I have been struggling getting myself together for Christmas this year.
It might have something to do with two tiny boys always in my arms and my lack of sleep.
I usually enjoy creating a menu plan and doing some baking in an effort to feel the Christmas Spirit. Having grown up with a wintery Christmas I still find it hard to get in the Christmas mood.
I have very fond childhood Christmas memories. The earthy smell from the Christmas tree in front of the window of our small living room. The living room that was the heart of our tiny cottage warmed by a range fire. There were four doors in this small room so it was always like a thoroughfare. However it was a cosy and warm room.
We would sit on the couch and if we were lucky enough to have a white Christmas we could watch the snow falling from the dark sky while a candle burned on the window sill. The glow of the candle would allow us to see the white on the path outside and make us feel as if we were in Santa’s very own grotto. More often than not however the weather was wet and windy and not very pleasant.
Christmas eve was of course an exciting time, we would have our baths and get dressed into our new warm fleecy pajamas or onesies, settling in to watch a Christmas movie. Eventually our parents would wrangle us to bed. We would leave a creamy pint of Guinness for Santa and a carrot for the Reindeer. They would tuck us into our beds and with fingers crossed kiss us goodnight.
We would have our stockings at the end of our bed where our excited feet rested on a hot water bottles. Our bedroom was often so cold you could see you’re breath in the air as you exhaled.
You always ensured it was only your nose poking out from beneath the covers to breath.
I would lie in my bed willing it to be morning, music from the living room often filtered through as no doubt my parents were preparing for Santa duty while enjoying a hot whiskey or port.
Our Christamas stockings were my Dads woollen socks. I remember innocently wondering with amazement at how efficiently Santa could fill these socks in the little time that he had. They were always packed so tightly.
Eventually sleep would fall. I think it would only by about 3 am and our curious and excited minds would wake us. I would kick the end of my bed from under the covers to see if I could feel it.
My little heart would race when I felt its heaviness. I would pop up and reach down to see a woollen sock full to the brim of wonderful thoughtful gifts. I would hang my head below to wake my sister “he has been” he has been” I would say excitedly.
Our stockings were always packed individual to our different tastes. I would get something crafty, a notebook, some pens, I remember getting an old fashioned wooden pencil case which I had for years and years. There would be little books and games and maybe a chocolate or two. This to me, the stocking was always a highlight, it was such a magical part of the whole experience. I truly believed Santa, this man in the red suit picked every little thing in that stocking especially for little old me. Well of course he did, our Santa’s knew us all so well, they knew exactly what our interests were and what would make us happy. Never, ever was I disappointed. We rarely got anything else during the year except for birthdays. Which is really the way it should be.
However at Christmas I always felt so lucky and spoilt, our Santa was so generous.
Once the stocking was done we would make our way out of our bedroom door through the tiny hallway feeling the cold biting our toes from under the front door as we passed. Opening the living room door quietly we would find beneath the glow of the Christmas tree fairy lights the main presents unwrapped and waiting for their new owners to love them. A brand new sparking blue bicycle, or a new stereo to play my tapes on, a cabbage patch kid called Amy Tullulah and for my sister a boy Chandler Washington, complete with adoption papers and a promise to always look after these strange looking creatures.
The Day would then be spent eating maybe bickering, watching magical Christmas movies and of course playing with our new toys. It was the stocking toys I loved to look at. I remember the thrill of gathering them up into a pile and admiring all the little gifts I had to keep me occupied over the holidays.
That woollen stocking was where all my Christmas magic could be found.
I really and truly hope I can create the magic I experienced as a child for my children. It is hard to feel the magic they are experiencing when you know the truth, but I guess when I see EP’s(3) face on Christmas morning I will be swept up in his sparkling magical glow.
So In an effort to find my Christmas Spirit. I have tried to put together a Christmas menu.
All I have to do now is put together the shopping list, brave the shops with two young kids, and create a fabulous meal, all the while keeping the house tidy, feeding the baby, playing with the boy and keeping up appearances.
I think I will just stay in bed.