….and I’m also finding it fairly complex!!

It all started with the tree decorating.  I am one of ‘those’ parents who is a total control freak when it comes to bauble placement.  My husband and the youngest stayed out of the way in the kitchen (not even joking) while the threenager and I tackled our creative differences head on.  Everything was going well until she put two baubles on one branch (is she even my child?) swiftly followed by her little butter fingers dropping (although not breaking…phew) some baubles we’ve picked up on special trips away.

We’ve also been faced with some significant conundrums in recent weeks about Christmas etiquette.  I mean, I’m probably playing it fast and loose with the description of ‘significant conundrums’ for some of you, but in my little world with a curious three-year old and a rapidly growing eight month old they’ve felt like defining parenting moments.

First up – Christmas presents.  We’ve had two early Christmas weekends with family that we won’t get to see anywhere near the actual Big Day, so we’ve already done some present swapping.  Now I realise this is a total first world problem to have, but we ended up needing a quick agreement that didn’t become too elaborate for where these presents had come from – Santa came early? The relatives? The relatives coordinated with Santa? We settled on they’re just straightforward presents from family, no mention of Santa and then whatever gets left for Christmas morning will be from Santa.  The potential of Mum and Dad coming over as pretty tight parents in future years when we won’t be credited with any purchases isn’t escaping me but I think we’ll just have to figure that out when it arises.  I so want believers for as long as possible but I have a sneaky suspicion our inquisitive eldest will have it figured out sooner than I’d like.

Now comes the letter writing.  Do you go Christmas Eve and leave it out with your mince pie and beverage of choice? Or is it a pre-prep activity only?  As a child we were Christmas Eve writers on the basis that Santa had been watching (creepy much?!) so as well as knowing if you deserved your presents, he also knew what you really wanted leaving under the tree.  I think we’re going for ‘sending’ ahead of time – which given we only talked about last night I’ve missed the Royal Mail service, so for this year I’ll be missing out a ceremonial posting!

The idea of visiting a Santa beforehand feels cute and the picture opportunities could be endless, but how do you go about explaining that little gem? Let’s be honest, sometimes those Santa’s can be questionable in the authenticity of their appearance (last year was the first time we’d taken her and he looked like he lived on a strict diet of salad and had never so much as sniffed a mince pie) so I don’t particularly want to give the lasting credit that these often faux-bearded fellas are the big cheese, you know?  I’m at a loss with how to explain this one if we get asked (who am I kidding, WHEN, we get asked). Any ideas?  I vaguely remember being told they were Santa’s helpers…even now I’m screwing my face up at ever buying into that!!

What are the Christmas traditions you’re setting up each year? How are you planning on keeping Santa alive and well in your house for years to come?! Please share – I’m so winging it with this one I feel like I’m going to get tripped up by the pre-schooler any day now! I’ve stopped breastfeeding Lilly now so plan B is I’ll just load up on mulled wine and hope for the best?

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