I remember when I was in my early twenties and hearing people say Christmas becomes even more fun when you have kids, and thinking, “Yeah, whatever.” I mean – when you have kids of your own it puts you firmly in the role of “Fun Maker” instead of “Fun Taker”. You have to worry about grown-up things like how long it’ll take to cook the turkey and whether all the presents have been wrapped. Christmas as a parent must be rubbish, yes?
Well no, actually. Since I’ve become a mum I’ve loved Christmas even more than ever (and I loved it a whole lot to start off with). There’s something infectious about my four year old’s excitement as the day draws nearer. It makes doing all those pre-Christmas activities totally worth it.
Christmas has always been pretty amazing since Frog was born – even on her first Christmas when our oven broke and we had to go to my parents’ for an emergency Christmas Day. This year though, it’s something else.
At four years old, Frog is totally aware of what’s going on. She’s old enough to remember the traditions of last year (a pre-Christmas lunch at the pub at the start of the holidays, making reindeer food, carols in the village on Christmas Eve) but young enough to buy into every ounce of the magic.
Although we only put our tree up last weekend, we’ve made a special effort to get out and do lots of Christmassey things over the last couple of weeks. This includes a pretty amazing trip on The Polar Express – a steam train on the nearby Dartmoor Railway that’s like stepping into the film. I cried proper tears seeing how excited Frog was as she waved to Father Christmas. Call me a sap, but it was one of those moments I won’t forget.
There’s also been ice-skating – an activity that Frog has always been too young to enjoy until now.
Then there’s been our annual pine-cone collecting walk, where we find pine-cones to cover in glitter and add to our Christmas decorations.
We’ve snuggled up on the sofa to watch Christmas films, had a Christmas tree putting up party (it’s totally a thing) and danced to many, many Christmas tunes.
There have been two letters to Santa (in case one goes missing)…
And, behind the scenes, I’ve been enjoying wrapping presents and sourcing brand new Christmas Eve pyjamas for both girls – a tradition we’re starting this year.
This week sees Frog’s school Christmas party and Christmas dinner – activities that remind me how great being a pupil at primary school is at this time of year. Plus we have more activities and trips planned for the last few days before Christmas Day itself.
All of this just goes to show that Christmas as a parent is far from rubbish. As far as I’m concerned the optimum age for Christmas is right now – aged 31 and two months. Although my four year old may disagree…
What do you think? Have you enjoyed Christmas even more since becoming a parent?