So That Was Christmas

Christmas was a little tough emotionally this year, and a little quiet overall, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a good time too, and create some magical memories.

It started on Tuesday, when Thomas was completely beside himself with excitement to make mince pies for Father Christmas. I had to make sure – several times – that he understood that Christmas Eve wasn’t until the following day! On Christmas Eve itself, Thomas also helped me to ice the traditional Christmas cake and we whiled away some time mixing up magical reindeer food too. Three, it turns out, is a wonderful age for Christmas, because there is plenty of understanding and anticipation without the excessive, uncontrollable excitement. Once the cake was done, we set out putting out a mince pie and drink by the fireplace, the reindeer food, carrot and bucket of water in the garden and hanging the stocking on the mantelpiece. This was followed by the opening of two gifts from us – one is always pyjamas, the other a book. This is a tradition I wanted to start because I can remember only too clearly the fever-pitch excitement of Christmas Eve bedtime and the thought of having even just a token gift to unwrap would have certainly helped to quell that at least a little. Time will tell with Thomas! He happily settled in to his new pyjamas, and then we settled down to read The Night Before Christmas.

Christmas Eve was certainly a better and more relaxed experience for us this year than last when we were under the threat of flooding, and sent the evening watching water levels rise!

Christmas collage 1

Thomas slept incredibly well, and even treated us to a lie-in of sorts (by which I mean it was after 6am that he got up!) I don’t think we’ll be this lucky for the next few years, so we certainly tried to appreciate it!

Strangely, he was a little bit anxious about the idea of going downstairs, but once he saw that his stocking was filled, there were presents under the tree, the mince pie and drink were gone and coal had been knocked out of the fireplace… he couldn’t have been a happier kid. He also ran to the back door and exclaimed “The reindeers ate the food! The reindeers ate the food.” The unquestioning acceptance of the magic felt like a special kind of magic all of it’s own. I may have welled up a little at seeing the sheer excitement in his little face.

We didn’t go mad with gifts, as I felt that this year would set the expectations for years to come! But he did get the new trains and the book he asked Father Christmas for, in addition to some more playmobil, a Thomas DVD and some chocolate in his stocking. From us he got the high level expansion pack for his wooden railway and a couple of new games. Present opening was a joy to watch as he seemed so genuinely surprised and grateful for each item, and took the time to explore each thing before moving on. The absolute smash hit gift was a model London Underground train from his stocking that has gone everywhere with him since!

Christmas collage 4

And of course, Christmas is the only time of year where chocolate coins are an acceptable part of breakfast!

Christmas Collage 2

I’d really wanted Thomas to wake up at home on Christmas morning, and to find and open his stocking there. I think this is partly influenced by the fact that we always woke up at home for Christmas, no matter what the rest of our plans were. After present opening at home, however, we headed to my parents for Christmas lunch. Christmas is so full of tradition, and returning to my childhood home for Christmas lunch cooked by my mum will always feel special, no matter how old I get Despite the distance not being far, we then opted to stay there for a couple of nights giving us both the opportunity to enjoy some drinks, see more family members and play plenty of board games too. Thomas was spoilt with more gifts including a huge marble run and a Thomas the Tank Engine dressing up outfit!

It was pretty quiet and intimate. I didn’t even take many photographs. But we were together as a family enjoying one anothers’ company. No traditions could be more important than that one.


2 Replies to “So That Was Christmas”

  1. It looks like a lovely Christmas and I love your photos. Thomas looks so cute eating the chocolate coins. It probably is a little daunting for them to be fair, if you think about it, saying about a man coming down the chimney is a little bit odd. Glad you had a great time. x

    1. Thank you. Yes, I think it is a bit odd, all out of routine and a big man coming in to the house. My mum says I was similar when I was little! x

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