December always feels a little strange to me. I think it’s because it signifies change – the end of the school year, the end of the ‘normal’ we have, and the progression into the ‘new normal’ as a new school year starts and the kids grow up just that little bit more. Add to it that my son has his birthday, and the month in general is just full of business, and it definitely ends up feeling like a month very different to any other. Here is some of our December story.
It starts of course with decorating the Christmas tree. We usually put on Christmas carols while we do it, and my husband is tasked with setting the tree up before we all decorate it. It all sounds lovely and Christmassy, but in reality, it’s always a little chaotic and often feels rushed around a little ones sleep time. My oldest son Kohen is for some reason quite scared of being lifted to put the star on the top of the tree – all kids have a turn in doing it, yet he gets scared and we all laugh at him!! I do love having the tree up – there’s something therapeutic about watching those lights flashing. It reminds me a lot of being a kid – I have a lot of Christmas tradition memories such as colouring in Christmas books, drawing Christmas trees, making baubles with foam balls and sparkles, and decorating pine cones with glitter. I often wonder what my kids will remember about their Christmas – and I often wonder if I’m doing enough to make it magical for them.
There are also many many events on at the school during this time, including Christmas Assemblies (Kohen was a zombie for his assembly), Christmas parties, Awards and Medallions, and the school disco. We were literally at the school every day one week. My daughter and her best friend Millie went to the disco together – I have so many photos of them ready to go to the disco over the years that they’ve been friends. They haven’t been in the same class since year 1 and yet going into year 6 they’re still the best of friends and have a beautiful relationship. My poor son Kohen was sick for the last few days of school, so missed out on his last days with his best friend Alex who will be moving schools next year.
To add to all the craziness, my daughter also had her dance concert. Actually, she had two dance concerts, and a LOT of rehearsals. Looking at these photos I can really see how much she’s grown in the past year. It’s both beautiful and heart breaking.
It’s also my son Louie’s birthday the week before Christmas, and this year he turned 4. I distinctly remember turning 4, and I wonder if he will as well. We had the family over in the afternoon for a pizza dinner – and we have such a large family that it always feels like a party. I can’t believe my beautiful boy is 4 years old. He can be extremely stubborn at times, and he’s a terrible eater, but for the most part he is the most beautiful and loving little boy. He’s always telling me “I L-O-V-E-Y-O-U” and giving me kisses. I just hold on tight and hope that he doesn’t stop too soon.
There are lots of Christmas activities at home leading up to the big day as well – including writing cards, looking at the lights, and baking. I’m so happy that this year my daughter is old enough to pretty much do all the baking herself – and Louie usually joins in with her. She’s so patient with him, much more patient than I am when kids are helping in the kitchen! There are also Christmas pj’s to be worn – and of course photos to be taken in those pj’s and other Christmas attire!!
Christmas eve we usually have fish and chips at home with my parents, then the kids sprinkle reindeer food on the front lawn, and prepare the milk and treats for Santa as well as water and carrots for the reindeers. This year we also had to say goodbye to our elf ‘Freddie Joe’ (named so because I always call the kids ‘Fred’ and ‘Joe’).
Last Christmas I was sick with gastro and the flu, and Jonathon was also unwell, so we were hoping for this Christmas to be better to us. Unfortunately Jonathon was unwell on the day again and had to stay home while the kids and I went to lunch at my mum’s and dinner at his mum’s. He rarely gets sick so it was really frustrating that it happened again on Christmas Day!! At least the kids got to have fun, despite missing their dad. Merry Christmas everyone!
Lastly, one thing I really love to do is just capture the kids when they’re doing something that they enjoy doing, such as drawing, or gardening, or swinging, or playing with water or cuddling together. These are the moments that I pull out my camera and I capture it – because these are real life moments!