At this time of year, it can easily feel that everyone else is more organised, more festive, and more relaxed than you. Or maybe, it’s just me that feels that way. Either way, as I sit here, less than four days before the big day itself, I’m wondering where all the time has gone? I’ve got a list as long as my arm of all the things I haven’t done. That list includes some of the ‘big’ things: the Christmas food shop (although, it shouldn’t be too bad as we’re not hosting on Christmas Day itself, only Boxing Day), a few more presents to tick off, a trip to the Post Office to send parcels as well as pick them up… but there are lots of things I just haven’t done this year.

I try and make my online presence as fully rounded as possible. I don’t want to only share our ‘best bits’ because I think that does a disservice to the reality of parenting. That said, it’s often difficult to capture everything, and I sometimes worry if I’m not getting the balance quite right. It’s easier to write about things we have done, rather than those we haven’t, so in the interest of being reassuringly honest, and in the hopes of putting some regrets behind me, here’s what I haven’t done this Christmas.

Christmas Eve Box

I am genuinely gutted about this. I love the idea of putting together a Christmas Eve box to ensure we spend some quality time as a family, snuggling together in some fresh pyjamas, watching a film together and enjoying some festive snacks. I went so far as getting a lovely new blanket from Room to Grow, and even bought a crate from Hobbycraft that I was hoping LPD would work his magic on. He’s a fantastic artist, and I know he’d do an amazing job at decorating it for us – something unique and personal.

Christmas Eve cookies for Father Christmas

It’s technically not too late to still do this… and in fact, today I ventured out and bought us each a set of new pyjamas. I’m not buying a new film to watch because I always watch Santa Claus, the Movie (you know, the one with Dudley Moore and John Lithgow) on Christmas Eve. It’s kind of our tradition. We decanted all our DVDs into a big case rather than individual boxes so we don’t have a case to put it in, so I may have to get my craft on and decorate an old case festively so that I can safely put the DVD in our box.

Elf on the Shelf

Elf on a shelf in a Christmas Tree

I’ll be honest, I’m not particularly sad about missing this Christmas activity (especially after a certain budget shop has really inappropriately used theirs in their Christmas marketing…). I imagine it’s fun for the first couple of nights but after that, becomes a bit of a drain. And I know I’d forget on more than one occasion. Pickle isn’t old enough to get it anyway so this was definitely one of those things that was easy to shelf (ha ha, no pun intended).

Special Christmas Day Outfits

Does anyone else feel the pressure to look ‘nice’ on Christmas Day? I imagined myself in some kind of lovely Christmassy ensemble. I felt the same last year and bought, quite frankly, a terrible choice of jumper from, which after asking my brothers to take a family portrait of us in front of the Christmas tree resulted in me moaning for about an hour about how much like a whale I looked.

Christmas Family Portrait wearing the most unflattering red snowflake jumper ever

I mean, have you ever seen a more hideous and unflattering outfit? Granted, the angle isn’t particularly flattering (it’s never a good sign when your photographer stays seated on the sofa whilst you stand up), and there’s something about how I stand when holding Pickle which makes me stick my stomach out, but it was such a disappointment. I feel like I ruined our first family Christmas photo. It’s all I can see when I look at this photo – and that’s so sad.

So this year, I haven’t got anything ‘special’ to wear. I’m not bigging up an outfit idea in my head only to be colossally disappointed. I’ll throw on whatever is clean Christmas morning and that’ll do. Dear God, it can’t be worse than last year, surely.

Christmas Cake

I’ve got a real thing for Christmas Cake this year. I’ve been craving it with every cup of tea I’ve drank, and I really wish I’d made one. It’s something that is going on my to-do list for next Christmas. I may even make two – one to eat throughout December, and one to save for Christmas Day itself. The lovely Sophie from Wife Mother Life uses a Delia Smith recipe, and it sounds delicious so I may have to bookmark her post. I may end up getting a bit carried away with the decoration though.

I have just shared my Christmas cake recipe over on my blog. It’s one I have loved making for many years now, and is a firm favourite with everyone. It’s also brilliant for the last minute baker who hasn’t gotten around to making their Christmas cake yet. The recipe had been adapted to be dairy free, but is just as delightful with butter to be honest. If you need to whip up a Christmas cake quickly head on over to print off the recipe. The link is in my bio. Happy Christmas xx #blogmas #brumblogmas #recipe #christmascake #richchristmascake #christmas #dairyfreechristmascake #dairyfree #dairyfreefruitcake #christmascentrepiece #richfruitcake #foodie #blogger #pblogger #mumblogger #motherblogger #momblogger #bloglovin #tots100

A post shared by Sophie (@wifemotherlife) on

There’s Always Next Year…

I’ve written but not given out all my Christmas cards (again), I’ve missed the last post for cards to be sent to some of the lovely companies I’ve worked with this year, and the house isn’t sparkling clean. But in the wise words of my friend Lisa, there’s always next year. And I’m not going to stress too much about anything because really… who cares? Pickle is none the wiser, and he’ll have a great day just playing with wrapping paper and eating a chocolate button or two.

It’s being with family that’s the most important, isn’t it? And I thank my lucky stars that I have all of mine in one place to sit around and share lunch with this year. The rest is just detail.

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If you're feeling the pressure this Christmas, don't. It doesn't matter if we don't get everything we wanted to done. I'm setting aside some of the ideas I had, and instead, just focusing on enjoying time with family. No handbaked Christmas Cake, no Elf on the Shelf, no fancy Christmas Eve Box... Wave goodbye to the Pinterest ideas you've had to shelf, and let's just enjoy time spent with our families instead.

I'm taking part in #BrumBlogmas - an advent of blogging within the Birmingham Blogging community