Last year I learned that planning a family Christmas for one baby was magical, even though Violet didn’t have a clue what was going on. This year I learned planning Christmas for TWO babies, one with a head-to-toe viral rash and tonsillitis…. is CHAOS. Christmas this year was most certainly low-key but it was Pearl’s first Christmas and only Violet’s second so we still tried to make it a wonderful day, and in it’s own special way – that it was.
Just before Christmas, Violet had been really poorly. She had a temperature of 40 and ended up with a midnight visit to Children’s A&E where she was diagnosed with tonsilitus, she then had a bad allergic reaction to Penicillin and managed to cram one last illness in before Christmas, waking up on the 22nd December head-to-toe covered in a frightful viral rash. It’s fair to say she went through the wars just before Christmas and it knocked everything out of kilter. Preparations this year were rushed around the babies, a late night shopping spree at M&S, everything Amazon Primed at the last minute and a photo finish to get everything done before Santa arrived on the night of Christmas eve – but we did it!
Violet’s rash also meant we had to cancel some of our plans – her shiny ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar’ costume for the church nativity play still hangs in her wardrobe unworn, which was a real shame as firstly, I feel the nativity has been looking for a caterpillar character for a while now, and secondly, she would have looked mega cute. Never mind – always next year.
Luckily for Pearl, being her first Christmas at four months – she hadn’t really a clue what was going on – for babies a string of fairy lights and some rustly paper is enough so she was happy enough.
On Christmas morning we all felt a bit exhausted really! Luckily Violet not understanding what was happening decided to sleep in, so we had a lovely relaxed hour in bed, drinking coffees and playing with Pearl – we even let her open a sneaky present ahead of her sister, but thats a secret we will never share. Violet was up eventually and ran into the living room to see that all her presents had appeared! Her main present was a Tuff Spot Tray so I set that up with a few sensory/play things surrounding some presents in the centre of the tray – she ran straight over and wanted to get unwrapping!
We didn’t buy the girls too many presents this year – we tried to aim for things that would be educational, useful or would last a long time, rather than hoards of toys and clothes, but by the time we put all the presents together with those from friends, family around us, they were actually pretty spoiled! We tried to space the presents out and opened them a few at a time over the course of three days to give them lots of time to play with and appreciate each thing before opening something new. They got some really lovely gifts from our friends and family, things like a Brio Train Set, Peppa Pig Playdoh Sets, Clothes, Books, Iggle Piggle Light up Bath Boat, National Geographic Kinetic Sand and Door Bouncer for Pearl – just to name a few of the favourites this year. We didn’t exchange any gifts at all, it was all about the girls – there was nothing I really needed, I just wanted to make it special for them.
Our day was low-key after that, we had a couple of visitors from friends who came over to play with the girls, have drinks and eat mince pies, but other than that it was just us. We cooked a roast, Robbie had his traditional roast dinner and we settled to watch the Queens Speech at 3pm. The girls mainly just played with their new toys and caused havoc pulling stuff out, I mainly spent the day clearing stuff up and pretending I have a minute to sit down. The Bucks Fizz I had on the go most of the day helped when things got screamy.
Boxing Day my parents came down. They took the girls to the park, which was great fun – Violet repeatedly saying ‘Weeeeeeee’ whilst on the swings is just the cutest. My parents treated Violet to a few bits for her Tuff Tray and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to get some her BRIGHT green Kinetic Sand out to create a ‘farm’ for her to play with. She promptly threw sand everywhere in excitement, I’m still finding green sand in the carpet now!
Our New Years Eve was also a quiet one! We didn’t make it up until midnight, I woke up to feed Pearl at 01:30am and realised I’d slept through the lot! Two under two life is just exhausting! Maybe in 5 years time I’ll see New Year’s but for now I’m happier for the early night….
So, all in all – we survived our first Christmas as a family of four (well, five!). It wasn’t perfect, but the girls made the day really special and through the exhaustion haze, illnesses, extra work shifts for V, we managed to carve out a day to remember!