The run up Christmas is the best bit in my opinion, the jumpers, the music, winter walks and shopping trips with mulled wine, festive nights out and decorating trees. Ok this year has been different a lot of the usual build up we’ve had to miss out on but it’s still been exciting on the lead up.
In someways it’s been good that we’ve missed out on somethings. Little P has been so excited, she knew and understood about Santa last year but had no concept of time at all so it was just something that was going to happen. This year she was more aware of days and things happening, later or tomorrow, so every night right on cue she asked if Santa was coming in the morning. She was giddy beyond belief. So much so that she was finding the whole thing overwhelming.
I think overwhelming is the best word. It’s been exhausting her and her emotions have been up and down like a rollercoaster more and more as Christmas drew near. So I started to down play things. Some of the Christmassy things I’d planned we didn’t do. Don’t get me wrong, we still had a tree, we went to see Santa and did some crafts and baking as gifts etc for people. But I kept it to a minimum and reduced the Christmas music, only the odd Christmas film and as Christmas Eve approached I didn’t tell her.
I know, I sound like a miserable and terrible mother but I’m not and I know I’m not. Far from it. I had to. She was so giddy and was building herself up for this epic event only to quite possibly be let down or over emotional and tired to enjoy it, sounds a bit like my sexy life (sorry cheap pun but I couldn’t resist it and had to get it in before anyone else did). So instead she went to bed Christmas Eve without having laid out the mince pie, carrot and her stocking, blissfully unaware that the big guy would be putting gifts under the tree. I know she missed out on that but there’s plenty more Christmas Eves for her to enjoy and remember that and what doing this did do was put an exhausted child to bed and sleep at a decent time and she woke up at a decent time (winner winner!) and was in a good fetal for a cracking day.
It’s also meant we can now make up for some of the things we didn’t do before the festive season finishes. There’s still time for day trips to farms and parks where Christmas lights and winter wonderlands are displayed. There’s still time to sing Christmas songs and watch Christmas films, although she wasn’t keen on Santa Claus The Movie making me wonder how the two of us are related!! So she’s not really missing out at all, we’ve just mixed it up a little and shaken it up, so it’s a bit out of order and let’s face it 2020 has been a random year anyway!
Down playing the whole Christmas thing was a good thing, I know I can be as bad as her for getting too excited and then let down, I sometimes hold my expectations too high and then get disappointed when reality hits. We’re all a bit guilty of it really, that’s why people talk about post holiday blues, the month of January being naff, blue Monday and post wedding blues. We spend time prepping and building up to events for them to be over in a flash and then we have to ride out the anticlimax afterwards (there’s another innuendo in there somewhere!). So I don’t regret down playing the build up to Christmas, it was the best choice for her emotional well being, she was too giddy and for all she understood time a little better, she can fully comprehend the days of the week and a count down of that length. It’s too long for her to wait and it was making her act out and all sorts. So trying to calm things definitely helped with this and will be a tactic I call upon again.
If anything I use it a lot, I don’t really tell her about big events like holidays or birthdays until the last minute. I only let her know things when the build up Abs preparation is needed like going to pre-school, she needs to know about that change in routine so in needs prepping but even then I down play the newness, I try to be breezy about it so she can embark on it confidently rather than nervously.
So we down played Christmas this year, still meant it was a good one, in anything a better one.