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With each passing year, I feel as though there is a longer run-up to the festive season. Whilst the shops are always eager to have their Christmas gifts, accessories and treats available as soon as Halloween is over. This year many people opted to put up their decorations ahead of December. Adding a little festive sparkle into a year like no other.
As we start to wave a fond farewell to another festive season. Looking forward to what the New Year has in store for us, I thought it would be lovely to share our life in lockdown Christmas, The highs, the lows, the fails and the successes.
It doesn’t feel like Christmas at all
Truth be told I feel as though we have been going through the motions when it comes to Christmas this year. With all the necessities of Christmas card sending, present buying, gift wrapping etc, completed in autopilot. I can’t quite put my finger on why it is I’ve felt this way this year, It could be the side effects from life in lockdown with all our usual festive activities having to take a backseat.
As our neighbours started to add their outdoor decorations before December 1st. What The Dad Said was keen to start decorating too, managing to agree that the outdoor Christmas decorations could go up. However, we needed to wait until Piglet had celebrated her birthday at the end of November before we could decorate indoors.
I have to admit that I do love seeing all the decorations up, with a big achievement for me this year letting control of the Christmas tree decorating and allowing Piglet to place the ornaments wherever she wanted them.
Something we have always instilled into the children is that Santa brings them one gift. Not necessarily the biggest or more expensive gift to them. Whilst friends, family and we purchase the other gifts that they find underneath the Christmas tree. Not wanting to Santa to take all the credit for the gifts plus helping them realise that much love and thought has been put into their gift selection.
Amazon wish lists
Compiling Christmas Amazon wish lists worked well for us again this year. The children writing lists before I transferred them on the online lists. Which are then shared with friends and family. Making it easier for everyone to see what they are wishing for as well as keeping an eye on prices for when they are on offer. Saves on postage prices too which is always an added bonus.
Fair is fair
With three children in three different age categories, it can be difficult to ensure that they get the things they would like as well as keeping things fair. I always strive to ensure they have the same number of gifts as each other, Writing down as I wrap them to ensure I keep track. Thankfully they were all happy with their toys and treats they received this year. With friends and family members also spoiling them despite not seeing them for most of the year.
After having applied for so many different positions in the last few months I was contacted by one of our local supermarkets for a last-minute interview. Followed by an induction the following day and commencing a festive contract two days later. Catapulted back into the workplace with long shifts and the juggle of childcare around What The Dad Said shifts too. It has been interesting being the other side of things in a supermarket, keeping me very busy and exhausted but in a good way.
My hard work has paid off as they have extended my contract for another three months which will be good to have a regular income coming in until my self-employment opportunities potentially pick up. I’ve treated myself to a new pair of Hotter Shoes to ensure my feet are comfortable as the bargain shoes I picked up at the last minute before I started offer no support and my feet have been screaming at me after each shift.
Matching PJs – Whilst the children know that they will always gain a new pair of pyjamas for Christmas, I have in the past few years treated them to matching PJ’s to wear on Christmas Eve. However, this year I struggled to find matching ones in the sizes I needed. Plus there was a part of me that couldn’t justify the cost of them especially as Roo prefers shortie pyjamas so hers would only be worn a handful of times. This being said, I did feel a pang of guilt as they asked about PJ’s for Christmas Eve and I had to explain we wouldn’t be doing it this year.
Working parent – Having worked at home for the past few years the pang of working parent guilt is something I have mostly avoided, Being able to complete tasks around the school hours, bedtimes etc. However, my festive contract has me working full time hours on a variety of shifts. Meaning that I might only see the children before they left for school or worse still heading out when I felt as though I should be making the most of the Christmas holidays with them.
Juggling childcare between the two of us, What The Dad Said and I have been like ships passing in the night. With only a brief moment to do childcare handover before the other heads out to work. Thankfully we did all get Christmas Day and Boxing Day together before work schedules once again took over.
Treats from Santa – Exhaustion from the festive season and work patterns hit on Christmas Eve night. With us remembering once we were in bed that we’d not left the treats out for Santa with the children. Getting up early on Christmas morning to leave the remnants behind so not to disappoint the kiddies. Usually this is something I am on top of, however, this year completely slipped away from me.
And that was Christmas
All the run up to Christmas is over, the leftovers have been eaten and we are still working our way through the chocolates and nibbles. But just like that Christmas has been celebrated for another year. I’ve what time we have managed to spend together as a family and fingers crossed for a wonderful New Year.