I'm starting to wonder if I'm cut out for traditions.
You see, I LOVE traditions and love to hear from others about what they're family gets up to but I've realised that traditions take a long time to set up, establish and can really, really trigger moment like this...
The pressure of the Holidays gets talked about endlessly. I feel really sad every time I hear it because it casts a huge shadow over a time that really could be quite magical. Watching my two year old's delight at even the tackiest of Christmas lights has made me remember all those things I LOVED about Christmas and I'm trying really hard to rein in my perfectionism and the pressure I put on myself to deliver the most beautifully handmade, tradition filled month long festive celebration.
So where am I in this Zen like state of calm? Am I gliding through the many little magical moments I set up in November for my daughter to experience now? No. Am I running around like a headless chicken in a way that makes Jennifer Saunders look well adjusted in the video above? No.
I'm sort of muddling through. Here's where I'm at this year with it all. We'll see what sticks in the long run I guess.
Tradition 1: FOOD
I am all about the opportunity to make and bake but I've realised I can't actually squeeze any more hours into the day. The mince pies are starting to get made but it's to the sound of a jar lid popping open and pre rolled pastry. It's fine. It's the making and eating them that's fun, not panicking over crumbly pastry. I did actually manage a cake this year after I found Nigella's Easy Action Cake. All hail Nigella and her understanding that some of us just don't always have a great deal of time. Actually, I just remembered in writing this post we don't have any of those 'favourite cake ornaments' I loved as a child. Huh. I wonder if Lego counts?
Tradition 2: Something knitted.
Check. Ish. I have a jumper nearing completion on the needles for the Tot and it's my sister's turn this year. That will do. It's ok.
Tradition 3: Advent.
Now, this was a perplexing one for me. The developmental understanding of a full 4 weeks of Christmas build up seems a bit mean. I like the idea, I loved advent as a child but I was also just really bored of the calendar by about mid point because come on! When will it get here? I've implemented a 5 day advent- small things that are festive that we can DO on the build up- festive sticker books, icing the cake, and then on Christmas Eve the final present reveals a tradition I'm really excited about....
Tradition 4: Christmas Jammies and a book.
In my naive way, I am genuinely under the disillusion that giving my child new pjs and tucking them in with a much loved book will make them fall asleep with visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in their heads. They won't even wake before 6 or anything. Yep.
And I think that's it? No Santa's grotto visits (the Tot remains terrified of big strangers and too much fuss so I'm guessing this would be her idea of hell). No handmade ornaments. No elves on shelves. No Christmas crafting with the Tot to make various handmade things to give everyone. I'm just going to carry on muddling through and be content that I got some things done because dear reader, Christmas is not the time for a hysterical breakdown or blogging about all the things you should be doing.
I made a vow to myself that I wouldn't plaster festive pressure on this blog many years ago and despite the hours I lost on Pinterest last night searching for various crafty things we could make, I've talked myself down from that ledge and instead the Tot and I are spending the afternoon taking a walk in the park and and then returning to throw bits of this wooden nativity set around the living room. It's festive enough for this mama and while I love to see what people have got up to and applaud anyone's efforts, I just have this sneaking suspicion that I might be happier with a handful of festive rather than the full feast.
Stay playful! x