I have been feeling super sentimental this festive season, but no, it has naff all to do with the everlasting covid pandemic.
Yes, we did have a crappy Christmas last year thanks to a last minute lockdown. However, I had a whole other reason for wanting to make this year’s festivities all the more special; my little girl is growing up.
Savannahs father and I alternate Christmas’s with her each year and this time, it was my turn to have her for Christmas. About mid November it suddenly hit me; this could potentially be my last Christmas with Savannah while she still ‘believes’.
Currently she is 7, very nearly 8. Meaning the next Christmas I have her with me she will be 9, very nearly 10 (that doesn’t even bear thinking about). The likelihood of her still fully believing in the magic of it all on that Christmas is quite slim. Considering too that she was questioning things or how they are possible a lot more this year.
While I know from other people with teenage or grown up children that Christmas can still be magical, I will be very sad when this chapter of magic and excitement is closed.
After all, a HUGE part of childhood is Christmas isn’t it? The magic, the music, the twinkly lights and chocolate. The presents and seeing family. Christmas was most definitely my favourite time of year growing up and having Savannah has made it special all over again.
I didn’t always see my family a lot. We love each other but aren’t close, which means going months – sometimes longer – without seeing each other. That’s why I loved Christmas. It meant seeing family. And I loved it.
I still remember the presents Father Christmas got me and how exciting it felt unwrapping them. I love seeing that same excitement from Savannah.
I love all of the traditions we have created together too from Christmas Tree Day (we wear xmas jumpers, eat mince pies and listen to xmas music while putting up the decs) to her Christmas eve box with a new pair of PJ’s and various activities enclosed inside. Blimey, I have even been sentimental about the bloody elf of the shelf this year. Sucking in the magic, knowing it may be the last time I do it all.
This year we put the Christmas decorations up in November rather than 2 weeks before Christmas like normal. We have had countless cups of hot chocolate and attended many more festive garden centres than normal. We’ve had Christmas music on so much I’ve still got them whirring around in my head and have OD’d on mince pies and cheese.
I wanted it to be as memorable as possible. I want Savannah to look back with as much fondness of Christmas as I do.
I also want to make the most of it all while I still can too. As much as I am always excited for the next stages of Savannahs life there will be a big part of me that is sad when all the innocence and belief is gone.
When a little hand no longer goes to grab mine. When her eyes no longer light up at seeing Santa, or even a well decorated house.
When she no longer gets excited about her elf returning or writing a letter to the North Pole. When she isn’t fussed about Christmas tree day anymore or what’s in her Christmas eve box.
The thought of all of those realities makes my heart hurt.
This year, I made the most of every magical minute with my girl. Sucked it all in. We have sang songs at the top of our voices on the way to school and gone for lots of walks to find the best dressed houses. We have had festive film nights with pizza while painting our nails. It’s been brilliant.
We were booked to go to Disney on Ice at the o2 on the 27th which would have perfectly topped off a magical Christmas but sadly it was cancelled. A risk you take when booking things currently.
Instead we went bowling and for a burger which was still lots of fun. You don’t need to send lots of money to have a good time or make memories, or any money at all. Most of the fun we have had hasn’t cost a penny.
Most importantly, I have taken the time to stop and look. Absorb the here and now. When life is so busy it is so easy to forget to do that or miss the little things. We don’t mean to and feel guilty every time that we do, but that’s how it is. This time together has been much more mindful and present.
It’s made me realise I need to be more like that every day.