I really do love this time of year.
When the seasons change, I’m always saying: “No this is my favourite.” But when I’m really pushed to think about it, and even though I hate the cold, I love the spirit of Christmas more than I could express.
I may have mentioned this before – the mind forgets. But when Daisy was very poorly in hospital, I would sit back in my battered leather armchair, that was pulled close to her cot, and I would feel the rise and fall of my baby’s breathing as she lay on my chest, and I would close my eyes, and, amidst the beeps and the whirs of monitors, I would imagine Christmas.
I would imagine my daughter breathing on her own. I would imagine her eating a Christmas dinner, in a little red dress. I’d imagine my son zooming around in a flurry of festive delight, with toys that flashed and danced, or stacks upon stacks of toy animals.
And so, now we are here. Almost at least. And I feel a strange sense of relief, anticipation, excitement and a little melancholy too. I don’t know why exactly, but I think I am realising that, as a fast as Christmas arrives, it will be over.
And I always feel like looking forward to something is just as good as the event itself. To be excited. To be thankful. To be appreciative. To be lucky enough to have something to look forward to at all.
Anyway, I am rambling, but I just wanted to share a few snaps of our home, as it is, right now. Well – at least, as it is when I’ve tidied it and the little ones give me five minutes or so of domestic bliss before they trash the joint.
I keep collecting things over time. I have decorations of my grandma’s, things passed down from my mum, commemorative ornaments for every year of Bill’s life, and Daisy’s too. And then these little traditions are slowly forming and growing, and I realise that I am the magic of Christmas for my children. I am Father Christmas, I am Rudolph, I am the elves on the shelves (or I will be if I ever take that up). I am fairy dust, I am magic, I am make believe.
And I think that is possibly the greatest role I’ve ever had. Life is so short, and these baby days pass us by so fleetingly. So if you are making elf mischief, reading Christmas books, finding the perfect toy for pounds more on eBay when they are sold out everywhere else, planning Christmas Eve boxes, making footprints in the snow, taking bites from mince pies, and nibbling on carrots, then I salute you.
You make Christmas for your kiddos. And from one exhausted parent to another, here’s a nod of understanding from me. You’re magic.
Enjoy our festive home. And Merry Christmas.