Ok hands up other mums still learning the ropes of crafting a beautiful Christmas! Thank god this year for (drumroll please) my mum…..who created the most magical Christmas Day and has left me sat here wondering if it’s possible she is actually Mrs Clause!! I found the build up to Christmas quite overwhelming along with the realisation that the magic truly is all up to ME!!!! and hubby!!! I noticed some very organised mothers posting early (October time!) with ideas to kick start Xmas prep! And I rolled my eyes and thought ....really ...surely no need!
Well, let me tell you something. After experiencing the magic of today, thanks to my lovely parents, and remembering how wonderful Christmas was as a child and how very loved and safe I always felt, I want to learn and am humbly open to adopting practices from all the other pro mums, even if that means starting in October, hell even January if necessary, since my mum swears her secret is buying all of the stocking fillers in the Jan Sales for next year!
I’m certainly not giving myself a hard time though. Despite my worries that I measure up slightly inadequately, here is some of the things that happened (mostly organised by me) that contributed towards our wonderful Christmas and some things that I would love to do again to form traditions that will last lifetime memories.
Way back in the summer time I booked us to stay at a lovely cottage in the mountains of North Wales. The reason being that as much as I truly love my family, living under one roof can be a little stressful, especially around Christmas time and this year my sister was also getting married so all of us staying under one roof was truly a no no.
Sophia, Chris and I stayed in a lovely cottage just the 3 of us. And I remembered that on Christmas day a tradition I REALLY love is that no matter what our plans we wake up just our little family and have a pyjama slow morning, opening presents, drinking bucks fizz and eating smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.
I took an early morning run on the big day itself, getting into a space of feeling mindful and connected ready for enjoying myself and not feeling too guilty for eating all of the Christmas dinner.
I turned social media off except for a little post reflecting gratitude for the day right at the end when everyone was asleep which felt lovely.
On the last weekend of November this year I got involved in the tradition of stir it up Sunday which we didn’t do in my childhood home. It is so lovely to add your very own traditions into the mix. I met with a friend and her children and we made our Christmas puddings.
I made mince pies and mulled wine from scratch and had a night getting jolly with family once Sophia was in bed. Next year when we are at home in Surrey I would love to make this evening with our neighbours who we don’t see often enough.
I organised two visits to see Santa, one at our local garden centre mid December and another in Wales closer to the big day.
Chris and I had a lovely date night – our first night together without Sophia, with my parents looking after Sophia whilst we went for dinner and stayed in the cottage. A date night to take it all in as a couple is definitely recommended and when we are in Surrey we love to have a family date to Winter Wonderland too, to do some Christmas shopping and taking in of the London lights.
In terms of gifts I found it useful to buy from one place - I used The White Company this year. I got a catalogue and made a vision board and ordered things for friends and family then we needed, topped up with a shop to Bluewater mall for extras.
We don’t go over the top on gifts for Sophia and during a course I did on Calm Celebrations I learnt that it’s nice to look for a gift that your child - needs, wants, something to eat and something to read. I think this is a nice idea for stocking fillers and I also used a lot of websites that were sustainable producers and eco friendly.
I got Sophia her Christmas pyjamas from the White Company for her Christmas Eve box along with a chocolate bunny and a book. I think rather than buy new things for this box each year I would like to get the same things out, e.g. her Santa board to lay out her carrot and mince pie on, the night before Christmas book and her duvet for her bed with Santa on.
The best tip is definitely to do a mood board and plan the month in advance. Planning in social occasions, crafts, Santa visits and basically when everything will happen. I barely worked all month and just focused on family. So in terms of business preparing for the month to be quiet and family orientated to take the pressure off.