My favourite thing about Christmas this year was spending quality time as a family. Laurie was off work for, more or less, three weeks and it meant he was able to switch off from work mode, and really enjoy his time off. Ebony loved having him around, and was upset when he went back to work this week. I limited my time working so that we were able to spend plenty of time, just the three of us, enjoying a break from reality.
This is the first year Ebony has really understood Christmas. Last year she could repeat the words, but none of it was very magical for her. This year, we wrote a letter to Santa and sent it up the chimney. Or, more accurately, dropped a flaming piece of paper into whatever lies behind our fireplace, and hoped that our house (and the one next door) wouldn’t burn down.
We spent weeks making Christmas cards, reading Christmas stories, and singing Christmas songs. We watched Santa Claus The Movie, did all manner of Christmas crafts, and ate mince pies. By the time Christmas finally arrived, Ebony was high on the hype.
On Christmas Eve, she left out some carrots for the reindeer, and a mince pie and Amaretto for Santa (that’s what Santa likes to drink). She hung a stocking on her bed, had some Christmas stories and went to sleep.
Christmas Day was equally magical, with Ebony very excited to discover Santa had been. She loved the presents he gave her, especially the roller skates (which were a £2 impulse buy from our local charity shop), marble run (another charity shop purchase) and Playmobil reindeer (eBay). We spent the day with family (first Laurie’s, then mine), and Ebony seemed to enjoy having all of her grandparents around to play with. A friend joined us in the afternoon and stayed till the hangovers had passed the next day.
By the end of the day, the house was littered was discarded wrapping paper, marbles (ouch), and tiny cardboard underwear (Ebony’s meal time entertainment was provided by dress up Santa). After consuming lots of vegan yorkshire puddings and a bowlful of ice cream, Ebony was ready for bed.
It was a really lovely Christmas, and I’m amazed we managed do it in budget(ish). Ebony was more than a little disappointed to find out that it won’t be Christmas for another year. I hope we manage to get the living room sorted by next Christmas, because the tree really made me miss our old living room with it's beautiful floorboards, imposing fireplace and white, white walls. By next Christmas I hope our house will be looking a little less magnolia, and that maybe we'll have gotten rid of some of these carpets.
I hope you had a great Christmas too. And I’m sorry for writing about Christmas in January. I really do try to be organised, but it never quite works out.