Well, lads and lassies, Christmas is truly here!
Know how I know? (Gotta love the lists!)
1. We're watching our 6th Christmas movie, and it's still only the 2nd of December
2. I haven't left the house all day
3. I haven't washed/looked in the mirror all day
4. "Getting dressed" these days means putting a Christmas jumper on over pyjamas
5. We've had personalised messages for the boys from Santa (via "Portable North Pole" and "Magic Santa.ca")
6. I made a gingerbread house (more on that anon)
7. We made gingerbread reindeer, like the ones above.
8. I bought 30 candy canes yesterday for decorations. We've eaten about 15. Noah keeps going up the stairs to take them off the garland.
9. If you're not up and out by 11am, forget it, the days are too short to do anything but eat and watch movies
10. Drying clothes outside on the line is a distant memory. It all happens on the clothes horse in the kitchen (which I'm still in love with, btw, would propose to it if it was animate)
So I intend to wear my Christmas jumper every day and revel in the magic for the next 4 or so weeks. Santa is as real here as you or I, and we are so excited about him coming!
|A brilliant theme for the Toy Show one year - Willy Wonka|
Here are the Christmas traditions we do every year in our house (yay, another list!)
1. The Toy Show is the official start to Christmas (RTE programme showcasing toys - broadcast 30 Nov this year)
2. The house gets decorated on the Toy Show evening. Barry does most of it, as I get burnt-out / bored / start sitting and eating / drinking and "forget" to hang things up. That's ok, he does it great!
3. Charlie (and now Noah) write their letters to Santa straight after the Toy Show, we video this for posterity, they put them up the chimney and we check a few minutes later to see were the letters sucked up by the magic wind. Always sucked up of course.
4. We put the same decorations in the same places nearly every year, seeing them come out of the boxes is like greeting old friends (and a bit like Groundhog Day, it seems like only 6 months since last Christmas! - I must be getting old)
5. We hang a wreath on our front door, garlands on the fireplaces and up the stairs, lights everywhere, the framed photos of Santa visits come out, the snow globes, the clockwork toys, the light-up mini-village, the water feature Santa thing that leaks, the candles, the cinnamon sticks and ribbons, the fake holly, the fake mistletoe etc.
6. We painstakingly discuss where and how everything gets put, only to have it undone over the next few weeks by baby and boy, playing with all these new things / lights. Oh, we do love to re-decorate for Christmas every few days.
7. We play Christmas LPs on the record player, the Sinatra Family crooning (atonally in one female's case), various choirs and bands playing all the Christmas hits of the last 70 years (the old ones are the best)
8. We buy a bottle of port and drink hot ports with clove-studded orange slices.
9. We stock up on prosecco (and with the Budget next week we're definitely doing this soon!) and wines for gifts and party bring-alongs.
10. The Christmas Fairies come and visit our wooden gingerbread advent calendar every night, all the way from the North Pole, leaving tiny notes with kisses and pictures, and little chocolates for the boys. There is much shrieking every morning through December.
11. We post real Christmas cards to friends and family, and deliver them to our neighbours, and receive them in return, hanging them on a ribbon along the walls in the house.
12. We all receive stockings full of small toys and sweets from Santa on Christmas morning, but only the kids write letters and get bigger presents.
13. We buy a tree about 10 days before Christmas, a real one that smells good, and decorate it- Charlie putting the star on top. One of my favourite bits is untangling the lights and bead strings, I could do that all day! (No sarcasm here, it appeals to my pedantic perfectionist side)
14. We read "The Night before Christmas" a LOT in December every year, and love looking at PJ Lynch's beautiful illustrations of "A Christmas Carol".
15. We decend the stairs en masse on Christmas morning, Barry goes first to put on the lights of the tree.
This is Barry and my 13th Christmas together, and I have to say Christmas has always been magical and special with him around, even before we had kids. There is more shrieking now and running around on Christmas morning, but the magic has been there since our first Christmas in 2000. We've had a real tree every year, except the year we were in Oz, despite us living in a small bedsit, a granny flat etc. We've always had stockings from Santa, and surprises, and songs and games and fun, even when it was just the two of us. To my Christmas love, thank you for making it so special.