Finally! I’m getting to show a little festive love on my blog again. It’s been a hectic time with my -what feels like an abrupt- return to work from maternity leave, wedged in between what also felt like an endless string of school performances, prize-givings and commitments. All of which has me feeling quite thin on the sleep and patience stakes, but oh so “tank full” on the mothering and pride side of things.Because, let’s be honest, as much as I moan about how exhausting this all is, I love this stuff. This crazy hussle with little people in tow – it’s my jam.
Before I had kids, when picturing parenthood, this is almost exactly what I had in mind; An onslaught of busyness with my kids, where mama and papa are manically, yet happily constantly on the go, all in the name of support and love for their kids. Ballet, soccer, gymnastics, prize-givings and comps till it bleeds out your ears. Squeezing in all of life into the few hours we are each allotted each day, in order to squeeze out all that life has to offer. I admit, that, in growing up, Hollywood movies have possibly had quite a heavy influence in how I envisioned my parenting experience. Which in that case maybe I probably shouldn’t have watched so much Griswolds & Cheaper by the dozen type movies.
But it’s my fantasy and I get to live it, so who cares? Right? I mean, I get to live out my fantasies! These beautiful, very real, very full of contrasts, fantasies. Very grounding and uplifting fantasies. Nothing wrong with that! In fact, it’s everything right. Just like yours – no matter how different it is to mine. And, isnt that wonderful? But I digress ever so slightly…
Where was I? Festive love. Right.
Our tree is up. 1st December came, and with it brought a release of our Christmas love flood gates. And I say “our”, because, my two eldest little girls are with me every step of the way with this Christmassy indulgence. (looks like my plan to build a Christmas freak army is working out brilliantly!) In fact, if it was up to them, we would have been decking the halls and jiggling all our bells way back in the middle of November already. But, despite their persistence, I fought every urge to throw mistletoe and glitter everywhere, and practiced restraint very successfully. (Sadly, the same cannot be said about the bag of chocolate and jellies my hubby brought home the other night – it stood no chance really.)
But we’re here now, and things are twinkling across our house, and with it comes a beautiful and steady vibration of excitement. Granted that vibe is sometimes a little thwarted by bummed knees (tweaked my already damaged knee after doing a light walk with my colleagues the day before), as well as the unfortunate intersection of my exhaustion and kids who don’t listen. But we do our best to say sorry with all our heart, commit to finding a better way of doing things, gather up the pieces and start again. This season is just filled with far too many opportunities for love and joy and beautiful moments for it to be tainted by the bad ones. So we refocus our lens on the good, and take the celebration thereof to the moon!
Often this celebration comes in the form of finding and adding new traditions to your family home (more on that later…hint: rhymes with elf-on-the-shelf). Sometimes, it’s embracing the sweet traditions that have been passed onto your family from darling friends of yours, like Advent Calendars. Our beautiful friend’s family (who also happen to be godparents to Parker-Grace too) bring Advent calendars for our girl every year without fail. Something they used to do for their own kids who have now grown up.
Or sometimes, it’s simply in the form of adorning the Christmas tree with your little sister…
The girls did it ALL by themselves this year. Like, literally, all on them. Even the garland going up the stairs. Sure, the tree was(is still) lopsided, baubles were clumped together, and there was practically nothing on the last half meter upwards of the tree. But they did it, enjoyed it, and took pride in their work. As did I. I was also proud that I didnt meddle with their work…
…Till three days later! 😉
And guys, I’m not going to lie…my heart had like a mini ka-sploosh moment as well as an “OMG, so you DO actually listen to me” realisation when I heard Morgan-Lee explain to Parker-Grace how the tree needs to be done. “Big baubles at the bottom, smaller ones ontop, and the other just everywhere!…I remembered what you did last year, mom!”….Oh, be still my beating christmas heart.
Also, it’s always done with Christmas carols blaring in the background – because a little someone has become the Christmas Carol police, and all things Christmassy in the house cannot be performed lest Judy, Perry,Nat, Elvis or Dorris is crooning it out. I’ve created a little festive monster in Morgy… and I am not complaining. It’s wonderful to witness. (Those of you who caught my instastories on the 1 December would know what Im talking about.) She’s so stuck on ritual, that she was adamant I had to use the huge CD compilation we always used to use every year, as opposed to just streaming the various albums via the internet. She’s oldschool like that.
Also, these two have been getting so close lately…its beautiful to witness.
Needing him close by at night. Or randomly snuggling onto his lap. Running so fast on her sweet, little long, spindly legs to find him, wanting and waiting for his adoration of how she looks in her new dress. Excitedly waiting for him to come find her in her not-so-secret hiding spot, the second he gets home from work. It’s all just wonderful. And I remember the same happening with Morgy, when Parky was born. Mike really steps it up with the older kids, when we have a newborn in the house, where just so much of my energy goes into getting us through those first few rough weeks with baby.
Speaking of which…it’s her first Christmas…
And I am giddy about it all unfolding with her, and all her curiosity. Because, make no mistake, madam is one eager little thingy to experience and see this world. I sometimes feel like were just two blinks away from this little one setting off to travel the world with her little suitcase in hand.
(check all the drool 🙂 )
This little being is so keen excited to experience things, that I’m almost not surprised by the rate at which she is developing. And really, if I think about the Mama Bamba unborn connecting session we had with her a week before she was born, my good God! This child actually warned me/showed me just how eager and in a hurry she was to live this life…the fact that she was born earlier than expected was but her first move. And she excites me with just what else is in store. So this first Christmas, I’m sewing so much intent into my actions with her…with all of them. It’s going to be a good one.
In fact, the season itself is already off to a wonderful start. Not to say that things don’t go to shit at times – that’s life. But we are choosing to make this season a wonderful experience, if not for us, then for our wide-eyed kids, in all their impressionable glory. Trying to not only keep more than just their spirits intact, but filling them with all the wonder and joy and imagination that this life experience can hold. Their receptors are so ripe with enchantment and possibility, that now is the time to plant those seeds of magic and fuel their curiosity.
Not to mention, tis also the season to break out the christmas jammies (Morgy reminded me on the 1st December, and every night since makes sure that I have a pair of xmas jammies ready for her)…and of course our collection of Christmas books that grows every year.
And if you’re like us, now is also the perfect time to introduce new traditions, like the Elf On the Shelf. Or as I described to our dear friend’s quizzical query as to what the f__ is an “Elf On the Shelf”?
Another instastory you might have caught a few weeks back was when I first purchased this little Elf..
I was both excited and unsure as to whether I did the right thing with buying this Elf. (I’ve put it off all these years till now.)
I mean, I bought this thing whilst of sound mind and body, maybe only just a little drunk on the Christmas spirit I was bottling up in November, and already thinking of all the cool things I could do with this little elf. But then as I explained it to Mike, he quietly listened to all I had to say about how this little lady (it’s a girl elf) was not only going to charm the crap out of girls, but also act as yet another tool to help make them listen to us more intently. All we have to do is make sure we remember to move her every night. Every. Single. Night….Lest we want her to lose all her magic and cue the girls losing their damn minds too.
Mike looked at me in silence, and then responded with, a slow wry smile, and half laughing said, “Ssssso, what Im hearing is…you’ve just put another cross on my back”
To which I laughed in slight agreeance. But only slight, ’cause I knew I was going to do it anyway, because (taken straight from my Instagram post) :
Introducing a new #tradition for our home! #elfontheshelf
And oh boy, I can already just picture it, the sheer rush of panic washing over me, as i wake every morning realising I forgot to repose this lil bugger…but I dive right into it anyway cause I’m a sucker for all things Christmassy and fun… And I love spinning some #magic for my little girls…and yes, I get a kick out of it not only for that, but also cause that lil’ kid in me never says die and loves the crap out of all of this.
T-minus2days till the shenanigans begin!! Ps.Also I just added to our little #Christmas village this year. I couldn’t resist.❤️(the white house)
And on that note, Happy December, folks! Release the reindeer confetti! Let it rain down upon you. And yes, I am sensitive to the fact, that this time of the year is not all joy-joy and candyland avenue for everyone. So, to those, I send my love and light, and trust that you will get to spend this season surrounded in love either way, no matter what you’re going through right now. For the rest, I hope you shall join me in indulging that little child inside each of us, and revel in throwing as much twinkle lights around as you can. Let’s make it shine!
Edited to add: Also, tonight we’re off to Uncle Willy’s with friends – can’t wait!