Last christmas was spent in a blur. My view of the world was marred by tears, snow, sleep deprivation and strong painkillers. My christmas existed in my head as a cold, dark place I never knew I could ever visit. My christmas last year should have been so perfect. It wasn’t. So.
So, around July time, as the fog began to -finally- lift a little, I began to plan THIS christmas. It’s going to be perfect. It is already.
Today I asked my daughter to take some pictures of christmas for me. Here are her pictures and my captions. These are my christmas wishes.
I’ve never done a gallery post before. The theme is love, so here goes. Here is my photo.
It needs to be big because its a big biscuit of love. The biscuit of love was made by my daughter today and presented to me because I’m the best mummy in the world- all her own words and not at all prompted by me. We were at the last baby group gathering of the year so that L could ignore all of his friends and E could scamper about decorating biscuits and singing carols whilst jingling jingle bells and licking icing off her fingers. The room was filled with almost all of the ladies who have made this year so special for me- my new mummy friends. Without those ladies, I doubt I would be the person I am now. Without my children, I know I would not be the person I am now. So, here is the recipe for my great big biscuit of love:
1 cup of hot-headed temper
1 cup of excellent sense of humour
1 cup of mummy why is my room messy?
1 cup of mummy why can’t I eat chocolate for breakfast?
1 cup of I want to get up three times a night to say hello
I remember when birthday parties had a set, reliable formula. You play pass the parcel, you possibly pin the tail on the donkey, you have party food and you go home with a token party bag. Note: party bags contain a balloon, a squashed piece of cake, a party blower and perhaps another small trinket. That’s it. Job done, thank you very much, see you again same time same place next year.
What was so wrong with that? Nothing. But now I’m a cynical grown up it seems that the parties my parents hosted are no longer acceptable in terms of REALLY celebrating a child’s birthday. I should know, I’m guilty of it myself.
My daughter regularly brings home invitations to parties and some months we are attending one or two every weekend. But they’re not really parties!
Inviting a bunch of kids to batle it out at the local soft play centre does not constitute a party. Taking home a child with sweat on her brow and carpet burns on her knees is not fun- they just want MORE. This year we have been to a party at the Reebok stadium and we’re due to go to another there- a cheerleading party this time. We’ve been to cinema parties and go-karting parties and I even heard of a friend’s daughter being invited to a fancing party. Fencing! The ideal way to celebrate a 7th birthday…!
My sister in law’s daughter last year attended a party which required her to be driven about in a limousine sipping fizzy pop from plastic champagne flutes. We’ve attended parties at farms and parties at bowling alleys. We’ve been there, done it.
So this year we hosted parties at home. We had party food, games and good old fashioned conversations. We let the children play in the garden- it’s free!- and we sent home party bags full of goodies. A number of parents actually stopped me at school to say that thier child had really enjoyed the party and wanted one like that themsleves. Victory! Yes, its stressful, yes its a lot of work but I’m a teacher and I’m kind of used to it. And the end of the day, its a PARTY and while it didn’t win any award for originality, it was still fun!!!
Here is my darling boy’s party food spread- and yes, the cake is home made and it took blummin ages to make!!!
My daughter came out of school today with a present from Santa, all wrapped nicely with a gaudy bow on the top. HE had visited to hear the children sing Jingle Bells, apparently. Throughout the short journey through the mountainous snow back to the car, my daughter proceeded to ask me no less than 3 million times if she could open her present as soon as she got home. I replied that no, she couldn’t- she could wait until Christmas. Until I cracked and thought- to hell with it, live a little. We opened the present as soon as we were back at the car with the baby safely strapped in and the heater blaring. I’m that kind of mummy, today at least.
Today I have lived for the moment and I suppose I have allowed my daughter the same privilege. There are are some mums who collect their children with neatly styled hair and impossibly clean jeans, their children always ever-so neatly turned out and polite. Not that my daughter is rude, she is just sometimes a little scruffy, that’s all. Anyway, I get the impression that those mums will not have given in so easily to demands for early presents. I bet those mums will take their perfectly painted toe-nails straight back home and place their child’s gift carefully under the tree so that on Christmas morning they may exclaim, ‘Oh, look Jonty! It’s that quaint little gift that Santa brought to school! Oh, do open, do open!’ Or maybe not. The point is, I suppose that today i have chosen to choose my battles. And when faced with an early glimpse of the excitement that is Christmas, hell- I would want to open my gift early too!
So, fess up. What type of mum are you today? Will you let them open the gift, or will you make them wait? Did I tell you I’m off to buy a new hoover tomorrow? I simply cannot wait.
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