It wasn't something I was particularly looking forward to when we were contemplating Christmas in Europe this year, I was looking forward to spending time with family, but I didn't really relish the thought of weeks and weeks of shopping and a whirl of social engagements that leave your head spinning and your liver ready for the obligatory January detox.
But a strange thing has happened. When we were in the exploding house, with it's English TV channels, we found ourselves favouring the music channel that's playing Christmas carols 24/7. On our car journey days, there's been a definite shift in the songs we're teaching the littlest hobo to sing towards 'when santa got stuck up the chimney' and 'jingle bells'. I bought craft paper and cotton wool to do Christmassy crafts with the littlest hobo, and even made her a (chocolate free - for our allergy avoiding pleasure) simple advent calendar which I took great pleasure in introducing her to this morning - being home-made by yours truly, it was one door short of a full advent, so we started at 2 and hoped she wouldn't notice; she didn't. We've talked about Father Christmas (or just 'father' for those 2 year olds who believe they are on first name terms with the big guy with the gifts), and explained that he'll bring some gifts; now we're just hoping he'll remember that every toy she treasures will need to be squeezed into a 25x40cm backpack that she can manage to carry herself come mid-January.
I'm actually feeling quite excited - seeing the lights and decs at Centre Parcs sent me into a tailspin of anticipation, and I've already asked my parents to wait until we're there so we can all help with the tree. There's even a part of me that wants to buy the littlest hobo some great big gifts, just to see her little face light up on Christmas morning, even though my sensible side knows that we can't, because we will simply have no room for them in our bags three weeks after she gets them. We've been talking about going to see the Christmas lights, and even thinking of booking a panto (is two and a half too young, even if that two and a half year old will happily watch a whole movie, or sit through an entire Centre Parcs show, in French, mesmerised and jumping up at every opportunity to join in with the dancing etc?). We've even been considering going to Lapland in January, for goodness sake, albeit much more for the northern lights and the snow than for Santa, but still... Something, somewhere, somehow, seems to be knocking the Scrooge out of me, and I'm actually quite enjoying getting into all these festivities.
|Reaching out to feel the magic|
So pull up a yule log, set fairytale in new york on repeat, grab a glass of winter pimms and don your silliest red hat and tinsel. Join me in the festive spirit, and lets see if we're still humming this tune after our eighth turkey sanger.