Christmas holidays with small children – what is it like?
We have passed the second Christmas and New Year’s Eve with our boys!
The first Christmas holidays with them I was looking forward to it as a little girl. The first Christmas dinner together, children’s Christmas clothes, unpacking gifts…
With Yaw we agreed that boys had to get something that makes a sound. At that time, we did not really care what kind of sound that would be, however, in these things it is better to be picky.
As a parent, you have to count on hearing this sound for the next few weeks and hours in a day. 😉 As for the clothes, I got the boys two pairs of stylish trousers and red vests with the wording ‘My first Christmas 2016’, that were waiting untouched in a wardrobe up until their Big day. Tiny Christmas socks and hats were the cherry on the cake. Perfect!
Let’s be honest, we parents do all these things rather for ourselves than for our children. However, interesting is that we (especially us, mothers) spend as much time and energy on them as if our children were to remember them forever. Perhaps one of the Christmas’ miracles?
As for Christmas traditions, since I am Slovak and Yaw is English, we started a tradition of double Christmas in our family. Which practically means that we celebrate two Christmas days, the Slovak on December 24th and the English on December 25th.
This way we have two different Christmas dinners and even presents we put under the tree twice. And each time different ones! (Thank God we only have one tree!)
The first Christmas with children was the first time all four of us sat at the table together. The boys sat in the high chairs for the first time and were truly fascinated by this experience. It was a wonderful feeling. One of those moments that makes a mark in your memory that is clearer than a series of professional pictures.
I still remember how I fed Henry during the dinner and kept shaking my head in surprise how much had happened since the day they were born. In my mind, I saw a flashback of that time and felt a freezing, yet a warm feeling.
Memories have a special power. It’s interesting that even the worst experiences are in the memories often transformed into some kind of nostalgic form. And the good experiences can appear even brighter in our memories. Like a graphic artist making certain colours on the picture popping out more than others.
Before I became a mother, Christmas felt totally different to me than it is now. They say that Christmas is especially about children and there is something about it. When you watch their reactions and the joy in their eyes, suddenly you see Christmas in a completely different light.
And our boys are not even two years old yet. I am sure that as they grow, this experience becomes even more intense for us.
As for the New Year’s Eve, the first one with the boys I did not even notice. They both fell asleep late in the evening and Yaw and myself had to force ourselves to stay awake until midnight. We watched a movie to prevent ourselves from passing out, clinked the champagne glasses at twelve and went to sleep.
The second year was different. In addition to the same scenario from the previous year, we even lit some sparklers at midnight. 🙂
It is interesting to watch the flow of life and the changes it brings with it.
Not even that long ago Christmas holiday was a space for me to relax, chill and have some fun. In the evening I got together with friends in some pub, we had some drinks, smoked and did not have to worry about what would happen the next day.
When I got pregnant, at first I couldn’t even imagine my life without these “privileges”. At the vision of my life where everything is mostly about children, I felt shivers running down my spine. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like. (Well, of course, I couldn’t.)
Yes, I no longer go to pubs every week, I do not smoke and after one glass of wine I have enough, but for the first time in my life, I feel a genuine, deep happiness.
Paradoxically, what I was afraid would make my life “worse” in a way, had, on the contrary, balanced it and gave it the right direction.
Of course, even today I go out sometimes and from time to time I miss the old, worry-free times, but nothing will beat the feeling of love and happiness that I as a mother permanently feel in my heart.
How is it even possible to come to such a change?
It’s like with anything else. It’s not the change, it’s our fear that is our enemy.
However, as soon as we find ourselves on the other side of the barricade, everything we had previously feared melts away like a bad dream after awakening. And suddenly, we have a chance to see our previous life from a completely different perspective.
I know that for some time I will be celebrating the New Year’s Eve with one glass of sparkling wine. I know that I’ll spend a lot of following Christmas days cooking and cleaning at the background of casual maternal duties. I know that during the Christmas holiday I won’t relax any more than on any other day.
But I also know that I will be happy. Despite the children’ cry, despite the tiredness, despite the stress, migraines and possibly mental problems, I will be truly happy.
My children, my family has a credit for that. And I really hope that your little ones also make your life miraculous not only on Christmas but every single day.