And just like that, Christmas is over and we find ourselves counting down to the beginning of a New Year. In lieu of our normal weekend blog, I thought I’d share how we spent Christmas as a family this year. Against all the odds, we managed to all enjoy the magic of the most wonderful time of the year!
After a week of being stuck indoors – more on that in my next pregnancy update – I was determined to get us all out for some fresh air and some quality time with friends on Christmas Eve. We spent our afternoon at Cobtree Manor Park catching up with Florence’s Godparents and Sean’s Dad and brother while the littles played aboard The big red train. We chased the squirrels & said hello to the doggies who were out for their Christmas Eve walk.
Once we were all as muddy as we could possibly be, we came home to wrap the last of the Christmas presents and cosy down to watch the Snow Dog on the telly before delving into our Christmas Eve Box.
We had family friends over for the evening and had our usual Christmas Eve feast of party food and exchanged presents. Our village always has a Santa sleigh go around and visit the children before he sets off around the world so we waved to Father Christmas and his elves as they passed. Florence loved the lights and boogied away to the music they had playing.
We didn’t get to bed until midnight
Bump woke me up wriggling around at 5am on Christmas morning and it wasn’t long before I heard ‘Mummmmyyyy’ coming from Florence’s room. I scooped her up and brought her into bed with us for our usual morning cuddles fully expecting to have to keep her occupied until everyone else was awake but she fell sound asleep in my arms and snored her way through until I enlisted the dogs help to wake her up at 8 o’clock. I took her up to wake my sister – a Christmas tradition I imagine we will always have until she has kids of her own – and then we all went downstairs to find a room filled with presents!
Usually we open a present at a time and take it in turns around the room but Florence’s pile was SO big she had a couple at time. She was so excited as she opened each one that she wanted to get it out and play with it immediately so we had to bribe her with a chocolate coin in between each one to distract her! Well, if you can’t have chocolate for breakfast at Christmas, when can you hey? While I’m not sure she has a favourite gift, One of the presents Sean and I bought her was a baby complete with a bottle and dummy and bib and she played with it all day long. That and the Hey Duggee & Postman Pat play sets from us & my mum.
Once all the present opening was over, we all sat down to eat the cooked breakfast Sean had made. I think he cooked enough to feed the five thousand as we were all super full already by the time we’d finished!
After breakfast, we got dressed and then it’s kind of tradition for us all to go off and play with or take advantage of all of the new things we’ve been gifted. Florence, baby & I sat down for a little party with her new tea set and cake stand. She played so nicely for about an hour, serving up cups of tea to me and her baby. It was very cute!
Despite still not feeling well, my Mum pulled off a delicious traditional three course Christmas dinner! She served up Prawn Cocktail and potato skins for starter, roast turkey & gammon with all of the trimmings for dinner and a choice of desserts which we ended up saving for later as we had all stuffed our faces to the max. To keep Florence entertained while we were chatting around the table and in between courses, sean and I took it in turns to blow bubbles while she ran around trying to catch them.
With full bellies and some of us a wee bit merry (clearly not me with my appetiser!) we all retired to the living room to watch some Christmas TV and play some more.
All of the playing & eating must have been quite exhausting as by 5pm Florence had fallen sound asleep cuddled up in Sean’s arms. While I’ll name no names, she wasn’t the only one who nodded off for a little while…
We managed to wake Florence up after an hour so that we had some hope of her going to bed at a reasonable time and her and my sister had their daily dance off Christmas style in the living room.
We watched EastEnders and Call the Midwife and then once everyone else had gone to bed my sister and I watched Devil Wears Prada which has always been one of our favourites.
We had our second Christmas Day with Sean’s side of the family on Boxing Day. We headed to his parents for around midday and spent the afternoon catching up with his brothers and cousins while Florence played and entertained the crowd. She really is a little performer already!
It was so nice to actually be able to sit and properly chat to my sister in law and Sean’s grandma. We revealed the name we have chosen for our baby boy too, which I’m pleased to say was a hit all around. By the time Sean’s other brother and his family had arrived, Florence was exhausted and grumpy and in no mood for sharing with her cousin so I took her up to have a little sleep to see if it would cheer her up. While she slept we had dinner (obligatory cold meat and pickles tea) before it was time to wake her up and exchange gifts once more. We were all utterly spoiled again and I have to say I’m still a bit flummoxed as to where everything is going to go!
We came home, ate yet more food and sat down to watch EastEnders and a film together with my Mum before all falling into bed after another busy day.
I feel very lucky that we were able to spend Christmas with those we love again this year. After a very eventful December and without the amazing work the NHS do, this festive season could have been very different for our family, and so with that in mind, I dedicate this post to all of the everyday heroes who work tirelessly to keep us well and safe. Special thanks goes to the South East Ambulance Service, Maidstone Hospital A&E department and the staff on the St James’ Wing at St George’s hospital. As a family, we will be making a donation of thanks to each of these trusts and invite you to do the same. Without them, my Mum might not be here.