It’s a bit of a cliche but often at this time of year, you will hear people trot out the phrase, “I don’t feel Christmassy yet.”
It usually comes in response to early sunsets, gridlocked traffic and an inability to comprehend the number of Christmas lights springing up across the neighbourhood.
And, to be honest, I’ve felt much the same way this year, what with the birth of Harry at the start of November and trying to squeeze that into my already crammed existence.
However, with the help of my festive-happy wife and eager daughter, I think I might just be getting there.
First of all, there was the sudden appearance of Christmas decorations throughout our house last Wednesday evening. Unbeknownst to me, my wife had spent the day plotting and collating all the decorations at our disposal before placing them out in ready-prepared spots.
When did she plan all this?
After that, we had an amazing Christmas Dinner at Rick and Sarah’s on Saturday night. Harry came along and was one of the stars of the show, along with a terrific leg of lamb, some kazoos, rwo inquisitive cats and a rather creepy looking Anne Robinson impersonator. (It was that kind of night).
For me, Christmas Dinner with our crew has always been a signal for the start of the festive period.
Finally for this part, and probably most influentially, Sophie’s Advent Calendar has got me thinking about Christmas, mainly through our attempts to get her to understand the Christmas Story.
I’m not sure how many Nativity sets you’ve got, but if Sophie doesn’t understand it when we’ve got 6 (SIX) on display then I really don’t think she’ll ever get it.
I mentioned in a blog this time last year about how she was accessing the story and starting to learn about it. This year, with the help of a sticker-based activity (and some chocolate), she’s grasping it more and it’s great to see.
Last night, I was holding Harry while her and my wife pulled out the next slip of paper – some incredible prophecy from Isaiah or Micah – and then continued to stick on the tableau. She reads her Usborne Nativity Story book along with one of us, scoffs her chocolate and then sings Away in a Manger.
It’s super cute.
After that, she’ll dance around for a bit or ask about Mary or the angel. (It’s quite early still in December so the other characters are not yet in scene). There’s nothing like the natural curiosity of a child to get you thinking.
Sure I’ll soon be able to say, “Actually I’m feeling Christmassy now…”
Why not wait until part 2?