Over the past couple of weeks, our home has been Christmasified with the guiding premise of my newly developed war cry: “More twinkle lights”. There’s not much I enjoy more than seeing my home aglow at night, sleeping children tucked up in their beds, fairy lights casting a shimmer upon their faces. It is the fastest, surest way to make me close my eyes in deep gratitude, whispering “thank you” to whichever stars aligned to grant me this life.
In related news, Joel’s newly developed war cry, however, is as follows:
Lord Help Me.
Given the fact that it’s actually the LORD’S BIRTHDAY we are celebrating here, I’m not sure the Lord is really going to help him at all.
As you can see, I bought my husband a new coffee mug recently, and he loves it.
Don’t be fooled into thinking he doesn’t secretly love how things roll in our house at Christmastime. You can, folks, find him thumbing through the Lemax pages of the Aldi catalogue, asking which one I think we should get this year to add to our collection, hand over my heart, telling the truth. It’s smoke and mirrors, friends. He’s not really a grinch.
Except when it comes to matching Christmas jammies.
He’s actually deeply offended by matching Christmas jammies.
But me? Matching pjs is one of my pinnacle highs of this time of year and I will never, not ever, let Joel and his outright negativity get in the way of that. I dreamed of my kids in matching jammies at Christmastime the minute I found out I was pregnant last Christmas. It was, in fact, what got me through a large part of my morning sickness.
Instead of waiting until December eve for the kids to unwrap their new jams, I decided to bring them out early. At the rate of Georgie’s growth, she will fit into them for approximately 39 seconds and I COULD NOT waste them.
They’re a squeeze as it is.
(A few asked…they’re from eBay AND THEY ALSO COME IN ADULT SIZES I AM LOOKING AT YOU, JOEL)
Guys, it’s November 23rd. I reigned myself in as much as I could. Well, online anyway. My house is a different story. Without further ado, I hereby present the first official Christmas post of the year – kicking us into festive gear ready for the 1st.
Give me all the tartans, everywhere.
(First sleep in her cot!)
And twinkly cosy Christmas bedrooms.
Christmas book swap out.
We have about thirty children Christmas storybooks which, on rotation, take prime position on the bunk book shelf. Our very favourites are Christmas in the Big Woods (Laura Ingalls Wilder lovers unite – the illustrations, the story, oh Lord), The Sweet Smell of Christmas (a beautiful scratch and sniff book with all the Christmas scents – pine, orange, gingerbread, peppermint — just gorgeous), The Jolly Christmas Postman with pull out letters and puzzles and little tiny things kids love, and, of course, The Night Before Christmas – a musical version that plays a Christmas tune every time you press the button. I got this for Ella’s very first Christmas and the batteries still work.
Our advent calendar.
One of Joel’s long-time clients and the kids’ third surrogate grandmother surprised us with this sweetest stocking advent. She sewed it herself and she rarely sews anymore, ready to be filled with treats and activities for the first of December. I will keep it forever.
School concerts, carols, photos with Santa, our overnight stay in the city on Christmas eve eve — all invitations to plan the exact festivey, jolly, Christmassy attire. Be still my beating heart.
In our house, Batman also gets his Christmas gear out.
Babies at Christmas.
God how I love having a baby in our house at Christmas.
And lastly, our Christmas village, a scene I treasure every year.
A leg has broken off Mr Doughnut’s cart, the train keeps getting stuck, someone broke the handle off the town bike, and the carousel gets squeakier each year, but it’s a wonder I love beholding, my childrens’ faces lit up by the lights of Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe when night time comes.
Their bedroom at night is lovely, even Joel admits it.
And I’m so grateful that it’s a scene I get in my life, in my home, for the short time that I do: Children and lights and “Mum! We can’t forget that Dasher hates carrots!”.
I’ll be honest: I’m tired as all hell. Joel and I weave our marriage between baskets of laundry and half-finished conversations, between empty coffee cups and crying children. We laugh at our giant mess often, because if we don’t, we cry. There is no such thing as a storybook Christmas; frost on windowpanes and perfect happy families gathered around their twinkling tree sipping cocoa. Christmas, like all of life, is nestled amongst messes and mistakes, exhaustion and problems, but we grab the joy where we find it. And if we can’t find it, we create it. Because when I see the glow of twinkling lights on the faces of my sleeping children, and when I take in the sight of our Christmas tree behind the discarded train tracks left all over the lounge room floor, the blood and the sweat and the exhaustion and the hard work of motherhood takes a back seat to the holiness of motherhood. And all I feel is lucky.
Besides, baby loves her wreaths.