For the month of December I decided to move away from Gretchen Rubin’s resolutions as I knew that there was one thing that I really wanted to concentrate on – Christmas. I wanted to immerse myself in as many aspects of the Christmas season as I could. It’s one of my favourite times of year but as the children get older it feels as though it is losing it’s magic, so I wanted to find ways to make that feeling come back.
Although the days of nativity plays, school Christmas fairs and leaving Santa some milk and a cookie are over, we found that this year there were new memories and traditions to make. I wanted Christmas to be fun, I didn’t want it to be the usual stressing over gifts, traipsing the kids round hot shops packed with customers all struggling to find something new (is it me or do they churn out the same stuff year on year for Christmas gifts?) and I didn’t want Christmas to be nothing more than a three day event. So, the Christmas songs went on on the first of December and the artificial trees went up a few days later with lots of noise, silliness and laughter, and the real tree went up a week later. We opened a box of Celebrations on the same day – usually I would make everyone wait until at least Christmas Day as I felt that as that was the big day that’s when all the goodies came out – but it was actually so much nicer to have a tub of chocolates for everyone to graze on throughout the month.
For many years I’ve held back from getting properly involved with Christmas activities at work, but this year I wanted to be ‘me’ and really enjoy the fun. I attended the Christmas party for the first time and had so much fun. I wore my Christmas jumper and hat to work and I didn’t care if people thought I looked ridiculous. It felt so good to be involved rather than standing on the sidelines.
As we got further into the month I was aware that we needed to do some more ‘Christmassy’ activities, to take the place of the nativity plays and fairs that usually took up a lot of our free time. We decided to spend an afternoon at Winter Wonderland in London and we went to Zippos Circus while we were there – a first for all of us! It was so much fun, the magician was brilliant and I really hope we get to go to another one soon. We had a wonderful time at Winter Wonderland, the kids enjoyed the rides and we enjoyed wandering around the markets and seeing the lights. Instead of jumping on the nearest tube to head home, we walked down Oxford Street to see the lights both there and at Regent Street, they were absolutely beautiful and seemed even more magical in the cold air.
Christmas Eve is still my favourite day and we spent it doing various things. I still had some wrapping to do, so I got that done early while Abby made a gingerbread house. In the afternoon we had a buffet tea and watched The Polar Express and Home Alone before both kids said that they wanted to go to bed early! Christmas Day was brilliant. We had a relaxed morning before being joined by family for dinner and then more family in the evening. It was a long day and I was shattered, but I loved every minute of it. Boxing Day was spent at my brother’s and it was lovely to see all of the cousins playing together, despite the age gap. The following day we had all of Mark’s family over to us and it felt like a bit of a reunion. They had never been to the house before and it had been quite a while since we last saw everybody, so it was nice to catch up. The remainder of the Christmas break was a mixture of long dog walks, watching more movies, eating tons of chocolate and doing some more work on the house.
I can honestly say that I loved this Christmas, it was definitely one of the best we have had and I really hope we can repeat it, if not better it, this year. My happiness levels are most definitely increased!