I remember how Christmas felt when I was a kid. That excitement that grew and grew up through December, ‘helping’ my mum decorate the tree with colourful ornaments and the living room ceiling with foil garlands and stars that would seemingly shrink the room into a grotto. Watching Christmas movies and writing Christmas cards for my friends in class.
And then it would all reach a giddy height on Christmas eve where I would fight to stay awake in a bid to see him (much to my parent’s annoyance I’m sure). And then that feeling of amazement and pride when I would come into the living room on Christmas morning to find Santa had been! I had been good and there, in all their wrapped up glory, would be the rewards for all my best behaviour.
All this magic died away once I found out the truth about Santa. The cookies and milk had been munched on and drunk by my parents, the carrot for the reindeer had been put back into the vegetable drawer in the fridge and Christmas shopping became the new focus of the season.
As an adult, Christmas now starts in November, with a long to do list and what seems to be a huge amount of stress each year. And expense. Little girls don’t have to worry about the pennies that pay for Christmas. Grown up ones do and this grown up is always striving to keep festivities on a budget.
But! I have found myself feeling differently this year. Christmas Magic is returning and it is coming back through seeing it through my toddler’s eyes. He is 2.5 years old and just about getting the whole idea of Christmas. He is recognising Santa. He is marvelling at the lights on the tree and he understands all about giving and receiving presents.
And so I have started to feel my imagination kicking back into gear and my levels of enthusiasm for things returning. I have bought chocolate advent calendars for both boys, and put together a book advent calendar too. Every evening we open one up before bedtime and read it together. I was going to tackle Elf on the Shelf but I think our Elf got lost on his way from the North Pole but am confident he shall find his way to us next year.
We have actually been to see Santa and it went well enough, considering we plonked them both next to this big and jolly stranger dressed in red and exuded all the oooo’s and ahhhhh’s for them. Santa was very gentle and sweet with them, and I felt myself taking in all his tales of how the best gift we can give is the kindness and goodness from our hearts.
I truly think that is what Christmas is all about, really. Not about gifts and turkeys and tree and lights. They’re all very beautiful and impressive of course. And I don’t think I would feel half as festive without a Baileys and a gingerbread man cookie to hand. But the real magic is felt through giving love and happiness to each other. And seeing our two playing around the Christmas tree, and watching their eyes light up with fun and wonder has just rekindled the magic for me as an adult. And, Being Mummy, is just the gift that keeps on giving.