Normally, I get excited about Christmas in November and am like a big kid in the run-up to the big day, but with everything that has gone on in the last couple of weeks, Christmas was a lot more subdued this year. For one, we didn’t go as crazy with the decorations this year, sticking to our traditional red, green and gold Christmas tree, some tinsel and stockings around the fireplace and my Christmas Yankee candles.
I spent the morning at the hospital with Benjamin, who had his liver and kidney scan and antibiotics. My brother took and picked us up, and then we spent a couple of hours snuggled up in front of the TV. The kids had a nap, and I began watching a fantastic film – The Book Thief.
Later on in the afternoon, my mum and brother came and picked us up to go over to my nans. This is something we do every Christmas Eve, and even though I see my nan regularly, all of us at her house at once usually only happens at Christmas! My auntie and uncle, who live in Southampton, were there as well as they spend Christmas with my nan. The living room was full but it was lovely, and I began to feel a little bit Christmassy for the first time, At 5.20pm we stood outside and watched Santa fly over the roofs. Seeing the kids faces when they saw ‘Santa’ was magical!
When we got home, we ordered our traditional Christmas Eve takeaway (Chinese this year – the kids love chow mein!) and I had my first glass of wine in nearly a year. I thought I would gulp it down but it took me nearly all night to drink! The kids left a mince pie, glass of milk and a carrot out for Santa and Rudolph. Once we got the kids to bed, it was time to play Santa. I got all the presents down from their various hiding places, and Graham had the job of putting together the toy kitchen that we bought from Beebies Baby Store. As well as that, they both had some new pj’s, clothes, a train set and trains, an easel and some Peppa Pig toys. Benjamin, being less than four weeks old, had a light up mobile, a Sophie the Giraffe and some boy-tights.
The kids woke up about 8am on Christmas Day, and we all went downstairs together. The boys were over the moon when they saw the kitchen, and were so excited when they noticed that Santa had drunk his milk, and eaten some of his mince pie. The morning went by in a flurry of wrapping paper and excited squeals. Graham and I had made the decision not to buy each other anything and use the money to go out for a meal together – but he ignored that and bought me a lovely new coat – how bad did I feel!!!
Once the presents had been opened, it was breakfast time – scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and orange juice at the table. Harrison, the fussiest eater on the planet, surprised us by eating all his salmon. The kids has expensive tastes! It was then a mad rush to get ready to get to go over to my mums. The nurse was due to come to give Benjamin his antibiotics at 12 pm, so we wanted to get over so that the kids could open their presents before that,
My mum and brother (our taxis!) came and picked us up and the mountain of stuff – a plastic table, bouncer, spare clothes, nappies, baby wipes, bottles, a tub of formula, presents….the cars were packed!
Once we got to my parents it was another flurry of excitement whilst the kids opened their many presents off nanny and grandad and their aunties and uncles. They had clothes, train and road sets, airport, harbour, and loads of accessories for their toy kitchen – nothing plastic and nothing that required batteries!!! Ben had a tummy time mat and some new outfits.
I didn’t take any photos of my presents from my parents and brothers, but this year, as always, I was spoilt. I had a blanket shawl, leather gloves, two large Yankee Candles, a teacup candle, Victoria Beckham perfume, a personal organiser, a notebook, a handbag, purse and two beautiful scarves.
The nurse came and brought yet more gifts for the boys – a rattle for Benjamin and some selection boxes for Harrison and Alex, which was a lovely touch. When she went, it was time for dinner, and as always, my mum cooked a fantastic dinner for us all. After lunch, we all sat down and relaxed. The kids all had a nap, and my dad, brother and me *might* have fallen asleep – that’s what a glass of Prosecco, sherry and red wine on top of a large lunch does to you!
Harrison was a bit grumpy when he woke up because he wanted to go home to play with his toy kitchen. He was really cute, going round with a bag to collect all his new toys. At tea-time, my mum laid out her usual buffet tea – even more food!!!
It took two trips in the car to get us and all the presents home. When we got home, the kids couldn’t wait to get everything out to play with!
It probably wasn’t the best Christmas we’ve ever had because of the circumstances in the run-up to the big day, but the day itself was lovely and chilled out with family – what more could you ask for?