How We’re Preparing for Our First Christmas With a Baby
I never thought I’d say this – especially not in November – but guys? I think I’m pretty much prepared for Christmas.
Yes, ME: the world’s biggest Christmas grinch. The same me who used the fact that she was about to have a baby as an excuse not to bother putting up a tree last year. The same me who doesn’t exchange Christmas gifts with her husband, because they both agreed that the very best gift they could give each other would be the gift of not having to give each other gifts.
(Er, also the same me who’s apparently decided to start referring to herself in the 3rd person, for some reason. I’ll stop that now, before it gets out of hand, shall I? )
This year, though, things are a little different. This will be our first Christmas without Terry’s mum, of course, which I know will be hard in ways we haven’t even begun to imagine yet. But it will also be our first Christmas with Max, and, for that reason alone, I’m feeling much more excited about it than I usually would. And, I mean, it’s not like that would be difficult, obviously, because just as I am Not an Autumn Person, I am not usually much of a Christmas Person, either. Quelle surprise, right?
A girl can change, though, and even although we know perfectly well that Max won’t have even the slightest idea that it’s Christmas, and will care even less, that hasn’t stopped Terry and I thinking about what our Christmases might be like, with a little person around. So, we have a new Christmas tree, plus a ton of things to decorate it with. We’ve bought approximately 80% of the gifts on our list. We’ve… dressed Max like a reindeer. And here’s a quick look at how we’re preparing for our first Christmas as a family of three…
Now, don’t get me wrong: I love our existing Christmas tree. It is, however, a bit of a minimal design, and while that was exactly the look we were going for in the past, as Max gets older, I’m pretty sure he won’t be running around shrieking, “I can’t wait to put up our stylish, minimal Christmas tree, and accessorise it with a few carefully chosen baubles, mummy!” I mean, I guess he MIGHT, but I suspect he’ll probably be more excited by a slightly more traditional tree, which is why, earlier this week, we took delivery of this guy:
It’s the blue mountain spruce, from Cox & Cox*, and, don’t worry: we may be slowly turning into Christmas People, but I don’t think we’ll EVER be the kind who put their Christmas tree up in November, so this photo was taken right after it arrived, when we quickly set it up, just to make sure the lights were working, and that it would actually fit into our living room. It’s back in the box now, obviously, and that’s where it’ll be staying until December, no matter how many times Terry says, “But don’t you think we should maybe do a trial run, just to make sure we have enough decorations for it?” Honestly, from the way he’s been talking about this tree, you’d think we were going to be graded on its final appearance or something. (OMG, WHAT DOES HE KNOW?!)
Anyway, as I’ve said a firm NO to the whole ‘trial run’ idea, we didn’t take the time to arrange the branches etc properly for this quick photo, so here’s one from the company’s website, to show you what it’ll look like when it’s properly arranged, and fully-decorated:
Like, it’ll look EXACTLY like this, because I expect we’ll totally have the necessary skills to replicate this, yes? And, in related news, yes, I think we probably WILL need to buy some additional decorations, now I really think about it. So far, we have some of the huge star lights shown above, plus the light-up tree topper (And, full disclosure, the tree was gifted, but we bought all of the decorations ourselves…), and last week we went out to buy some baubles and came home with two giant bags full of sparkly stuff. This is in addition to the tree decorations we already have, obviously, but… yeah. Maybe just a few more?
One of the things Terry and I wanted to think quite carefully about was exactly what/how much we’d get Max in terms of Christmas gifts. The issue here is that, as much as we want to be able to spoil him a bit, and make sure the season feels magical to him, we don’t want to LITERALLY spoil him, or have him be totally overwhelmed with STUFF. We’re very aware that he has a large and generous family, and he ALSO has a birthday just four days after Christmas itself, so we’re really keen to try to find the right balance, and make sure that he has some lovely gifts to open on the day, but not so many that he’s not able to appreciate them all, and it all starts to feel a bit meaningless, really.
Also, let’s face it: we know perfectly well that, no matter WHAT we get him, he’s just going to want to play with the box it came in anyway, so we’ve bought him a few little toys we think he’ll like…
… and, along with those, Terry also had the idea of making a couple of sensory boxes: so, you basically just take a box you’re not using, fill it up with crinkly paper, or streamers, or anything else noisy/colourful that a baby might like, and then wrap it up. I’m willing to bet that these will be much more interesting to Max than anything else we buy for him, to be honest. We’ll see.
(Also, when we were in the car earlier this week, I heard an advert on the radio about one of our local supermarkets – I’m pretty sure it was ASDA, but I’m going to have to double-check on that – who’re putting out donation boxes for toys, to be given to local children who’d otherwise have very little/nothing at all at Christmas. Max has quite a few things he’s now outgrown, so I’m going to gather them up and drop them off next time we’re in the supermarket. I’d quite like this to be an annual thing, that Max gets involved in too, when he’s older, so he understands that not everyone is fortunate enough to have lots of toys etc, and how important it is to give something back…)
Oh, and I obviously also got him some clothes…
Everything here is from JoJo Maman Bebe, including the little reindeer onesie, which I couldn’t wait until December to put on him. Oh, come on, I’m not made of steel, people! As you can see, I went in hard on the reindeer theme here, so he’s a got a reindeer all-in one, another reindeer all-in one, (Both of these are a cashmere mix, and they’re just so soft and gorgeous that I can’t tell you how happy I am that we’re long past the reflux stage, and I can trust him not to just instantly throw up on them…) plus some new pyjamas, and the cutest little sleepsuit ever. I’m not actually waiting until Christmas day to give him these (Other than the flannel PJs, which I might save for Christmas Eve/morning), so if you follow me on Instagram, you can expect to see Max dressed like a reindeer throughout the festive period, not even sorry.
THE DAY ITSELF
As for the day itself, we actually don’t have too much planning to do there, as we’ll be having dinner with my parents, as usual: my mum has been planning her Christmas table since about February, as far as I’m aware, and every time we remind them not to go overboard on buying gifts for Max, they both get a kind of shifty look about them, and change the subject. Yes.
We’re also planning a big family dinner with Terry’s side of the family, who’ll we’ll exchange gifts with at that point. As I said, it’s going to be heartbreaking not having Terry’s mum with us this year: she loved Christmas, and I know she’d have gotten a huge kick out of seeing Max in his little outfit, opening up his gifts, so, honestly, no matter how carefully we plan it, Christmas this year is always going to be bittersweet, at best. I’m just glad we have our little reindeer to help distract us, and although I know he won’t have a clue what day it is, I’m hoping he’ll enjoy it all anyway.
Oh, and finally, there’s also this book, which my mum picked up in ALDI last week, and which is currently making EVERY day feel like Christmas in our house: (You’ll need sound on for the full effect…)
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This is how Max “dances” right now, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that he does this every single time this tune plays. Every time. Even when I sing it to him – and I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, so that’s saying something.
I mean, it’s hard not to feel just a tiny bit festive right now, you know?
*This post contains PR samples. All opinions are my own.