So our long weekend ended up being lovely, despite my anxieties and all of our stresses about staying somewhere new. It is hard when nothing is where you want it to be and things like the second room at the air bnb being tiny and not fitting the cot, so we all had to bunk in together… I roll my eyes when things like that happen. Why put on your house description that there is enough space for families, when in reality this is only true if you don’t mind sleeping in the same room…? Especially when the baby gets a cough that exact week and wont stop coughing throughout the night for the whole time! We basically ran the weekend on about 4 hours of broken sleep. So using caffiene and matchsticks on our eyes, we did lots of ‘fun’ things with baby like going to a butterfly farm- a good tip there- a good way to keep warm in the freezing weather is go to a tropical centre that’s kept toasty warm; walking round markets, and finding different ways to not spend loads of money on food when the nearest ‘supermarket’ was a Waitrose… again I roll my eyes. Trust us to pick a place where Waitrose is the nearest shop. Good job we don’t live there! Makes me reaffirm my opinion that home is best, where everything is ‘just so’ and we are near a choice of shops and no silly expensive shops with no other choice.
The weekend away also seemed to mark the beginnings of Christmas, such as the lights being switched on, the ‘black-Friday’ sales and all the shops and pubs deciding to play Christmas music non-stop. This starts to create its own pressure on all of us, giving the impression that Christmas is creaping up on us sooner than it actually is, making us all think we need to start buying presents and get our decorations up asap, even though there’s still 3 weeks to go. Day 1 and as we walked around a museum (still in November) I kept thinking ‘Ooh the gift shop might have Christmas present ideas… What can I buy?!’ And yes, granted this might be a good way to do the Christmas shopping, it was still only November. The pressure and the (not so) subliminal messages got to us on the first day and by day 2 we had bought 3 Christmas presents already. Typical.
So now we’re back home and I now feel like the artificial tree should come out of its’ box already, but as hubby kept saying last week ‘It’s only November!’ and also with a toddler on the loose, it’s probably sensible that the decorations go up as late as possible. So let’s work this out… baby and I are going up north the week before Christmas, that leaves us with 2 weeks still at home, so maybe we have them up for a week and a half, therefore meaning the tree goes up this weekend?! Although I was tempted to bring it forward to the weekend just gone… And Saturday was December 1st, so hubby couldn’t use the excuse that ‘it’s only November!’… (I was sneaky and took baby and hubby to the local massive garden centre with all the decorations, gifts and a couple of reindeer out the back to get him into the festive spirit..! mwahaha). So that’s decided. This week it is!
I think one point I have to raise is that this time of year feels like the polar opposite to how I would spend the run up to Christmases in the past (yes the ghost of Christmas past is creeping up behind me…). Up to a year ago, the whole of December would be spent going to (some pretty memorable) Christmas parties, mostly with work- one bonus of working in West-End Theatres is that they would have the parties nearby, at some pretty cool venues (such as Cafe de Paris and the Hippodrome) and would always go full out to treat us at Christmas. We’re talking at least 2 events with an extra for our department. So with a different outfit for each and obviously glamming up with hair, nails, etc, I was in my element at this time of year. The months before spent getting as fit and ‘slim’ as I could to feel the best I could (forget ‘no carbs before Marbs’, I was all ‘No Christmas without fitness’…!). Looking back I now realise that there wasn’t any time to worry or stress about presents for family and friends or decorating the house as I was spending nearly the whole time preparing for or recovering from said parties…! Now though, I get to really enjoy the mince pies and not miss any of ‘Strictly’ or ‘I’m a Celeb’… not to say I’m letting myself go, because running and keeping fit still makes me feel more myself and sane, but it is nice to cosy up with a few more treats (and of course wrapping all those pressies!).
Christmas is upon us! Let’s bring the joy and merriment of the season to us all and have as much fun as possible, leaving our anxieties and stresses behind. I feel like my main purpose of my life now is to keep baby happy and this feels even more so throughout the entirety of December, but we can at least plan to do fun ‘festive’ things to cheer us all up and keep us busy. Let’s warm up these cold winter evenings with festive beverages (I cracked open the port last night…mmm) and treats and cuddle up with our nearest and dearest. Ours will be a quiet one until baby and I get to Yorkshire but I will try my best to make this a fun 2nd Christmas for our little one. Even though she still wont remember it and hardly knows what’s going on. Merry December and Advent to one and all! xx