Tag Archives: Christmas traditions

My parents had Christmas so easy….didn’t they???

Surely they did??

Our Christmas as kids was pretty simple. Through my hazy rose tinted glasses at any rate. Probably didn’t feel that simple to my parents . Same financial pressure , same pressure to make the kids happy. There just didn’t seem to be so many little extras.

It was kind of basic our Christmas but oh I did absolutely adore it.

We’d watch The Snowman on Christmas Eve , presents on Christmas morning (after our dad had played some kind of pantomime scrooge , pretending to take aaaggggeeesss to get ready to go downstairs and see if ‘he’d been’ ) Have a huge Christmas dinner (after my mam had barred everyone from the kitchen whilst she created her masterpiece!) , board games , a film then another load of food under the guise of the Christmas tea buffet (a tradition I have since adopted for us )

It sounds so very simple, but was Christmas the most exciting time as a kid ?? Absolutely.

Laying Christmas Eve too excited to sleep but knowing you really have to , awaiting true magic to happen is just something never replicated as a grown up!!

I absolutely adored Christmas as a kid . It just seems like it was a little less busy back then.

Things my parents never had to do :

ELF ON THE SHELF

Seriously elves making a mess all over the house?? My mam would have had a fit! She liked our place clean and tidy thank you very much!!Flour snow angels all over the kitchen floor? she’d have rounded up the little buggers and put them in a cage till they could learn to behave)*

*Disclaimer – my sister and I were never put in cages till we could learn to behave I promise. Mainly because I was born impeccably behaved , and well my sister was cute enough to be able to get away with her nonsense.

SCOUT THE BEST SANTA EXPERIENCE EVER

(then book it 3 months in advance)

Now no one wants their kid to see a crap Santa , that is a magic of Christmas ruiner!

My mam took my sister and I to queue in Alders for an hour if she was feeling fancy. Bransholme centre if feeling less so!! -Job done ?

When in years past checking out santas for small girl I’m looking at garden centres? What’s the gift quality like? Are there ACTUAL REINDEERS????

REINDEER FOOD FOR CHRISTMAS EVE

Again mess??? Litter ?? not a chance!!

CHRISTMAS CRAFTS

I bloody love Christmas crafts , small girl is a fan too!!

We love making christmas crackers (although we do buy a box too because i am not having Christmas pass me by without getting my hands on a fortune telling fish!!) , salt dough decorations (one time our scented versions will actually work) , tree ornaments?

Hobbycraft at Christmas is our idea of heaven!

I do know that everyone doesn’t feel the same way about crafts. I know some parents hate it and fair enough it’s a messy , frustrating with the very small ones , time consuming business. All I’ll say is I never remember my mam having to glitter herself into a festive meltdown because HOW CAN YOU RUIN YOUR KIDS LIFE BY NOT MAKING SALTDOUGH WITH THEM!!!!Or thats how the pressure feels at times!!

We used to get a pack of those cheap paperchains that you licked to get them to stick together…..only they never did!!!

CHRISTMAS BAKING

Obviously we have small girl – masterchef extraordinaire!

Shortbread Christmas trees , melted snowman cupcakes , rudolph muffins she’s up for all that , it makes her happy. My mam ONE years made butterfly buns . My sister and I are still traumatised by the taste , the texture and the whole occasion. I blame this entirely on why I don’t like cake. Bless my mam she wasn’t a natural baker – as I am not.

CHRISTMAS DAYS OUT

Winter Wonderland , Christmas markets , festive concerts , going to chop down your very own tree (may or may not be a thing)

We had a Christmas disco and fair at school (parents didn’t even have to show up , just send you off with your 20p in an envelope and all was good!)

I guess the point I’m making is that Christmas as a kid for me was the best best thing ever ever ever, even a bit simpler. Maybe we could all do to take a breath and realise we don’t have to do ALL the things in order to make Christmas a goer. Christmas is going to be magical for the little ones nevertheless.

I love all the Christmas fuss , crafts and elves and all that nonsense . However if we don’t make Winter Wonderland Christmas isn’t going to to be a disaster!!

Also I have to confess to a bit of a hunch….my mam seemed to have less pressure to do all the festive fuss when we were kids , however if she was still alive now you can bet your bottom dollar she’d be knee deep in glitter and elves and Christmas Eve boxes for the grandkids – mess or no mess!!

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Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Spending Christmas with people you’d rather not? Let me help… 

Christmas is fantastic. I loved it anyway , but when you’re a parent it takes on a whole new level of awesomeness. It goes from being amazing to bloody brilliant!The problem is everyone wants to be round the kids for Christmas.Therefore you might end up having to spend the special day with pain in the arse in laws , annoying siblings or in my case for many years my child’s other parent !

Having people you’d rather not over for Christmas dinner or having to go to other peoples houses doesn’t have to put a downer on Christmas though.

I’m not claiming to be an expert , but I’ve spent the past 15 years doing one or the other so I have picked up a few handy hints along the way..let me share!

* The main thing is to avoid conflict.At all costs. This may mean restraining from pouring a whole gravy boat over the person who has said ‘Is this turkey a bit dry?’ Or it may mean spending the couple of hours with a fixed smile when an elder relative comments on how spoilt the kids are and in their day you got an apple and orange and were grateful! Whatever it takes (even if that is hiding in the larder with a bottle of Prosecco and a straw)

* Which leads to the next point. If you’re going to have a drink , just have a couple (until your unwanted guests are gone or you’ve left whoevers house you are at anyway) My motto is drink enough to render you mellow not enough to loosen your tongue. Previously I’ve had a glass whilst I hide in the kitchen whilst someone else puts toys together lovingly cook a feast of a meal. Then obviously a glass over lunch. At this point I would point out to my guest that I would get him a drink but he has to drive home doesn’t he? (code for you are NOT staying over) Post lunch gentle nudges are necessary to get your visitor to leave. I like to use “ooo Eastenders is on in a bit!!” Now I don’t always watch soaps over Christmas , but I am not going to surrender THAT get of jail free card!..and with a kiss on the cheek and a Merry Christmas they are gone and you can open the good wine.

*Keep cool with the ‘It’s all about the kids’ mantra .Make sure at the times you feel a bit niggled just look for the kids? Are they smiling? Course they are! Grandma / uncle /cousins/daddy may annoy the hell out of you but they’re up there in the children’s top 5 people. So as long as they are having fun everything is fine. Every year before my children go to bed on Christmas Day they declare it The Best Christmas Ever. That will do for me.

*If you’re having to go to someone else’s house because ‘that’s what we ALWAYS do’ Be prepared. This is usually a mother in law one. She’s insistent that she has hosted Christmas since it began. If pushed she may declare that Jesus was actually born in the shed at the end of her garden. Anything to ensure her family are at her bosom for Christmas dinner. This is likely the kind of mother I’m going to become when the kids are older , so I do get the woman! Anyway if you are going to someone else’s house. Prepare yourself for the fact they may do Christmas differently .This can range from the relatively minor of only getting one roast potato each with dinner (hit me with half a dozen or don’t bother. Do not tease me with one!) to the more serious of insisting on a walk after lunch. Only place I want to walk to on Christmas day is the telly with a glass of wine in one hand and a selection box in the other.

Have a lovely , fun filled time whatever you end up doing . Let’s face it , annoying relatives (even other people’s) are as much a Christmas tradition as turkey!!

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Me, Being Mummy

Christmas ads fib!

Yes it’s still November but the Christmas ads are out so I’m allowed to now use the C word!!!

I love a soppy Christmas advert, I do. They make me feel emotional and nostalgic and warm and fuzzy inside. You can’t beat them to make you really feel festive . They make me feel something else though too.. a bit of a failure. Our Christmases don’t look like the ones on the ads, I feel guilty about our non advert perfect Christmas.

Then I get a grip. It’s all fibs to fool you into buying stuff!! I’ve thought about the perfect Christmas scenes the ads sell us and how my more real scene unfolds at home!

Christmas ad scene :
Perfectly wrapped colour coordinated gifts under an exquisitely decorated tree. I’m always so jealous of the trees.

Real scene:
I’m a good gift wrapper. I love it, luxury paper, ribbons, bows, sprigs of holly (too far I know). That only extends as far as grown up gifts though. Kids gifts are usually wrapped in £1 a roll Asda special paper. The tree?? Oh my!! I let littlest girl decorate the tree so it’s now become her thing. She’s so giddy and enthusiastic about it and the tree always looks… interesting.

Ad scene :
Gorgeously dressed table, glistening turkey, perfectly cooked vegetables, mountains of food.

Real scene :
I do a good line in table dressing. I can compete with an M&S ad, no problem.

It. Ends. There.

Lovely food on the table, candles, place names it’s all there. Then I take my seat at the table. There’s a call of “where’s the pigs in blankets?”

I can’t even say ‘shit!’ silently in my head what with it being Christmas so I rescue the pork products from the oven JUST before they burn and return to the table. I should confess here that dinner is always at least an hour later than I say it’ll be. It’s become a tradition.

Soooo.. dinner late, close call with the pigs in blankets but it’s OK. We’re still on for ad perfect Christmas dinner. Let’s pull the crackers.

Chaos ensues – cracker pulling elbows knock over drinks. I still can’t say ‘shit!’ silently in my head what with it being Christmas. I chirp ‘It’s fine’ clean up mess and yet again return to the table.
“mummy my gravy tastes of lemonade”
For jingle bellsy ho ho ho sakes!!

Ad scene: Huge family Christmas
Loads of kids, mum and dad, aunts and uncles, grandparents. Everyone smiling and dozing and having fun.

Real Scene : Loads of kids, that I can do.
Other than the kids though, there’s just me! Lots of smiles though… well until the early start and excitement catches up with everyone and there’s a bickerfest around 5ish!

Ad scene :
The bit at the end where mum sits on the sofa, sighs a huge sigh and curls up with a much deserved glass of wine.

Real scene :
There’s a brief sit down post dinner before tackling the washing up. Glass of wine that was poured with lunch remains largely untouched but slurps are stolen as operation clean up begins. Then time to prepare supper buffet. Doctor Who is sit down time though. That’s the rules.

So our Christmas isn’t ad picture perfect.

Our tree decs are wonky. Dinner will almost certainly be late and missing a vital ingredient. There are only the kids and I and no rest until Doctor Who. You know what though?? That’s our perfectly, unperfect Christmas.

I love it.

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