This Christmas was special; full of excitement, magic and smiling happy faces. I was as drunk with anticipation as Pip by bedtime on Christmas Eve. I’d found myself unable to sing the carols at the crib service with a dry eye, a lump in my throat as Pip, dressed as a shepherd, stood next to his best friend at the front of the church and sang Away in a Manger. Despite my corrections, the art of lip synching proved he was still singing it with his own particular wording; "No crim for a bed" and "The little lord Jesus asleep on his head". If the vicar noticed, he let it pass.
Pre-bedtime was so much fun. We prepared some food for Rudolph; oats with glitter sprinkled inside and a couple of rubbery old carrots (no point giving him the good ones). A mince pie and some red wine for Father Christmas, (and at Pip’s insistence, a chocolate too. ) Finally, we hung the stockings by the fire and sprinkled red glitter up the garden path, to make sure that Rudolph could see us from the sky. Amazingly Pip went to bed without too much fuss; he bought into the fact that Santa couldn’t set off to visit us until all the children in the world were asleep. With two boys sleeping peacefully, all we had to do was wait.
Ridiculously, I found I was the one who couldn’t sleep. It was almost a relief when EB awoke at 6am. Husband and I smuggled him downstairs and gave him some milk to quiet him, hoping Pip would stay asleep a little longer. EB was poorly, full of snot and barking like a proverbial dog . At 6.30am after a coughing fit, he projectile vomited his milk all over Husband and the kitchen floor. The mop bucket and a bottle of Dettol were not part of my Xmas morning plan. At 6.45am cleaned up and with a considerably more chirpy EB, we enjoyed a cup of tea. At 7am we sat twiddling our thumbs, wanting to get the party started. Should we wake Pip up? At 7.15 we could wait no more, I retrieved a bell stick from EB’s stocking and conjured up some sleigh bell noises. Pip shot down the stairs like a Christmas rocket.
In those next few hours, I saw wonder, awe and amazement in Pip’s little face. The light bulb in the lounge went, we could’t find another, so we opened our presents just by the twinkling light of the Christmas tree. It didn’t do much for the quality of my photos, but then, these things are sometimes best remembered in one’s head. Pip surprised me with his self control. We managed to stop for a breakfast of pancakes whilst parcels still lay unopened under the tree. Pancakes with fresh fruit, golden syrup and creme fraiche made a delicious start to Christmas morning.
Later, I noticed how neatly Pip had put all his presents in a pile. How he stood back looking at the collective swag, taking it all in, and I was reminded of how I used to do exactly the same thing as a girl.
Mid morning we departed to my Mum’s for her traditional turkey and all the trimmings. The rest of the day was spent assembling pretty much each and every gift Pip received. Lego, Playmobil, more Lego, more Lego and even more Lego. Whilst I’d ensured I’d purchased every battery type possible prior to Christmas, what I hadn’t legislated for was the time it was going to take to actually make some of Pip’s gifts. Lego Cargo Train...2 hours to make the engine. Thank goodness for my Dad. Although frankly, I think assembling a Lego City train and track was the highlight of his December.
In the meantime, we busied ourselves with Beetle Drive and Guess Who, and the surprise hit of Christmas for Pip, the R2D2 (Star Wars) version of Operation. We played them all. Such fun. Christmas felt old school, like it did when I was a kid. The only thing missing was the huge tin of Quality Street. ( Must remember that for next year.)
The day passed so quickly, the TV didn’t even go on and I forgot to Sky Plus Downton. (Having now watched it on catch up, don’t think I missed much.) The day ended much as it started, with poor EB, after a valiant effort all day, being sick in his cot. Except this time I found myself grappling with mince pie infused vomit. Lovely.
Despite EB being off colour, it was still a very lovely Christmas. Arguably, we tried to pack a little too much into Xmas eve, left a few too many things until the last minute, could have done with having some spare light bulbs in the house and being a little better briefed on the assembly times required for some of Pip’s new toys. Yet, overall our first Christmas morning alone as a four was fab. Aside from feeling that I’ve eaten far too much and need to fast forward straight to a health kick, I’m rather sad it’s over. In fact, I’m already looking forward to Christmas 2014. Roll on the New Year.