When I first decided to start a family, there was one thing that I was absolutely certain about….
I did not want a Christmas baby.
So – of course – here I am with a daughter whose birthday is exactly one week before Christmas! Not only does that mean December is an expensive month, but I have to work extra hard to ensure my firstborn’s big day isn’t overshadowed by the big day a week later.
Over the last four , I’ve made it my mission to make sure I’s day isn’t just another date in the countdown to Christmas. That means no joint presents, no Christmas instead of birthday wrapping paper and birthday parties without a piece of tinsel in sight. It’s fair to say it’s exhausting.
The problem this year is that I’m already exhausted.
Not just from having a new baby that hates sleep (and possibly me,) but also from having to deal with all the curveballs life has thrown my way over the last few months. I’ve also got distinctly less money this year. So, while it breaks my heart a little bit, I’ve realised that I need to let go of certain things and take the pressure off.
Of course, there will still be presents (wrapped in birthday paper), but they’ll mainly be second-hand and there will still be a party, but the cake will be of the shop-bought variety rather than lovingly crafted by my fair hands. In fact everything is a bit more ‘low-key’.
It’s not just the birthday celebrations that have taken a hit this year – I’ve also had to streamline Christmas a little. Some things will stay – planting ‘magic beans’ (they grow into candy canes overnight in case you’re wondering), making fruit gin (because Christmas isn’t just for children) and a totally tacky and tastelessly decorated real Christmas tree (#teamtinsel) – but other ‘traditions’ will fall by the wayside. Maybe just for this year – or maybe forever.
I’m pretty sure my daughter won’t care or even notice any difference.
She won’t remember that this will be the first year we don’t make a gingerbread house, or that her presents don’t come in the original box. And F won’t know any different. But I do and it’s not easy to accept. Then again, nothing about this last year has been easy, so I’ll just have to add all this to list of things I’m learning to let go of – whether I want to or not.