Monday, 29 December 2014

The Day After

During the pre-Christmas rush I find myself longing for Boxing Day more even than Christmas Day. Don't get me wrong, I do love Christmas Day, and it's all about the Little People and their collective excitement, which is both joyful and exhausting in equal measure. But Boxing Day feels a lot more manageable and restful.

I usually sleep really badly on the night of Christmas Eve, and this year was no exception - did I label everything ? Have I wrapped everything? Prepped all the veg ? Bought Brussels sprouts ? Hung the bunting ? It's ridiculous. My sub-conscious brain worries far more than my conscious one does. The answer to "Hung the bunting ?" Was a big fat NO. But here's a photo of it anyway, it still looks pretty even in a heap on the table. 

And then I was woken (for the day) at 4. Yes, 4am. By Little Tomboy totally wide awake and asking "is it time to get up yet?". "No, Santa probably hasn't been yet. Try and go back to sleep". However that didn't put her off and she asked every 10 minutes until I finally gave in at 6.15. The household is then in a state of high excitement for the rest of the day ....

"He's been he's been!"
"How did he know I like tomboy stuff ??!"
"Best loom band set EVER!"
"Look, look, he ate the mince pie !"

(Note the absence of festive coloured bunting in photo. Tut.)

We have scrummy pain au chocolat and frothy cappuccinos for breakfast. Or sweets if you are 11 or under.  I have my eye on this jar when it's emptied (which should be quite soon the rate they're going at).

The excitement continues through the day as more presents are unwrapped, lego is built, new pens are used and board games are played. They realise they can eat sweets all day without any parents being boring and saying no. On Christmas Day I am the parent who likes to say yes  .... 

Can I have another whole selection box Mum ? Yes of course!
Will you play Monster High Top Trumps with me Mummy? Yes of course!
Can you help me with my loom bands ? Yes of course!
Can I have another mince pie ? Yes of course! 
Can we play charades again ? Yes of course!
Will you help me with my new jigsaw? Yes of course!
Will you play my new very energetic dance game on the Xbox with me ? Yes of course!
Can someone get me some toilet roll ? (Seriously) Yes of course!

Yes of course!  Yes of course! Yes of course!

My mother-in-law comes for the day and is great fun, and we have a long silly skype call with my family in Northern Ireland having their own chaotic Christmas Day.

I try - and fail - to ban everyone from the kitchen and cook the lunch (I succeed in the cooking part). Mother-in-law brings the desserts, she clearly can't decide on just one though and brings too many. This year we had a choice of 7 (including a really cute little Christmas cake - I'm the only one who likes it). There were 6 of us. We joked that we really need a desert trolley. And a load have gone in the freezer.

Crackers are pulled at lunch, and later we race the wind-up Santa teddies that came with this year's set. Wind-up teddy Santa racing. What more could you want, really.

Little Tomboy is the champion (phew, that could have gone badly).

They laugh and squeal at the silliness of charades, and they are STILL eating sweets, but us adults are groaning about how much we've eaten and maybe undoing a button or two (ok, I confess I changed into my pyjamas late afternoon). And it's all tremendous fun :)

By the end of it though .... I. Am. Absolutely. Shattered.

Hubby drives Mother-in-law home and I attempt to herd the Little People into bed. Ever heard that analogy about putting an octopus in a string bag ? Enough said.

My own little tradition, and it drives hubby bonkers, is to set aside my presents from him and open them in the peace that ensues once the Little People are in bed, Mother-in-law has gone home, and it's just him and me and a bottle of Baileys. Hubby really doesn't like it that I do this, but it's my one little indulgence on a day otherwise given over - and willingly so - to everyone else.  His presses to me are always brilliant - he's very thoughtful and generous, and I like to take my time over them. This year he gave me lots of lovely crafty things - including the Mollie Makes Crochet book, and a yarn cutter pendant ....

And some practical things - a new phone (my old one is dying) and, just as excitingly - for me, anyway - a new charging plug and cable that are pink. Hurray for girly techy things!

And then the day, with all its exuberance and expectations, is over. And I go off to bed grateful and content in the knowledge that my little family are all healthy and happy.

Boxing Day is a far more laid back affair. Having stashed their presents in their bedrooms, the Little People wake up at whatever ungodly hour they like and just play. I stay in pyjamas all day. I make cups of tea and take them back up to bed. I chat uninterrupted to hubby. I browse my new books. I mess about with hooks and yarn. I throw together a help-yourself lunch on the kitchen table. I remember this is why I bought the crackers, cheeses, pre-pack snack box thingies and salads that have been taking up valuable space in the fridge. I play the odd game with a child that needs a bit of Mummy time. I watch Christmas telly with a child that wants to snuggle for a bit.

I potter about enjoying the relative calmness, reflecting on how fortunate we are, and I promise myself that next year I will pace myself better. (Hahaha!! Who am I kidding?!)


  1. Sounds like a perfect time for your family.. you are such a good mum! I'm enjoying the "down time" between xmas and NY.. but I'm still going to go swimming today. Have fun with your crocheting! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

      *H*A*P*P*Y* *N*E*W* *Y*E*A*R*!*

  2. Sounds hectic at your house Jill! I know what you mean about Boxing Day, I love Christmas Day, but Boxing Day is equally wonderful in its own way! X

  3. I loved Boxing Day more this year too. It felt so much more relaxed. Chilling in the shade of our big tree and eating leftovers. I tell myself every year that I will be more organised but there is always a made sprint at the end. Merry Christmas to you and your family and all the very best for the New Year and all that it will bring. Elaina xo

  4. I feel exhausted just reading that Jill!! Hectic here too, but such fun xx

  5. It sounds like a happy Christmas in your house! We managed to stay in bed until 8 am. I know, hard to believe but my photos show that is clearly daylight when we opened our presents! I like to open my presents later, too, once everyone has lost interest in me. x

  6. It sounds like you worked very hard to make a wonderful Christmas :) It reminds me of Christmases with my 3 children when they were younger and we had guests staying over - wonderful and exhausting at the same time. I used to sit down once the children were in bed and wonder where the day had gone, so I totally get your saving your presents till then. Nowadays my young 'uns are aged 14 - 20 and we all agree the time that we will get up and open our stockings before we go to bed on Christmas Eve. Even then it's still hard to get everyone to wake up in time - I don't miss those 5 o'clock starts!
    Cathy x

  7. Sounds a great couple of days. I'm enjoying having nothing planned between Christmas and New Year. It's quite a luxury to be able to potter around and craft during the day. Have fun. X

  8. Beautiful. Enjoyed reading your post.

  9. Your day sounds wonderful, magical and exhausting all at the same time. Ours was a bit like that too although I have to say the day after Christmas I did not stay in my jammies. I have it all put away as of today, and now I feel I can take a deep breath and relax.

  10. Sounds like you had a really great day. I like the way you keep your hubby presents until you have peace to open them. I open mine early before the chaos starts as I like to give them my full attention. Love that little bag with the snowflake on it. Hope you have a very Happy New Year.

  11. Fabulous gifts from your husband! I hope that you had a great Christmas and that your New Year will be wonderful too! Best wishes for all good things in 2015 to you and yours! xx

  12. Happy New Year! What a busy christmas for you! I hope you had some days to rest afterwards to charge your batteries for a busy 2015!

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)


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