And I have to say, thank goodness! After 16 years of buying gifts for a large family of children, I am ALL OUT of inspiration. I have to say, that it is the gift element that kind of spoils Xmas for me. Of course, I know we rely on it and we’d be pretty stuffed if everyone gave up on gifts (thank you to all our lovely customers!) but the drudgery of trying to think up innovative ideas for everyone gets me down from about September onwards. This year it really was different and so despite the fact that our Xmas morning looked like this…
…the gifts included in it were actually pulled out of 3 storage crates that I reviewed a while back. Mostly what they got were books, clothes, dancing or gym requirements and a few wants. Fran had a theatre ticket voucher, Maddy had a new guitar she needed but was happy to wait for, Amelie is having a holiday with school so had no big gift and Josie did get toys, as did Bene, but all small, cheerful trifles by and large.
What was surprisingly true was how much they still enjoyed that. Suddenly providing grown up gifts instead of toys and gadgets was odd but pleasantly restful and – as suggested previously – it was all stuff that already has a home in the house, by and large, so the clutter score was low.
I don’t seem to have taken many photos this year. Bene was, surprisingly, keen to savour each gift and took his time and so did the others. We took breaks and the girls all enjoyed giving us their presents too.
I was treated to some lovely things by thoughtful children.
And Josie was thrilled with a leotard from her biggest sister.
I found Maddy the best t-shirt ever.
And we didn’t have a traditional meal either, although we managed an almost traditional one with my mum, partner and sister’s family a few days before (hurrah for mum’s who bring turkey!)
Later on, Bene indulged in Pirate Lego…
While Max and Fran did jigsaws.
A couple of us took a Christmas Day run.
And I sat among my children, did nothing with great intent and listened to them. I’ve realised recently that while I might not have a conventional job, the combination of things I do and their school means I am rarely in their company. Fran and I have around 12 waking hours together a week. It’s not enough.
This was made by my Young Enterprise group, Transform, for Fran.
Even later on than that, there was the indulgence of Minecraft Lego.
Mostly, the day happened as it has gone on happening since; 7 people who really like each other spending time together.
The girls gave me one other gift too but it is so special and precious that I’m going to give it a post of its own.