Mum’s Santa letter

Dear Santa,

First off, I want to assure you, my children like you, they just like the idea of you more than they actually like you.  I think it’s the beard, and maybe the big wintery suit when everyone else is wearing shorts that puts them off. You probably know this already, but they aren’t the biggest fan of talking to any adult they don’t really know so, no offence, but they are not going to sit on your knee and tell you what they want for Christmas this year, (hence the letter).
The four-year-old is also surprisingly suspicious about how you are planning on getting around to everyone’s houses. I’ve told them the whole reindeer thing but I have a feeling he isn’t really buying what I’m selling. Yes, yes, I have used the “if you don’t believe you don’t receive” line and a quick change of topic, for now that is working so I guess that tactic is going to get a good run in years to come.
Now, if you know anything about four-year-olds, which, given your job I’m assuming you do, you will know the questions come thick and fast. The one that seems to be perplexing him the most at the moment is, how exactly you are planning on getting in to the house when there is no fireplace or chimney? I have suggested that we will just leave the door open that night but he is worried a robber will come in and steal our Christmas tree and “beautiful decorations” so if you could give me a hint on how to handle that one that would be great.

Now, for what I am writing about… the requests. The children have been good, despite what my neighbor might tell you (with all the commotion that I am sure they hear daily).
Leo is setting his hopes high with the request of a simple pink yo-yo,  unfortunately when I went to go find the yo-yo for you it became apparent that yo-yo’s haven’t been in fashion for about twenty years and the options were VERY limited. I had to settle for a red, flashing Paw Patrol one, but the second unfortunate thing is that when I suggested that maybe you wouldn’t be able to find a pink one, he said that was fine as long as you didn’t get a red or a black one he would be happy. So maybe a note that goes along with the disappointing red yo-yo would be appreciated. I’m sure, if you would be so kind, some other toys will help fill the void of disappointment that the failing red yo-yo is sure to bring.
Maisie is easy, she wants a snorkel. Not that she knows how to use it or knows what they are for, in fact I am pretty sure she just plans on walking around the house with it but either way, a snorkel please, orange if you’ve got one. I think she would also like a microphone, so she can yell her favourite thing to yell, “Attention please, saying words” in to an actual microphone instead of into the microphone shaped honey dripper that we have given her to play with.
Posy is a baby, she doesn’t know who you are or what is going on, but she is teething and dribbling like nothing else, so at risk of stealing a line from an old-fashioned song, her two front teeth would be fantastic.
And as for myself, well I’ve got a long list, mostly Mum stuff you know, nice kids, clean house, etc. etc. Basically, all I want is just an uninterrupted conversation with my husband, and children who wait until I am free to ask for a snack. Too much to ask? I thought it would be, no problem, I’ll just take a baby that sleeps through the night.

So, Santa, I may have to think of some better reasons as to why you don’t already know Leo’s name when we see you in the shops, or why and how you can be in so many places in December when you have the big job of checking naughty and nice lists. But for now, I am going to let you off the hook, this last month the threat of you not coming has worked wonders, and for that I am grateful.
Thanks for keeping my kids in line, sorry the letter is so late, you are a Christmas miracle worker, right?

Safe Travels and Merry Christmas,

With love, Jess xx

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The last one of 2014

I have been overwhelmed by all the messages of love and support since starting this blog a few months ago, I am grateful to be able to share my stories and to have such a wonderful audience. As a reward to myself, and in the spirit of Christmas, I have given myself a small break from writing over the Christmas and New Year period. Thank you to everyone that has started following my venture as a first time mum, and I look forward to bringing you more stories and hopefully, share some more experiences in the new year.

Oh and for those of you who were wondering, we did not end up getting a photo with Santa. We did however have a Christmas Elf, and personally, I think that was better.

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Santa and Leo

Yesterday we met Santa. We did not get a photo.

We had been given the advice to go meet Santa a few times before we hand Leo over for his photo. To this I scoffed, ‘How precious, Leo will be fine, he may do his shocked face, but he wont cry’. I was right, he didn’t cry, instead his bottom lip just about hit the floor and he clawed on to my neck as if he was never letting go. To be fair, Leo’s only ever experience of Santa to date did not look like this Santa. Santa as Leo knew him was quite thin and spoke with a fake ‘I’ve been holidaying in Scotland’ accent (one of my Uncles at a family Christmas). This Santa, was by no means skinny, his beard covered the majority of his face, with only his eyes shining through a very thin, very tiny pair of glasses.
We stayed to watch some children take their turn after us, hoping Leo would warm up to the idea and we would leave with what we came for. I suggested we swap roles, this time, Duncan taking him, me somehow thinking Leo would be sensing my anxiousness about handing him over to a complete stranger, even if it was only just for a minute. This tactic did not work. Less bottom lip, more tight claws. Leo held on as if his life was in danger, just about strangling my husband as Duncan was forced to back away from the strange man in the red velvet.

We have nine more days to get a photo. Our chances are slim but we will keep trying. I used to think that getting a photo of Leo upset on Santa’s knee would be funny, a great 21st photo, now, after seeing him so scared I know that this would simply be cruel. Sure, my ego is slightly bruised as I have had to eat my words about Leo not needing an introduction session, but we will keep introducing, until maybe eventually the day will come when we can capture that perfectly timed, peaceful, possibly even smiling Santa photo.

Our Christmas’ have evolved over our time as a couple.
Some things remain the same, like kicking off the Christmas mood by watching Love Actually, or dinner with my family on Christmas Eve followed by Christmas Day on the road, alternating between families each year. But I have found that having a child adds a whole new element to Christmas. Last year, Leo was five weeks old, a tiny dot who slept, fed and had no idea about what was going on. This year, a busy, food demolishing one year old who loves presents, or at least the packaging that they come in, will relish in every bit of extra attention that will, no doubt, be paid to him.

Our house also shows signs of Christmas in the house of a toddler, rather than that of a childless couple.

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Our Christmas tree, small in stature, heavy in decorations, has gone from the corner of the room, always in sight, to being placed in a room that we only walk through, placed up high, out of a certain someone’s reach. The Christmas cards are yet to be sent, waiting on the bench, along with a list of the people who are getting one. Our dining room table has been turned into my permanent wrapping station and there is a small Elf costume ready and waiting for Leo to wear.

Although I love and am excited for Christmas, getting myself organised for it with a toddler has proved difficult. My lack of organisation has made me thankful that our family now does Kris Kringle, so instead of thinking of six perfect gifts, I now only have to think of two. Online shopping and express post is a much appreciated luxury that I become very well acquainted to since becoming a parent, the thought of fighting my way through Christmas crowds with a pram does not appeal to me in the slightest.

What I love about Christmas is not the present’s, although I am confident they will be well accepted, or the much-needed family holiday that follows shortly after. What I love is the gathering of family, especially now that we have Leo, family time is so special. Enjoying the company of the people who are most important to us, that is what I love about Christmas.

In nine days it will all be over, the tree will be packed up and the opportunity for the Santa photo will be gone for another year. Next year, just like last year, Christmas will be completely different. From now on, every Christmas will be more and more exciting, the prospect of meeting a Santa may even be celebrated rather than feared. In the scheme of things we only get a few short years before the magic of Christmas fizzles out, secrets get revealed and letters to the North Pole become a silly task rather than a necessity.

Children and family really do make Christmas what it is, a joyous time. Christmas is a time when we should really consider ourselves lucky to have children in our lives. We are lucky to witness and share in their excitement, even if like us, it may just be over the plate of food they are about to devour.

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[This post may or may not be followed by a different type of Santa photo in the coming days]

Merry Christmas.