It’s hitting that time of year again when the adverts are all over the place for the family activities you can do with your kids leading up to Christmas. The Christmas Activity pressure starts to build. I always start worrying a bit, thinking I haven’t really booked us onto anything as a family. There is just so much and often so little free time!
Visits to Santa
Trips to attractions that are all geared ups for the festive period
Pantomines and shows
The Polar Express
The list goes on with so many places putting on special events and visits from the Big Man, all happily taking your cash and getting the kids ridiculously excited. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against any of these things. We have happily taken the kids to Santa Breakfasts for the last few years. The gremlin has asked me to take her to a local Pantomime and we are going to something after Christmas with family.
I enjoy them too but I also get that horrible feeling that they are missing out on something when my social media feed starts to fill up with scenes of Christmas and all the places other people are going. It doesn’t help that I’m a blogger and putting Christmas on social media to excess is probably part and parcel of the job; it’s going to be exaggerated for me a little more perhaps.
Christmas Activity Pressure
I know I am putting this Christmas activity pressure on myself and quite often I have to give myself a talking to; tell myself to stop being so ridiculous. I’ve literally just sat in the car with my middle child, coming home from nursery. Her excitement and joy at spotting Christmas lights in the windows melted my heart and took me back to my childhood and the things that completely made my Christmas in the lead up.
I still maintain now that the build-up to Christmas is quite possibly better than the day itself sometimes. All the preparation, parties and shopping for just one day? As a child, I quite often made myself sick with anticipation and there was no sign of extravagant days out and trips in sight.
For me, the drive taking my Mum to work in the evenings and spotting all the Christmas lights used to make me so excited. Visiting the church with school and our school shows were so festive and used to make me feel all warm inside. The Christmas songs that we still listen to now. Pouring over the Argos catalogue with my brother, getting excited over what we would like from Santa. The lights switch on in town!! Christmas films at home on a Saturday morning and putting the tree up as a family.
Simplicity. Time with my family. They are the memories that have stuck.
I know my gremlin, loves nothing more that shoving her PJs on, having a warm drink and snuggling on the sofa to watch a Christmas film. The girls love putting the tree up and going to the school fayre.
For Us This Year
With the arrival of the Little Man this year, life has been harder. You forget it’s not fun to cart a baby out and about all the time. People said he would just slot in but that isn’t entirely true and I like to maintain his routine for him. I don’t want to stay out late at parties or hit the fireworks, as it’s just not fair on him. So we have accepted that we may not be able to do as much this year but I really don’t think it matters.
Social media has a LOT to answer for but I have to pull myself back a lot an think, its not everyone going out on extravagant Christmas trips and even so who cares?
I know I look back at my childhood and don’t see the big gestures. I see the simple things. The snuggling. The films. The tree. The lovely food. Seeing family and being with my family.
It really is the most important thing.
So if like me, you are starting to feel the Christmas event pressure. Don’t. Really don’t. Your kids won’t remember not meeting Santa at a theme park, they will remember you and quite often the simplest time together at Christmas.