I’ve been shamefully neglectful of this blog for the last few months (I blame the baby – sleep deprivation is a b*tch!) but before I plough head first into my new year list of blog topics I thought a roundup of our first Crimbo as a family of four (five if you include our four legged friend) would be a neat and seasonal end to the festivities on this, the twelfth day of Christmas.
Christmas – ever been told “it’s just one day!” Biggest lie ever! There’s the before (mainly consisting of having enough Amazon boxes delivered to your house to fill a small warehouse!), the during (getting tiddly on bubbles whilst assembling new toys and attempting to cook an edible feast) and the after (dealing with post-Christmas meltdowns, finding homes for new toys and gorging on leftovers for days).
Planning, executing, enjoying, revelling and surviving the festivities can bring it’s challenges but this year as we celebrated with our latest addition there were a few key tasks made somewhat trickier with two sproglets in tow.
1. THE VENUE
Should I stay or should I go? Go and stay with relatives and cut out the food shopping and prep, cleaning to transform the house from squalor to splendour and attempting to turn into Nigella in the kitchen. ‘Fantastic’ I hear you cry? Well, this comes at the price of packing up at least half your house into car, driving for hours in horrendous traffic, sharing a room with one or more of your offspring and relishing in those extra nighttime hours spent with said offspring trying to coerce them back into peaceful slumber in an unfamiliar bed. My solution? Host yourself but only invite family you actually like i.e. won’t sit there and judge you over the state of your bathroom or your non-crispy roast potatoes (it’s ok I can write this – my trickier family members don’t read this blog!).
Trying to get out to the shops with one child is challenging enough but double the sproglets and double the trouble. Shopping for presents is easily resolved via internet shopping – my local DPD driver and I are now on first name terms – however, food shopping is a little trickier. If, like me, you like to hand select the delicacies for the big day then the evenings are going to be your go to time for this. I may lower my standards next year though as it’s a bitter pill to swallow eating into that precious child free evening time.
3. THE PRESENTS
It is absolutely vital that the present haul for each sproglet is similar in height and girth. Bear with me…. young children have the delightful characteristic of not understanding monetary value. My three year old knows money buys things (by things I, of course, mean toys!) but 50p or £50,000 it’s all the same to him. So if you need to pad the baby’s haul out with a £1 cheapo toy from pound stretcher so the visual eye perceives the same ‘amount’ then do it. Santa does not show favouritism.
4. THE FEAST
I love food so Christmas lunch is always going to be a big highlight for me but there’s no need to give yourself a hard time. Sure you want to produce a delectable feast but with two mini me’s running around hyped on Christmas spirit there are plenty of ways to cheat at this. Delicious handmade turkey gravy? Oooo yes please but give yourself a break and just buy it. Someone offers to bring pudding? Bite their hand off! No one won any prizes for being a martyr.
5. THE AFTERMATH
Christmas is overwhelming enough for adults but for sproglets it is off the scale. Once your child is old enough to be aware of their surroundings (maybe three / four months old) they WILL be overwhelmed by it at least on some level. Throw two over-excited, over-stimulated and, no doubt, over spoilt mini me’s into the mix and you will witness something akin to a Z-list celeb post-coke come down circa 1994. Take it easy, try to stay away from too much ‘Christmassy’ noise and excessive for a day or two and make sure you didn’t drink all the wine Christmas Day as you’re sure as hell gonna need it.
So that’s it for this Christmas. The decs are down, the fridge is emptied and the waist band significantly expanded. Until next year my friends!