Three days until Christmas! How do you feel? Do you feel as excited as the children or ready for it all to be over with for another year? Hopefully you’re on Christmas wind down like me.
Work is finished or hopefully will be in the next few days. Presents bought, maybe even all wrapped. Meal arrangements sorted. Travel plans of family cemented. Now’s the time to stop stressing and really enjoy Christmas.
Today we will be visiting Father Christmas at Tredegar House which is our local national trust property and one of my most favourite places to spend time. It’s a big old grand house and they do a Victorian Christmas. Huge Christmas trees, singing carols in the parlour, mince pies in the servants hall and stories about the house as you go round. They even have Scrooge tucked up in one of the beds being surly.
That in between week
I’m just thinking how much I’ve been loving this time over the last few years. Not necessarily the whole festive period, the build up and the decs, but that funny week that starts around Christmas Eve and finishes with bright promises of the year to come.
Not to get too profound but it’s a transformative week. Last year I challenged myself to put my phone down and pay attention and it was lush. I read loads! All about the first world war so perhaps a bit of a grim choice of topic but it was brilliant. I downloaded the library app ‘borrow box’ and just read loads.
This little week is the best in my opinion. Shops are closed so nothing to do but make do with what you have. PJs are official clothes for one day only – Christmas Eve. It feels like the anticipation is almost universal. So many families in so many countries waiting for Christmas Day. I love that feeling of being bound with hundreds of other people in expectation. It feels heavy, and rooting.
Conversely on Christmas morning nobody exists outside of your own family bubble. This is the best bit. No matter how other people do it it’s Christmas morning and there’s no right way. Sometimes I’m more tired than excited but my most recent memories are of us padding down the stairs together, still dark outside, and chilly. Me and Rich both trying to get in the living room first to see our children’s reaction to the ‘surprise’.
Then Boxing Day which is always boring and, I suspect, the longest day of the whole year. It was my nan’s birthday so without her it feels like a pointless day. These last few years I have been trying -unsuccessfully- to plop a new tradition on this day. We have been out for a walk on our housing estate, trying out the new toys, skates for my 9 yr/o last year. But generally it’s the come down. The official ‘Christmas is over’ day. I kind of like sludging through this day though in a strange way.
Working at Christmas
I used to despise those funny days between Christmas and new Year. Nothing much doing, most of my friends absent due to family visiting. Historically I’d just put my name down for extra shifts on these days gearing up for a night out in some packed pub on NYE. But now with my own family, we loll. Rich is home from work and we loll and linger and watch films and eat rubbish. Like a sloth exhibit at the zoo. If they gave them TVs.
It’s worth every moment of boredom to be cwtched up at home altogether. I am so grateful for all that God has put in my life and if you’d tried to explain it to me many years ago, well lets just say those years would have been easier to get through. And isn’t Christmas the perfect time of year to consider all these kinds of things?
Time is Fleeting
I recently wrote about an annoying Christmas meme I’ve seen and there is another one that you don’t see so much anymore but it was the ‘you only get 18 summers with your children’ blah blah pressure one. I hated it from the moment I first read it, I just felt like it was another way of saying ‘stop complaining and make sure you get everything right.’ but hypocritically of me I do feel this way about Christmas.
It’s one day a year and I think I will really miss it when my kids grow up. We will have another version of Christmas with it’s own merits but I’d like to conserve some of those moments I’ve mentioned above in a snow globe. I will forget what Christmas with small kids feels like. I know I will. It would be nice to bring it out for a look every year with the decs.
As mum you’ve maybe been rushing around and sorting things out for your family for Christmas more than anyone. I hope you find those moments you most love and get to savour them for another year.
A New Year
As 2019 comes to a close with that soft sigh of those weird nothing days between Christmas and New Year I’m really looking forward to 2020 and I hope you are too. You can read more about that in next week’s post when I will be giving a run down of my 2019 because it has been awesome!