A ‘Mum Muddling Through’ Christmas Carol

Marley was dead, to begin with.

Perhaps this wasn’t the film to choose on Christmas eve, as the girls zone out to the demise of that labrador whilst Jennifer Aniston and family mourn their beloved puppy. Still, at least it gave me a bonus ninety minutes to blitz the house. Prep the veg, whizz the hoover round, shove any last bits of laundry behind closed doors and make everything look perfect.

animal, collar, dog

And of course, collapse onto my butt and scroll my phone – having a good old look at what everyone else is doing this Christmas eve. I deserve it, I’ve worked my socks off all damn month. Shopping, cleaning, cooking, wrapping, more shopping, more wrapping, more spending and more wrapping. Bloody knackering stuff all this Christmas malarkey. Call me scrooge but I’m starting to feel like I’ll be glad when it’s all over.

And the doorbell rings. At this time? On Christmas eve? Right – roll out the mince pies and paint on the smiles, let the crazy begin. And, we toast absent friends with our guests, with a selection of Christmas drinks – Baileys, port and sherry. Glad I stocked up on the Christmas Spirits; the predicted visitors this Christmas eve was a pretty safe bet.

alcohol, bar, black background

The Ghost of Christmas past

An hour later, with Marley unpaused, we resume positions – on opposite sofas scrolling phone whilst kids soak up the misery of the dying dog. Family time at it’s best.

Right here from my well dented position on the sofa, I gaze on at pictures of youthful faces adorned in glitter and smiles, toasting with bubbly (and shots), celebrating the festive season in the way we once did.

action, celebration, club

My mind wanders, back to a time when Christmas eve was the night to be out on the town, catching up with all the usual suspects. One moredrink often lead to too many more, and Christmas day would be somewhat jaded by the ill effects of the night before. A far cry from the Christmas eve we have come to know today –  bubbles (of the bath variety) and PJs before eight, and an early night to soften the blow of the pre-dawn riser (and that’s just me).

Christmas eve would be one of many nights out on the December marathon – the work do, the christmas lunch, the girls night out, the school reunion, the last Saturday before Christmas, the midweek drinks, the office close down night out… how did we do it? That was some stamina.

And yet, not all of those Christmases were entirely happy. Tears over break ups, break downs, and fall outs taint many Christmas memories. The happy years intermittently replaced with christmases of sadness and survival.

adult, beautiful, blur

As years rolled by, and life’s pace slowed down, sometimes the things we longed for most couldn’t be bought, and left under the tree. Whilst I met my Christmas loving match, together we navigated choppy seas at this time of year. Longing. Sickness. Grief. Christmas memories that may be packed away with the decorations, but that left a lasting mark on our Christmas past. Remembered with each decoration hanging on the tree and the soundtracks of the Christmas movies that set the backdrop to some Christmases we’d rather forget.

The Ghost of christmas present


Back in the room.

“I WANT THE iPAD”. Squeaks tiny toes, immediately snapping me out of nosing in on other people’s Christmas eve and back in the room with my own.

“No, not today – it’s Christmas eve! No more screens…”


“Er, well, how about a Muppets Christmas Carol? Mummy’s favourite…we have to watch this on Christmas eve.”

Kids settled, I sneak out of the room, just to potter upstairs over all the presents. Bag them up for the days ahead and do a quick stock check on what’s what and where’s where. Busying myself as always, always unable to sit still and soak up the moment.

christmas, gifts, presents

“Mummy, come watch!”

“In a minute girls…Mummy just needs to sort out the presents.”

Presents. Everywhere, bags, boxes, mountains of presents. Yet little did I know, all the girls really needed right now was my presence.

The Ghost of Christmas yet to come

Finally, collapsed exhausted into bed after slaving over the last few details, we wished each other goodnight, me and my port drinking mince pie munching Santa partner in crime. Better get some sleep, it’s getting late (9:46) and we’re bound to have an early start tomorrow.

9:53. “I can’t sleep. Are you awake?”

“Go to sleep”

“I’m too excited. I keep thinking about their little faces, and how much they have grown since last year. Do you think Tigs has any idea? Just think, they’ve probably only got a handful of Christmases left of believing.”

The thought raced around my mind, laying there in the dark. It was hard to imagine – A christmas without putting out a mince pie, a stocking. Perhaps with the girls all grown up and off on their own adventures. Perhaps with their own friends or family. Perhaps putting out their own mince pies.

And here now, whilst we debate about which parents turn it is this year, and who is going where on what day, these hectic family Christmases won’t always be so. As our own families age and depart, it may not be our parents tables we gather around each year, as they grow older and tired of the exhaustion of hosting Christmas, or worst still, are no longer here to pull a cracker and toast the season with us.

acorn, advent, blur

What will the Christmases of our future look like? Shared with the people we are yet to meet, and without the people we will long for, giving anything to have them still with us…

Christmas Morning; The end of it


Leaping from the bed in a half asleep, what time is it, daze, I stumbled to the landing, trying to decipher whose squeals had broken the night’s silence.

“What day is it Mummy?”

“Why, it’s Christmas day my darling”.

With a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye, I watched on as the thoughts of Christmas eve lay heavy on my  mind.

Leaving my camera phone firmly out of sight, I soaked up each moment, each smile and each squeak, laying each one firmly into my memory and wanting to freeze this moment in time. Let the torn papers lay on the floor and the washing up wait until later. I held the hand of my husband and smiled on as our children lived their best childhood right there on their bedroom floors. I vowed to myself there and then that focusing on the stuff, the others, the spending is not what these children need, and nor is the way to live one’s high life.

In truth, Christmas morning, like any morning in our house, isn’t always perfect. There may be squabbles and stresses, places to be and things to do, but as a Mum, let this day not be another part of a process. Embrace these instagram perfect moments in real time and be here in spirit, in heart, in presence and in love.

God Bless us, everyone.

Merry Christmas




Bridie By The Sea


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16 thoughts on “A ‘Mum Muddling Through’ Christmas Carol

  1. Mrs Lighty Reply

    Aww this is fabulous! And so true. I doubt I’ll be able to not take a photo, but I’m definitely looking forward to being in the moment a bit more over Christmas week! Merry Christmas lovely! xxx #coolmumclub

  2. beautybabyandme Reply

    I love this post so much and it’s all so true. You’ve summed it up perfectly – be in the moment xx Merry christmas my lovely friend xx #coolmumclub

  3. Kate@TheMumConundrum Reply

    ….Aaaaand now I’m crying! Lovely lovely post. I wonder too often about how quickly time is passing and how soon my brood will be grown.


    A great read. Merry Christmas to you and yours xxx


  4. mamagrace Reply

    This is amazing. #coolmumclub

  5. anywaytostayathome Reply

    Love this so much! You’ve got it spot on. I love Christmas but it can get a bit overwhelming! Can’t wait for the day though and just enjoying it #coolmumclub

  6. ettieandme Reply

    Such a lovely post, Christmas was great as a child but so much better as a mum and seeing their faces. We really do need to cherish each moment. Merry Christmas to you #coolmumclub

  7. Talya Reply

    This – all of this! You’ve summed it all up perfectly hon. God bless you too my lovely #coolmumclub co-hostess xxx

  8. oldhouseintheshires Reply

    Ahhh I loved this! So true….coming from a parent of teens…this is so true. Watch and enjoy as their childhood goes so quickly. Although having said that my 15 year old will still wake us up at 7am to open his Stocking! Then we all go back to bed for a bit. Happy Christmas everyone. Xx #coolmumclub

  9. Charlotte Stein Reply

    Such a relatable and well written post. I have been so caught up in endless jobs that Im now going to bear in mind for the next 7 days what the future will hold and try and embrace these crazy times #coolmumclub

  10. Alice | Letters to my Daughter Reply

    This is amazing, so beautifully written and definitely resonates with me and many parents I’m sure. It’s tough looking at life through a lens, I found that out a while ago and gave it up, now I have trouble remembering to document the highlights while my memory is failing daily and I wonder about all the things I’ve forgotten! Thanks for sharing #coolmumclub

  11. Catie Heemskerk Reply

    What a brilliant post!!! Thank you for reminding me what Christmas is really about being with your family

  12. Cheryl @ Tea or Wine Reply

    Amen to that Sarah! Lovely and really does make you think. In all the madness (and sickness) leading up to the Big Day, some things are far more important. Merry Christmas let’s all enjoy the PRESENT! #CoolMumClub xx

  13. absolutely prabulous Reply

    Gosh what an emotional beautiful post. But I must admit I found myself wondering how on earth you do so much in 90 minutes and how your blog is ranked so high when you’re in bed by 9.53! Goals!

    1. MMT Reply

      Ha ha it’s called efficiency Prabs lol. And why I also need to take regular and long blog breaks! Merry Christmas to you and yours… roll on January when hopefully my blogging schedule will shift to mornings when the Little gets her funded nursery whoop! Xx

  14. crummymummy1 Reply

    Love the sentiment of this! Hope you had a good one! #coolmumclub

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