of toys she wasn’t interested in as she was happy just to look at them and make her little cooing noises, Christmas dinner of course and also getting our first ever family photo of me, Amelia and Kev all together.
I hope you all had a magical Christmas with friends and family, if you’re currently expecting a baby – you are in for some seriously magical moments next year. Christmas has always been my favourite but now it’s even more special for new reasons.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!