I feel like my posts are all a bit late at the moment, but I want to capture everything for the little ones, and didn't really manage to post in November/ December, so here we are.
Christmas 2011 styley was excellent. Of course, it took until about 11pm on Christmas Eve to think this, but I got there.
My control freak approach meant we were ready for Christmas, more or less, by the beginning of December. Bar the things we couldn't do (put the Christmas presents out) or put the decorations up (for fear of them being pulled down).
I had encouraged Seren to decide on what Father Christmas would be bringing her early on (late October). The toy catalogues came out, decisions encouraged, toy catalogues binned. A kitchen would be what Father Christmas would bring, the boys would, of course, be happy with wrapping paper.
After last year's experience of the tree being pulled down (constantly) we waited till the 11th to put up our Christmas decs. We found a corner of the room which no-one could easily reach which did the trick.
Fortunately Seren maintained the wish for Father Christmas to bring her a kitchen all the way to Christmas Eve, and we (I) officially became a bad parent for using the threat of "Share or Father Christmas won't think you've been a good girl and bring you presents"- the guilt lives on.
Seren whilst speaking to Nana Windows (the Mother-in-Law) did suggest she'd like a pi-pi-pi-an-o, and, much like the kitchen, remained true to this wish through December.
The run up to Christmas was good. I thought I'd learnt from my parents and their wrapping into the early hours of Christmas day, by wrapping all presents as they arrived (the internet benefits), although with hindsight I think this was their tradition.
On Christmas Eve, mum and dad arrived to help us build the kitchen, this was not the "half hour of a job" predicted, but probably all the more pride is taken in it by my dad and OH as a result.
We established our first Christmas tradition (borrowed from a childhood friend) of each child unwrapping a gift on Christmas Eve. The gift contained a book and pyjamas, a bath ensued and the three were tucked up in their pyjamas and their book read, or something like that.
Once the presents were in place, children asleep, Christmas began.
On waking Seren (!) at nine (!) on Christmas Day, we were forced to ask "Who do you think has been to see you in the night?". Cue running into the boys room shouting "The babies? The babies?"
Hmmm, time to pop downstairs.
Seren was, of course, obsessed by the footprints, and insisted on following them, first to the stocking on the lounge door and then into the lounge and to the patio doors.... hmmm, but what of the presents?
I forget this about Seren everytime, but she insists on playing with every toy, examining every gift as she unwraps it. This is, of course, much to my frustration, of wanting to see her response to every gift. In honesty, she has it right- no question.
Once we finally got to the stage where each present had been unwrapped and examined, time passed, and she looked at me and said "No kitchen??", now, forgive me for looking at the most recent addition to the lounge, covered in a blanket. But, wow!! the excitement as we walked towards it.
Seren, it has to be said (with every bias in the world) is the best at physical displays of emotions, excitement- the hands start, followed by jumping. And this was her reaction to the blanket. Oh, to love a 2-year old!
Seren's excitement at Christmas continued all the way through Christmas Day- our own Christmas lunch and a trip to my mum and dad's, where as ever it was great to see her so protectionist of Seb and Tom as they paid the slightest attention to Seth and Cohen.
To Boxing Day, and the departure of Daddy, but the attention of the grandparents and the wider family- with Cohen as her partner-in-crime.
And then, to Nana Windows arriving.
Seren hasn't seen Nana Windows since September. Before then, she saw her Nana more or less every day. I am once again grateful for her public displays of affection- the hands, the jumping up and down...
And for Seren, being before her time- and as one of Tony's friends remarked- as Courtney Love....
[if the video's not here- I have yet to sort out youtube]
The things I have loved about this Christmas:
- Seren offering to mend my mum's Christmas Tree lights when she saw that they twinkled.
- Seren telling a close friend that her 'Father Christmas' tree was gorgeous, having asked us since the 11th to take our 'Father Christmas' tree down because she didn't like it.
- The boys opening their Christmas presents- more or less.
- Seren insisting on prefixing everything starting with 'Christmas' with 'Father', including of course 'Father Christmas tree' and 'Mother Father Christmas'
- When asked what Seren would like from Father Christmas, the response of "presents", "What presents would you like?", "yellow ones"... ok, "and what else?", "A kitchen.". Phew!