It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Christmas has always been a big thing in our family, not big as in 50 people sitting around a table fighting over the carrots, it was always just me, my brother and my mum and dad; but it was always made a big deal of. And that has carried through into our little family now, I officially LOVE Christmas and I think I might have even converted my grumpy husband to be a Christmas lover too (he has a festive playlist on Spotify so…). And we got engaged on Christmas Eve at home by the tree, just because I wasn’t excited enough he decided to blow my actual mind with a diamond ring, he’s a quick learner! It’s fair to say, I’m obsessed. I’m talking a day dedicated to decorating the house and just being generally Christmassy, stockings for Christmas morning, and I have even jumped on the bandwagon of a Christmas Eve box (well I am certainly not turning down an excuse for extra presents! Plus Lyla looks super cute in her xmas PJ’s).

I haven’t, however, reached the stage of motherhood where I am organised enough to hand-make footprint ‘mistle-toes’ cards for everyone, that would just be far too much mess, I’m sure it will come in time and I will eat my words! Don’t get me wrong, I can be quite crafty when I want to be, though I didn’t quite get the whole gene from my mum, and I certainly won’t be sending Lyla to school for Christmas fancy dress day as a cracker (what must have been a week-long project). Yeah, thanks mum.

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See, I told you Christmas was a big thing for us! But it was the basics of Christmas that made it big. I remember writing my list from the Argos catalogue (I never did get that Baby All-Gone…), my dad sneaking into our rooms dressed as Santa to fill our stockings and my mum buying presents throughout the year, and then forgetting about them until it came to wrapping up, so we always ended up with extra (not complaining in the slightest). It turns out this is a trait I have inherited – I love buying for people! A ‘lean’ Christmas in the Hipwell/Knapp households just doesn’t exist no matter how hard we try!

I also very clearly remember the year my mum let the ‘big secret’ slip… We were on my mum and dads bed (in their Kenyan safari themed room – yup, you read that right), opening our stockings, and the [very short] conversation went something along the lines of:

Brother – “mummy my toy car isn’t working properly” *sad face*

Mum – “Oh don’t worry, I’ll just take it back and change it”

Me – “But Santa bought it?”

Mum – “Well, erm, yes, but he sometimes gets the mums and dads to help buy things because he’s so busy!”

Nice try, mum. Nice try.

That being said we will try to keep Christmas magic for as long as possible with Lyla, and even when she does start to doubt it, Christmas will always be a ‘thing’. She is so much more into it this year, ho-ho-ho-ing when she sees Santa on something, and getting very excited over presents, I can’t wait to see her face! In fact, on the two occasions she has met FC himself over her short life she has been surprisingly calm; though that’s because they’ve been more  ‘WTF is this?’ encounters!

So as I try not to eat my way through the shit advent calendar chocolate (it just wouldn’t be Christmas without it), just remember Christmas is a time for friends and family, no matter how big or small, no matter how much you can or can’t give. It’s a time for watching Christmas films on Channel 5, dancing around the kitchen to that Spotify playlist, drinking Baileys (or Ballycastle for those fellow Aldi converts out there), building traditions (ours have already started with an annual ‘Santa hat’ photo), making memories, and not worrying about keeping up with the Joneses on social media.

Because at the end of the day, it’s the time spent together that is important, and nothing else. Considering events currently going on in the world, we are so lucky to even have this. As Ellen DeGeneres would say – ‘Be kind to one another’.

Merry Christmas from The Knapps xx

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