The Day Christmas Finally Came...

Well Christmas festivities finally began to get underway today and I was so relieved. It felt like I should be doing ALL the Christmas fun and frolic now that we have a little one and the pressure to just BE THAT MUM is enormous. My blog reader, Facebook timelines, Twitter feed and Instagram feed have just been filling up with images of babies meeting Father Christmas, making salt dough ornaments and all kinds of Christmas merriment. Us? We'd not even located the Christmas baubles let alone worked out if they're shatterproof when savaged by a small pudgy playful hand.

I stoppped looking at my phone midweek and just felt so much better for it. Do I need to make her a kitsch Christmas sweater, a stocking, a garland, an ornament, a scrap book of images that is perfectly annotated or rush around to every Santa's grotto in a ten mile radius? The thing is, she's 13 months and at the moment, it's all just wonderment and baffling to her so any small gesture is enormous to her and a mummy who can stand upright at the end of the day seems far more healthy to me. I want things to be nice and special but seeing as her current favourite thing to do is career round the kitchen with a mixing bowl on her head, I figure I've got a few years yet before I need to start the whirlwind with full gusto. I can just aim to get the mood and the magic will come, right?

So with deadlineageddon finally past I announced 'We are getting festive this weekend, dammit'. Such a perfect holiday sentiment no?

I made baby friendly mince pies using this recipe from River Cottage and store bought pastry because you know what? I don't have time in my life for pastry. I will. Just not now. I have limits.

We mulled wine and decorated with Ella swinging us through Christmas in the background.

We made a roast dinner for ultimate comfort afterwards.

Then we sank back and basked in the glory of Christmas finally arriving and I resolved that I would try hard not to succumb to the idea that the holiday season is about what I did to make it perfect rather than a holiday season that was full of love and warmth (and plenty of mulled wine- hurrah!). I felt amazingly snuggly and festive suddenly and I was surrounded by my loved ones and they all looked pretty chipper too.

Tomorrow we're going to the farmer's market to get some festive treats and let Playful Baby pet a sheep dressed as a reindeer. Yup. That's my version of queueing for hours in a shopping mall to see Father Christmas. I'm hoping little one never realises the difference...!!

Happy Holidays!


A few things have changed in the Playful house that have meant for major changes rippling out into other areas of our lives. I can feel life tilting in a way that I hadn't quite expected. It's new and like all change, it takes some getting used to.

The first major change is that this years house renovation and DIY are drawing to a close at long last. A few loose ends and some weatherproofing outside before winter returns and we are done for a while. To say that I'm grateful is an understatement. This has dominated every week since we moved nearly a year ago and has ranged from catastrophic to mildly irritating. With the end of so much work comes more time to just enjoy ourselves and our time with family and friends. Having people over for dinner rather than drilling is much more fun.

The other change has been Playful Baby who continues to grow at an alarming rate. After months of holding her, nursing her, soothing her and being in near constant contact, she is starting to move further away and explore more independently. She now spends an entire morning a week with the Giant and one afternoon a week with my mum. This means a few scratches off my to do list and some working hours but also a lot of sitting and looking at colourful toys and feeling like the house is just a little too quiet and dull without her. 

As that to do list gets less full with items such as 'sand shelves', I start to reclaim some long lost items from my regular to do list. 'Block shawl' appeared this week and enticingly, 'record'. 

Life is changing. I wonder where it will take us over the next 9 months?