This post is probably a little late, I can’t imagine many people want to read about Christmas just after they’ve finished taking down the tree, packing away the decorations and downing the last of the mulled wine. But I’m not one of those organised bloggers who posts about Christmas on Boxing Day. I’m more of a laissez faire blogger, should I find the time to post about current things then I will, if not I’ll just post about things months later, when I finally get round to it.
I love Christmas. I always loved it as a child, enjoying the traditions my parents had instilled in us, and celebrating Christmas as a family each year. I love that now I get to set the Christmas traditions. I consider myself the project director of Christmas in our house. Laurie takes a casual back seat, usually only springing into action on Christmas Eve when he runs into the nearest department store and panic buys anything he thinks I could possibly vaguely not hate.
I plan Christmas months in advance. I think I bought Ebony’s first present in September when I happened across it in a charity shop. I bought Laurie a collection of old books, and I started buying those around the same time. I probably spend an unnatural amount of my time sifting through the local charity shops. This year we decided to do our Christmas food shop online, I managed to get a Christmas Eve delivery and then spent an unhealthy amount of time worrying that the order would come with too many missing items. Luckily there was just one missing item, potatoes, and that was only missing because I had forgotten to add them to the list, so we will definitely be doing an online shop again next year.
I hate the waste of Christmas though. I didn’t want to end up with excess food that needed to be thrown out, or little plastic toys destined only for landfill. Of course, there was always going to be indulgence and waste, but I wanted to try and minimise it. I also didn’t want Ebony to end up with a huge mountain of toys. She’s only ever going to play with so many toys, and we only have so much (not much) room in our house, so I didn’t want to go overboard with gifts. Her birthday follows just a couple of weeks after Christmas, so I feel I need to be extra vigilant about buying too many presents.
When I was growing up, we always got new pyjamas for Christmas Eve. When we got out of the bath they would be waiting for us on the step, folded neatly. My mum still buys me and my sister new pyjamas, and now she buys a pair for Laurie and one for Ebony too. I love this tradition and wanted to add something to it, so now we get a new book too. This year, I bought Ebony I want my hat back by Jon Klassen. It is now an absolute favourite, and Laurie has to read it to her in bed every night. She joins in, taking charge of some of the characters, which is so sweet.
Her main present from us was a homemade doll. It took a whole day to make, and is far from perfect, but I hope she will always be treasured. She has an excessively saggy neck akin to that of Deirdre Rachid, she has quite serious alopecia in some places, and it’s possible her belly button is a little high. I’m not convinced she will stand up to washing, hair pulling or rough housing, but so far she remains intact. Ebony pulled the doll from her stocking while exclaiming, “Dolly!” and then gave her a massive hug, so hopefully they will be friends for life.
After all the presents had been opened, my parents came round with their gifts. They made Ebony an easel and she loves it. My dad had the space-saving idea to make it fold down (unlike the one he made for me and my sister years ago), but Ebony won’t let me fold it down and put it away, and I’m not sure she ever will. After we’d eaten more presents, we went for a walk at a local park.
After the walk, my parents went home, and it was time for Ebony’s nap. When she woke, we watched a bit of The Gruffalo’s Child and played with some of her new toys. I made the Christmas dinner, and I attempted vegan yorkshire puddings which actually turned out surprisingly nice. I tried them once before and they didn’t rise so we ended up throwing away a batch of weird pancakes, but this time they rose. A bit anyway, not as much as real yorkshires, so they ended up quite small, but they tasted great.
I think Ebony enjoyed the excitement of the day, and certainly loved all of her presents. I’m already looking forward to next year when she’ll have a greater understanding of Christmas. She might even stay in the same room as santa without bursting into tears then, perhaps.