Christmas is a magical time of year, especially when you have a little one who is really excited about it all.
But almost as exciting as the big day itself is the day before Christmas, from here on referred to as ‘my birthday’. Because my birthday is the day when the magic of Christmas really comes to life – when preparations happen and the willing suspension of disbelief really kicks in!
So how do we celebrate my birthday in our house? Well, assuming I’ve managed to get the day off work the magic of Christmas Eve begins with me having a rare mini-lie-in. Perhaps a 9am start rather than the normal 430am on a work day or 630am on a non-work day.
Then Sarah and Joshua will give me some presents. If Joshua knows what the presents are he will generally tell me before I’ve opened them.
‘Daddy, here’s your jumper for you to open. It’s blue.’
At my age it’s probably for the best as my rapidly-approaching 40-year-old heart can’t take too many surprises, especially pre-10am.
We may go out for lunch and normally pop round my parents for some more present action. As the evening approaches the birthday celebrations go on the back burner for another year and the Christmas Day prep kicks in.
We enjoy looking up at the sky to spot Father Christmas. Never quite sure why he’s up there at around 6pm but I guess it’s a good plan to beat the traffic. Then Joshua puts on some festive PJs and the build-up continues.
Out comes Joshua’s special Christmas plate with spaces for carrot, drink and mince pie. It’s very important to be kind to Santa, so the drink is always Jim Beam and Coke. Everyone knows Santa loves Jim Beam and Coke, right?
This hour before Joshua’s bedtime on Christmas Eve is the best part of my birthday. In fact, it’s probably the best part of the year.
The excitement and anticipation and magic and genuine belief is quite infectious and always takes me back to 35 years ago when everything was so easy and I didn’t have to worry about anything else. Helping peel sprouts on the sofa and looking forward to seeing if Santa had been the next morning is a pretty happy memory!
Hopefully Joshua remembers the excited, happy feeling of Christmas Eve in 35 years too.
Anyway, back to now, and after the goodies have been plated up Joshua sprinkles some reindeer food on the front grass. Then it’s off to bed and a quick trot through some of his Christmas books in his room.
Back downstairs and once we know he’s asleep it’s time for Father Christmas to lay out the presents under the tree and cross fingers that’s tonight’s not the night Joshua decides to wake up and wander around the house looking for us!
Santa generally leaves a snowy footprint on the doormat and always drinks the Jim Beam and Coke (followed by some birthday Bailey’s and birthday chocolates – if Santa doesn’t get chocolates on Christmas Eve he gets grumpy).
This year, to really add to the festive joy, I’ll be turning 40 on Christmas Eve and will then be working a late shift on Christmas Day. Truly magical…
This was my contribution to this edition of Write Club where the topic was: Christmas Eve Traditions: Pre-Christmas Crackers Or A Pain In The Baubles?
To check out some of the other entries click on the following links – The Incidental Parent.