It is finally starting to feel like we are ready for Christmas.
I’m not sure why but this year it has taken me longer than usual to get into the Christmas spirit.
I’ve struggled with a persistent cold and cough for the past three weeks, which hasn’t helped. A hectic work schedule has kept me busy too. As a result, I haven’t had much chance to look forward to Christmas. And it’s a good thing Heather is well organised or I would be facing a mad last-minute present-buying dash.
The kids, however, are definitely ready.
We have a rule in our house where we don’t start with Christmas decorations until it’s December. By 6am on December 1st, all three kids were downstairs industriously cutting out and making paper chains to hang up.
Doing the trees – yes, trees plural – took a little longer this year, as the first weekend of the month was taken up with Isaac’s birthday celebrations. But last Sunday morning there was a frantic flurry of activity. Up went our old tree in the kids’ playroom, which they adorn with accumulated years’ worth of hand-made decorations. Up went our three small trees – one for each child – in their bedrooms. And finally, up went our main tree in the living room.
You can’t help but start feeling festive once the trees, lights and tinsel are all up, can you?
And all our pre-Christmas traditions are kicking into gear too. There’s nothing unique or particularly special about any of these. But put them all together and they are just part of the fabric of our family Christmas.
Christmas Radio Times bought and highlighter at the ready? Tick.
Watch Die Hard (yes, it’s a Christmas film) on TV? It’s on Channel 4 today at 10pm, so that’s under control.
Buying food with the kids to donate to a food bank? Making donations to charities nominated by each of them? Done and in progress. Even if it’s a small gesture, we want the kids to remember that Christmas is not all about receiving presents. It’s also about the spirit of giving and remembering that there are many who are less fortunate than they are.
So, yes, we’re getting there. I can feel the warm, fuzzy glow of the Christmas spirit growing within me, although that might also be the bottle of Baileys we’ve already cracked open.
But the thing that really gets me excited about Christmas is seeing how excited the kids are about it. And even though this will be the first one since Isaac stopped believing in Santa Claus, he’s still embracing the season with the same enthusiasm he always has.
The final piece of the puzzle is that I finish work on Wednesday, after which I can focus 100% on the festivities ahead. Then we’ll really be off and running.
So, mince pie and mulled wine, anyone?