Mum Muddling Through…Christmas

It’s so close now you can almost smell it; The turkey cooking. The Baileys on ice. The roaring fire.

I’m feeling SO excited to have two (or should that be four?) ridiculously hyper people in the house on Christmas morning this year. As a massive overgrown kid myself when it comes to all things festive, I just know it’s going to be AMAZING!

Now, the magic of Christmas doesn’t come without a major amount of work for us Mums.  But by the big day itself, it’s time to forget the credit card bill, enjoy the fruit of your MANY hours of Christmas shopping labour, watch the presents you tirelessly wrap be unwrapped in a fraction of the time, and sit back, and store up those memories which you worked so hard to create.

Now, as a newish Blogger, I of course, needed to write the all important ‘Christmas traditions I love etc etc post’. So here it is, Mum Muddling Through Christmas…an A to Z of what makes this time of year so wonderful for me & mine…

A is for Advent calendars. Or specifically, forgetting to buy them EVERY YEAR. But, every cloud has a silver lining…

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B is for Baileys On Ice. For breakfast. Whilst opening presents on Christmas morning and for sharing with every house visitor. My Mums family are Irish so it’s as traditional to me as the Turkey dinner. Booze at 6.30 am? It’s Christmas! Why not?!

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B is also for Brie…and cranberry…which has been my staple lunch diet since 01 December…which you will already know if you follow my Instagram feed…

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C is for clementines. Not my usual fruit of choice, but at Christmas they just taste so GOOD don’t they? I didn’t think there was such a thing as seasonal fruit any more, but this festive fruity favourite just isn’t the same at any other time of year.

D is for decorations. As an old romantic who loves a walk down memory lane, I’m not sure there is anything more Christmassey than unpacking each decoration from its (original) wrapping, remembering where it came from and what we were doing at that time in our life. Some are tributes to special people, some are mementos from trips away, and some are just plain sparkly and gorgeous. Adding a couple of new ones each year, now most commonly involving paint, fingerprints and scribbles, it just gets more nostalgic each time. My mother in law also started buying us a Swarovski crystal one each year which I just love, so we have an amazing collection of twinkly bits.

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E is for early mornings. Even before we had kids that don’t believe in laying in, both myself, and my hubby were pretty notorious amongst our families for being the ones up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning. A match made in heaven…Even after I moved out of home, I’d still be up dressed, and tapping on my Mums bedroom door before seven a.m. I even gave up going out on Christmas Eve long before kids and the rest of my carefree pals, so I didn’t ruin Christmas day 🙂

F is for Fake tree. Or real tree. The argument of the decade between Mr G and I. I won last year (Real, obv) but we broke not one but two hoovers trying to clear up pine needles, so I’m accepting a gracious defeat this year…

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G is for Grotto. I’m as good at remembering to book this as I am buying advent calendars. Always managed to find a cheeky late space, and garden centre grottos seem to be the location of choice these days (it was always a department store when I was little?). Real reindeers are a bonus. Expect to pay a small fortune then feel obliged to buy the £10 photo too. If there isn’t a picture, did it actually happen? N.B. after booking your appointment with the big fella, you will probably see him (or his stunt doubles) at every shopping centre, at Nursery, at the panto, at the childrens centre, at every christmas party…so don’t expect the reaction you are hoping for from the kids!

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H is for hangovers. Once upon a time December was one long party (hangover?). Each festive knees up blending into the next. These days we are a bit more selective in what we say yes to, and some of the nights out have metamorphisised into family friendly festive affairs. But, it wouldn’t be December without at least one shocker of a hangover. Normally after the work do (not this year for me!) or the girls get together…this year I have a feeling I know exactly which day I’ll be dragging myself through to bedtime.

H is also for Home. For me, the house I grew up in…my Mums. It’s a big victorian town house with loads of period features, real fires, high ceilings, an unbelievable enormous real Christmas tree, and a dog asleep in front of the fire. Christmas dinner starts anytime from about 2 and goes on until around 6. Mums house feels a bit Christmassey all year round, and it’s never more warm, inviting and filled with love than at Christmas.

I is for Indoor Fireworks. A favourite of my Mums, a throwback from her childhood. They aren’t banned in entirety YET but several of the ‘old favourites’ have been shelfed, probably due to the toxicity of the green fumes. She prides herself in finding some online every year, much to my horror, as I open every window and get the kids to lay on the floor to breathe clean air. The banter on the subject is as predictable as the chance of a white christmas…

J is for Christmas jumpers. This one came out of nowhere didn’t it? 5 years ago no one would be seen dead in a ridiculous Christmas Jumper. Nowadays, they’re as commonplace as Christmas trees and mince pies. Some gorgeous ones out there, but Primarni offer a budget friendly selection which get my vote every time.

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K is for K’s Christmas Dinner. A great friend of mine hosted a girls festive lunch before Christmas for ten consecutive years. Sadly, it seems this is one tradition that may be resting in peace, as each of us have growing families, different lives, it’s getting harder and harder to catch up throught the year at all, let alone at Christmas. But, I’ll always treasure the fun times we had on one of my favourite christmas annual events. The empties were something to behold the morning after, as were the headaches. Never say never, maybe this little tradition is on a break, and will reappear later on, in a different form, i.e. in a gastropub.

L is for lights. We finally remembered to buy some new ultra modern LED ones this year…after failing miserably to pick them up in the sales again last year. The house doesn’t (yet) have the outdoor ones, but the indoor selection are enough to be seen from outer space. Just remember to plan to leave the house 5 minutes earlier than normal…to turn them all off. I’m never quite sure on if they can be left on while you’re out? But, a burnt down house the week before Christmas probably isn’t worth finding out for.

M is for Muppets Christmas Carol. Possibly my favourite Christmas movie….Christmas Eve wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without snuggling up in front of the Telly with this magical film. The songs are so lovely, I’ll be singing them all Christmas! And of course, opening the front door to everybody saying ‘Come in, and know me better man! (Did I already say that?…)’

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N is for Nativity. A special first for us this year, as Tigs has an, ahem, starring role; as a sheep. The songs have already had me blubbing over my cornflakes when she bursts into impromptu song. Personal favourite, the one ‘about our friend Gav’…..‘and all of us Gather round to feel the love in here tonight…

O is for online shopping. My saviour for presents and groceries alike at this time of year. I have already booked my delivery slots for 21 and 24 December. Thank you Tesco. Yes, you will rinse me in a way I have become adverse to, but even I cannot face Aldi and it’s bargain shopper queues, or any other queues in fact, in the days immediately before Christmas.

P is for pickles. You already know I am a lover of anything doused in vinegar…so Christmas dinner is in our household somewhat of a shrine to the vinegary veg as much as it is to the Turkey and trimmings. Pass the silverskins…pass the big boy onions, pass the beetroot…pass the walnuts…you get the idea.

Q is for Quality Street. Or celebrations. Or miniature heroes. The only time of year it’s acceptable to binge eat on a plastic container packed with chocolate in front of the TV.

R is for Raffle Tickets. Introduced to me by my fabulous mother in law, a lesson that not new christmas traditions are around every corner. The idea is, each child / family has a colour, and a basket of tickets. Instead of tearing through every present, you pick your colour ticket and find the corresponding gift with that number on. It’s had alot of groans and moans over the years…until the day she said she’d stop doing it. And then, there couldn’t have been a more heartfelt backlash. So, now, we all look forward to passing the basket around and stretching out the unwrapping throughout the afternoon, with a few festive drinkies on the go.

S is for the Snowman, and his recent wonderful addition of the Snowdog. A timeless memory of my childhood christmases, and my favourite ‘comforter’; A snowman hotwater bottle cover… 34 years old and still going strong that lovely little fella. He’s a bit tatty (well loved) and is a testament of my love of the film, and that beautiful smile of the big snowy friend. I couldn’t have been more excited about the release of the sequel all those years later, and was not dissapointed. Tigs loved it, and we will always remember with a smile what was a very sad Christmas, when we hear the soundtrack song from the flight scene.

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T is for Turkey dripping on toast. The BEST thing about boxing day! Don’t think about the calories, or what you’re eating…just enjoy its meaty badness goodness

U is for under the tree. I’m a massive kid and I have to admit, I do get a little bit excited about presents! Giving, receiving, wrapping, shopping. I don’t know if there is any better feeling than knowing you’re giving someone something they are going to a) LOVE b) be so surprised about c)not want the gift receipt for. I have a few up my sleeve this year…say no more 😉

V is for Vodka and Russian. I’m not a vodka drinker. And I have never seen ‘Russian’ (a pink fizzy mixer) anywhere other than at Mums on Christmas day. But, her Mum drunk it as a festive tipple, and me and Mum often share a cheeky V&R as a pre-dinner tipple on Christmas day.

W is for white christmas. The weather, not the film. I am married to a weather fanatic who spends as much time on weather forums as I do in #mblogs. Apparently, the weather gurus are all in deep depression at the confirmed lack of snow this Christmas. The hubby will be watching the weather radars all winter for the stuff. It would be so lovely to have a white Christmas once in our lifetime, wouldn’t it?

X is for Xmas pud. Love it or hate it, you need to have one to set fire to after dinner. Ideally with Brandy but whatever high alcohol content spirit you have will do. This is a tradition normally reserved for Grandads, and maybe one day when we actually host Christmas, Dad. The kids love it, I love it. Does anyone love the actual pudding?…Not so sure…

Y is for You time. When you have an enormous family like us, it can feel like you need to have a few extra days, or clone yourself so you can fit it all in. I have always loved loved loved spending Christmas with all our parents (three sets)…but even we have to admit the logisitics are getting trickier. Each year we desperately try to be fair, and split ourselves three ways. Which also works for us because we have three amazing days with the family we love. So, amongst trying to do whats best for everyone else, we have had to say a few no’s and work out whats best for us and ours too. And, have already put it out there that next year, we will be spending Christmas day at home, and I’ll be cooking my first ever real proper Christmas dinner.

Z is for Zzzzzzz What you’ll feel like doing after the feast….and for a month when it’s all over…

Eat, drink and be Merry…HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

x MMT

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48 thoughts on “Mum Muddling Through…Christmas

  1. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) Reply

    Oh I love this as you can feel the excitement in your words!! I love the Muppets too…watched it yesterday and was loving singing along. I am hoping for at least one hangover as well!! haha xx Happy Christmas lovely xx #marvmondays

    1. MMT Reply

      Had my first one yesterday!! Aargh! 😉 x

  2. Mrs Tubbs Reply

    Happy Christmas! Sounds like it’ll be a good one 🙂

    1. MMT Reply

      Happy Christmas Mrs Tubbs!

  3. melissa Reply

    ok, you know you’re excited when some letters get two mentions! loved it. Although I have never heard of indoor fireworks but your description has me so curious!! I completely visualized the children laying on the ground for clean air!!…yet weirdly i want to see this in real life! 😉 I hope your Christmas is wonderful!

  4. rhymingwithwine Reply

    Fabulous festive post. I love your traditions and I share a few too… Mupper Christmas Carol for one! (I spend all of Xmas Eve singing “tonight there’s only one more sleep til christmas…”

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    Dawn xx
    #abitofeverything

  5. Robyn Reply

    Eek – indoor fireworks?! Never heard of them before, but I do like your description of everyone getting down on the floor to avoid the toxic fumes, it sounds just like a scene out of a Christmas comedy 🙂 #Abitofeverything

  6. Anita Cleare (@thinking_parent) Reply

    Please don’t tell me you wait until Christmas Day for the Baileys? As far as I’m concerned, once the clocks go back it is Bailey’s season – all the way through till the sun comes out (when it is chilled white wine or gin and tonic season obviously!) 🙂 #bestandworst

    1. MMT Reply

      I find its safest that way!! Although have already had a bottle on the go – such a boozy time of year ha ha! X

  7. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) Reply

    Ah I loved this…thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  8. An imperfect Mum (@animperfectmum) Reply

    A triumph of a list. Loving your enthusiasm. We succumbed to a fake tree too. It’s easier if you are going away (we are off to the UK family). Happy Christmas x

  9. dadbloguk Reply

    I remember having “you” time and December being one long party. Oh well, times of “yore” But then, as a SAHD, all the organisation falls on me! Thanks for hosting #coolmumsclub

  10. Kat @ Eat.Love.Live Reply

    I love Christmas too and I’m sooo happy it’s now acceptable to get excited about it (I’ve been excited since October!!). Yes to the Baileys for breakfast! I love your A-Z xx #coolmumclub

  11. beautybabyandme Reply

    Baileys for Breakfast – a girl after my own heart! Muppet Christmas Carol – a classic! Xmas Pud – AMAZING! Like you I am stupidly excited for Christmas – I love all these reasons for loving christmas!! Have a wonderful time xxx #coolmumclub

  12. wendy Reply

    I am feeling so festive after reading this! Your Christmases sound amazing. I don’t think I could stomach a baileys at 6 am but I do remember a time when from the 24th-1st of January was just one giant hangover. Lovely post xx #coolmumclub

  13. rhymingwithwine Reply

    I’m Back!! Like that pesky house guest that keeps turning up scrounging mince pies….
    This time through #coolmumclub. Thanks for hosting. x

    Seriously though – Have you got any mince pies? ;0)

  14. lifeofaglasgowgirl (@ofaglasgowgirl) Reply

    Great post! All your traditions sound amazing, Christmas is a wonderful time of year! Indoor fireworks sound just absolutely fantastic. Merry Christmas! #coolmumclub

    Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  15. Mum in Brum Reply

    Ah reading this has just got me soooo excited!! I’m such a big kid too – we all spend it at my mum’s house and my mum still gets out a bell and walks up and down the hallway every christmas morning to wake everyone up. And she still asks us all ‘has he been?!’ Ha! Baileys for breakfast? Why didn’t I think of that? And I’ve never heard of a Vodka and Russian – feel like I’ve been seriously missing out! Love your tradition of the raffle tickets, although I’m far too impatient! #coolmumclub xx

  16. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    Mmmmm you had me at brie and baileys lovely co-host! Wishing you and your crew a FAB Christmas lovely lady xx #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      You too Talya! x

  17. Kyles Reply

    I love this post. Christmas is such a fabulous time of year. I’m like you, even before kids I was always up at the crack of dawn at Christmas. Last year I had to try so hard not to go in and wake my toddler up when I woke up. This year I think he understands it enough to be excited with me. We’ll both be doing an excited morning dance and ready for a nap in the early afternoon. Merry Christmas! #coolmumclub

  18. Annette Reply

    Great idea to do an A to Z post. I remember those indoor fireworks! :-O I love the way you started with the 50p calendars! #Coolmumclub

  19. Hannah Reply

    Oh I love this!!!!
    Great post and it just sums up Christmas 🙂 xx

  20. Helen Reply

    Brilliant post! Made me feel like we must know each other (or were each other!?!) in another lifetime. All except the pickes…urg, no.
    I love your approach to bargainous advent calendar shopping (even if unintentional) and I also booked the bloody grotto about 2 days before! Ho ho, merry Christmas. Love the linky #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      The feeling is mutual! i thought the same after reading your post about auditioning for a new mum friend ha ha…;-)

  21. Helen Reply

    Or pickles even! Ha ha. (promise I’m not drinking at 3pm) x

  22. Rebecca @ AAUBlog Reply

    this is a great post, like what you have done! All over Muppet Christmas carol right about now! #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      You can never have too much Muppets Christmas Carol! x

  23. gmandthem2 Reply

    Oooooo how exciting! (I’m a new blogger too) It sounds like your Christmas I showing to be fabulous! I’ve found a compromise on the real tree. We bought a small potted one last year (only about 3ft high) and this year it’s grown a bit and we’ve brought it back inside. Means that we get a real tree but it doesn’t drop. It’s still only about 4.5ft, but it’s cute 🙂
    Merry Christmas xxxx

    1. MMT Reply

      What an awesome idea! Might look out for one next year 🙂

  24. reimerandruby Reply

    Lovely A-Z Christmas traditions lists… They’re good ones! Have a lovely Christmas to you and the entire family! #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Thanks – you too! x

  25. My Petit Canard Reply

    Love this list of traditions! So many of them are on our list of traditions too :-). We’ve had the real vs fake tree discussions many a year, at some point I may have to admin defeat and get a fake one – quite possibly after the husband struggles to dispose of our mahosive 7ft one this year, lol! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Emily

  26. Educating Roversi Reply

    This post made me feel very festive! #CoolMumClub

  27. Silly Mummy Reply

    Lovely! I always hope for a white Christmas. Need to move back up North – I’d have a better shot at least! The tins of roses & quality streets have been one of my favourite things about Christmas for as long as I can remember. Happy Christmas! #coolmuclub

  28. mumof3 Reply

    Oooh definitely feeling festive now! I LOVE your traditions – and your mum’s house sounds like such a wonderful home to spend Christmas in. YES to so much of this, Muppets Christmas carol, real trees, last minute grotto booking. You’ve also made me realise I definitely need more Baileys in my life. Happy Christmas! xx #coolmumclub

  29. Meagan's Mum Project (@mumproject) Reply

    Great post, I love B (Bailey’s), J (Christmas Jumpers) and O (online shopping the most)! Actually if I could combine all three of these three right now (can’t really drink as I’m still preggo), I would sit here with a big fat smile on my face. : ) The online shopping really helped me out this year as it would’ve been quite difficult and overwhelming (with all those pushy people running around) going to the shops at 9 months pregnant! #coolmumclub

  30. Life With Waldo Reply

    Nice post! I love reading festive posts like this one. Merry Christmas!
    #coolmumclub

  31. This Mum's Life Reply

    Fabulous post, full of excitement!!! I LOVE the fact that I can do on Christmas Day what I’d love to do every other day of the year, and not get judged for it-start drinking!! I do love a Baileys! And we always have brie and cranberry toasties at my mums house on Christmas morning! A Muppet Christmas Carol is my favourite Christmas film of all time also! That was such an extensive list, it must’ve taken you ages to write! I agree that going out on Christmas Eve should be banned, I did it once, and spent Christmas morning throwing up, and feeling like I’d totally ruined my favourite day of the whole year… I hope you and your family have a fantastic day. xx
    #coolmumclub

  32. Agent Spitback Reply

    Ohhh….what a lovely Christmassy post! I could feel the warmth and sentimentality radiate from this post. What better ways to celebrate family and friendship? Christmas is all about making the special memories and creating new ones, isn’t it? I am going to tell my mum that Bailey’s are so allowed at 6.30am as that’s part of the #coolmumclub rules for Xmas. That might help me when my kids start ripping their presents and throwing the wrapping paper everywhere. Thanks for hosting and have a lovely Bailey-Isious Christmas to you and your family xx

    1. Agent Spitback Reply

      Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

  33. Anna Brophy Reply

    All looks so exciting, but has made me realise I have SO much more that needs doing!! As for turkey dripping – ya lost me on that one…not sure we do that down here in Oz… BUT…getting exciting!!! #coolmumclub

  34. 2teens1preteen Reply

    Oh this is fab – love it – particularly love B, love the need for 2 H entries (!), love Q – love it all and so much like my house this month. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! xx

  35. Mrs Lighty Reply

    I found myself nodding along as I read through this, ha!! LOVING the raffle ticket idea, may have to pinch that!! Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub and have a very merry Christmas xxx

  36. butterflymum83 Reply

    Aww, I love this list! So many mentions that just made me just combust with my own excitement. Merry Christmas! #coolmumclub

  37. K's Mum Reply

    Great post, I love it! Love all the Christmas traditions and things, definitely makes it feel like Christmas now. 🙂 #abitofeverything

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