Those who know us, know we absolutely love Christmas. Even Matilda‘s middle name, Noelle, means Christmas. And if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that we had had our decorations out for quite a while.
Even before Matilda was born, every year we would watch as many Christmas movies as possible, watch White Christmas on Christmas eve, and leave milk and cookies out for Santa that were magically gone the next morning. I even have a little cheese board to myself, complete with patê and chutney, which is a nice little treat to myself because we don’t often have cheese in the house. It’s a magical time of year, and we put in a lot of effort to keep it that way.
Even with the chaos of a newborn, we managed to do all of our Christmas Eve traditions, apart from the “Matching PJs” photo, which Jess won’t let me live down. Unfortunately, due to the lockdown, shops like Primark, where we would usually go for pyjamas, were closed, and they got so busy upon reopening that we never managed to get any. We will try again next year when we have a one year old to match us!
As for Christmas morning, we also have our traditions. Before we moved in together, we both woke up at the crack of dawn to enjoy Christmas as early as possible, but since, we have taken a more leisurely approach and wake up naturally. I’m sure the early mornings will come back when Matilda is old enough to get excited by it all, but this year was no exception. Aside from the night time feeds, we still stayed in bed for quite a while. We always start the morning with a cup of tea or coffee and a bacon sandwich, and this time we enjoyed them in bed. Then, usually, Jess would have a glass of Bucks Fizz, but she wasn’t drinking alcohol on account of her breast feeding. She still had her usual Christmas second breakfast, though, tucking into a box of Fox’s assorted biscuits.
Usually, me and Jess go a little bit crazy at Christmas, and our choice of gifts would typically be something personal that we know the other would enjoy. This year we kept it simple and low cost, not just for us but for everyone. We knew our financial priorities were going to shift, so we prepared as such. Jess got me a perfect little keep-sake gift. I play guitar, but I haven’t for a little while, and she got me a stainless steel engraved plectrum, saying play me a song Daddy. This has spurred me on to try and get back into it, so that is my goal for this year.
We’ve always grown up spending Christmas with our families, but when we moved in together we decided to start our own tradition of staying home all day on Christmas day, and see our families on other days, keeping Christmas all to ourselves. This means we would usually have a lovely, romantic Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings, cooked to perfection by Jess. But we knew that this year, she would be either heavily pregnant, or we would have a new born, so we made other plans.
We were under tier 4 restrictions, which meant that we weren’t allowed to form a Christmas bubble like other places could, but thankfully, we were already in a support bubble with Jess‘s parents, so we were over the moon when they invited us round for lunch. It was our first time out in the car since having the baby, so Jess still struggled a little with the bumps on the journey, but we got there in one piece. Jess still wasn’t allowed to drive post-surgery, and since I was having a little drink, we had to trust a taxi to bring us home gently. Luckily, I had forewarned them when I booked it, so it shouldn’t be an issue.
We had several Christmas outfits to choose from to dress Matilda in. She had already outgrown our first choice, so we ended up dressing her like an elf. She looked so funny! We enjoyed a delicious Christmas meal, and welcomed the relief from constantly seeing to Matilda thanks to others taking shifts. Jess even got to eat her meal while it was still hot! The company was great too, and thankfully, the taxi was gentle and understanding like we hoped.
We enjoyed the rest of our evening at home, snuggled up on the couch, watching whatever was on TV, before heading to bed.
Usually, just after Christmas, we would have had a party with our closest friends, to celebrate Jess‘s birthday and Christmas. Unfortunately, this year, the restrictions prevented this, but I have a feeling we wouldn’t have done it regardless, with a new born and all.
New year came and went, and again, it was nothing that special because we couldn’t really do anything. We did stay up to see the new year in, but by then we were exhausted! And soon after that, it was time to dismantle Christmas. It’s always a sad time because the decorations make us so happy. Because they had been up a while, we decided it would be best if Matilda wasn’t home in case we disturbed a lot of dust. So I dropped them both off at Jess‘s parents while I took everything down and took it to our storage unit. We only live in an apartment and it took me a whole 7 hours to do! But our home was now clean and tidy. It always feels huge when we clear Christmas away, which is a good thing because it will gradually start getting filled by baby toys!
2020 was a tough year for everyone, but for me, I won’t remember it for the pandemic. I’ll always remember it as the year I married the love of my life, and the year she carried and gave me my first child. I love them both dearly, and eternally.