Sometimes I think my posts tend to have a negative tone, probably the nature of my blog, an outlet for the difficult times, sharing my experiences and how I have or intend to over come hurdles and to seek advice or the suggestions of others. However my intention of this one is to celebrate and share some happy memories made this Christmas.

For the past two Christmas’ we’ve travelled abroad to stay with family and have had the best time, it’s taken a way the usual rush we’ve had each year flitting from my family’s to the in laws on Christmas Day which although nice to see everyone becomes a bit of a bind and stress, meaning we have to clock watch and trail about, not getting to relax and fully enjoy festivities. Being away meant we were able to live in the moment and enjoy the people and times around us without worrying about being late setting off for someone else’s or ensuring we’ve packed all gifts and things we need to take to so and so’s house.

Having a new baby this Christmas also helped eliminate that however despite the presence of Baby P we’d made the decision that given Christmas lasts for 12 days and not one, that we wouldn’t try to cram everyone into one day anymore anyway. So this year we spent Christmas Day with some family and saw the rest on Boxing Day, with a visit to my husband’s sister’s on Christmas Eve, spreading out our journeys, present distribution and celebrations over several days. This was nicer, it created a calmer more enjoyable experience and less fuss and unsettlement for Baby P meaning we were able to enjoy her and our first Christmas together as a family.

I know it sounds selfish that we worked Christmas that way and not pleasing others, but a little of me thinks why not, we’re a family now and our needs should come first, especially what’s best for little missy and keeping her settled in one place where she’s dry and warm is much better. I think as she grows older it will be better too, I’ve mentioned in previous posts about not bringing up my child to be materialistic and I think a calmer approach to Christmas may help her understand and value that it’s not just about presents and that she doesn’t have to get them all on Christmas Day. That friends and family like to share and exchange gifts and time together, (it’s not just Santa that brings presents) and that Christmas isn’t just one day.

Enjoying our time with Baby P made me think about our family traditions a lot and what are we going shape as our traditions and memories (especially now Poppa M isn’t around to do his infamous Christmas Speech). I base my ideals on my memories growing and most were around the magic of Santa and the quirks we had as family, both good and bad. I can laugh at the good and bad things that used to regularly occur each Christmas and that daft things we did. None of which really relate to presents and what I was given, that’s just all in the background. What I remember are funny stories we can re-tell, of waking up ridiculously early etc etc. These are the things that matter most.

So this year, as I mentioned in my post about spoiling babies we didn’t buy many presents for baby P at all. We didn’t need to, we enjoyed time with her, we enjoyed dressing her up in Christmas baby-grows and Brussels sprouts skirts and early morning cuddles. We relished in that fact that both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve she had a 6th sense and knew to settle and nap happily whilst mummy and daddy enjoyed cooking and indulging in an uninterrupted special meal at the dinner table together (first time since she was born actually!). We loved showing her off to family and friends over the festive period as she smiled and giggled on cue and reminded us that she is by far the best present anyone could ever ask for.

We lovingly opened her gifts and she kicked, gabbled and gurgled in her bouncer, blissfully unaware that she’d been spoilt rotten by our nearest and dearest, reacting only to our smiles and coos throughout.

Baby’s first Christmas was great, it was all about us and what we wanted and needed over the festive period and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

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