Monthly Archives: December 2014

Christmas Eve Baby

Christmas Eve is special for me and my family not just because it’s when the big man delivers all the gifts (no, not my husband) but also because The Monster (TM) turns four this year on Christmas Eve.

We have the tricky task of managing the day by trying to keep a lid on the Christmas festivities and ramping up the excited “It’s your birthday” ones.

TM will wake up in the morning and be given about 3-4 presents to open. His “big” one and a small one and one from his sister. Just enough to keep him going for the day and not to dilute the excitement of opening gifts on Christmas day.

We will then head off after breakfast to a soft play centre. This would usually be my idea of hell, but they are always a little quieter on Christmas eve so this will be the 3rd year we’ve done it with a smile on our face. We’ll spend a few hours here whilst TM offloads a tonne of energy running about with his sister and generally revelling in the excitement of being at a soft play (I’m such a mean mummy). We may have something to eat there and just when it starts to get a bit busier we will head off again.

In previous years we usually head off home for birthday cake and after dinner we officially put an end to birthday celebrations and start ramping up the excitement of Father Christmas. This year I have finally agreed to go and see family in Berkshire who aren’t around on Christmas day so they will get a cake and have a mini afternoon celebration for him before we have a traditional Christmas dinner. Our family is very geared up for festive birthdays as my niece is fifteen on Christmas Day, we’ve had a lot of experience of splitting up that day.

I’ve been quite adamant though, that on Christmas eve we will leave by 7pm to be home for 8pm so they are both in bed ready for the excitement of Christmas morning.

TM will then have the rest of his birthday presents on the morning of his birthday party (the 10th of January this year), effectively experiencing two birthdays and then have the excitement of having friends over for a Pirate party and more cake.

Sharing your birthday with a festive holiday can be brilliant and awful in equal measure but I’m determined to work everything around it to make his birthday as special as I can. In years to come he can dictate what he wants to do on the day and I will have to learn to cope with the loss of my traditional Christmas Eve excitement and bask in the joy of my little boy as he gets older.


The 12 Days of (Competitive Christmas)

New to parenting at Christmas Time?

Want to know what is required of you in order to give the children their BEST Christmas ever?

Read on for my top 12 tips for a competitive Christmas.  These are the latest MUST HAVES for all parents at Christmas.


Advent calendar

Ideally the purchase should be accompanied by a fanfare and should be talked about ad infinitum.  You must protest loudly about having to buy a chocolate advent. You are supposed to instill the spirit of Christmas and chocolate doesn’t say Christmas. (or does it?)

Letter to Father Christmas

Decision is whether this should be via NSPCC, Royal Mail or some other random company.  Or will you just pretend to post one because really you desperately need to rip it open to read the contents.  Bear in mind that  if you do the latter, you’d better find a good place to hide them before they discover the truth.


Oh yes you must!

Portable North Pole

Let’s not IMAGINE Father Christmas. Let’s actually see him, in the North Pole addressing us personally and showing us photos of ourselves for authenticity.  It will take you about an hour to make and be watched for approximately a minute and a half.

Elf on a Shelf

He’s keeping an eye on you (to feedback to Father Christmas or to murder you – no one can tell)

Buying the tree and decorating with colour matching decorations

If you are the families that do the full kit and kaboodle and buy a real tree, this has to be ceremoniously done AS A FAMILY.  Drag everyone, including the baby down to the ASDA carpark on a cold, wet evening and discuss the merits of the tree that is tall and has thicker branches at the top versus the small one that will actually fit in your house.

Woe betide you if you if you put it up too soon as well. Which is November for most and the first week in December for some.  Get that date right, folks.  For every day it’s put up too soon an elf gets drowned in a little frozen lake at the North Pole.

Father Christmas’ Wrapping Paper

This might be COMPLETELY different to any other wrapping paper you have otherwise small ones will cotton on that you had a hand in it.  This bit isn’t so difficult – it’s the hiding of the damn 1 metre high roll for the other 364 days of the year that’ll kill you.

Christmas eve night 1 Present rule

Family tradition or a case of just not having the patience anymore?  It’s literally 10 hours away people!

Christmas Eve pyjamas

By my calculations that means you’ll have 40 pairs by the time you are ….errr…40!

Milk, mince pies and a carrot

Keep the magic alive by instilling the concept of over feeding in your children. Father Christmas didn’t get to the hefty weight he’s at without re-fueling at EVERY house on his journey.

Reindeer Food

Your going to make it near impossible for Dasher, Prancer, Thingy and so and so to land unless you sprinkle a hefty amount of reindeer food* out on the front or back garden. You’ll need to ignore the fact that this directly contravenes any other rules, pictures or stories you may have led them to believe about Father Christmas and the reindeers landing on the roof.

*porridge oats and glitter

Footprints on the hearth

So apparently you can buy feet shaped stencils to shake icing sugar/talc over. Better still have it run the entire length of the house from the door to the bedroom. Nothing quite as exciting on Christmas morning than having to get the hoover out.

So you got all that?  Written it down?  You should be Christmassed out by about 10pm on Christmas Eve by my reckoning.

Merry Christmas!

Disclaimer:  I can neither confirm nor deny whether I do all, some or none of the above.