Mini Ventures | Christmas has changed and it isn’t the same!
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02 Dec Christmas has changed and it isn’t the same!

I’ve always really really really loved Christmas and now it has changed!

Up until recently my Mum still made me a stocking at Christmas and bought me an advent calendar.  I was like a very big kid well into my thirties (OK I still am really) I love singing Christmas carols, enjoy crying at the Christmassy films and I’d always open my presents on Christmas Day really slowly to make sure I still had ones left at the end to open. I loved getting lots and lots of little presents and just enjoyed opening them. I also loved Christmas shopping and spoiling everyone with lavish gifts. 

My now hubby knew that Christmas was my favourite time of year and so one Christmas Day he made it even better, and he proposed. It was the best Christmas Day ever!  As we’d got engaged on Christmas Day we looked round wedding venues  when they were still decked up for Christmas and fell in love with the idea of a Christmas wedding.  It was my favourite time of year so it all just came together.

We got married on 27th December 2009. We had an amazing Christmas, followed by our wedding and a honeymoon trekking in Nepal. It was an incredible Christmas and one I will never forget. Christmas was an amazing time of year but then it changed!!

us

anna

I remember the first Christmas after Lily came along. She was 3 months old so we obviously weren’t getting any sleep. I still wanted Christmas to be ‘perfect’ and I remember being bitterly disappointed that it wasn’t. My Mum and Dad had gone to loads of effort for the babies (my nephew is the same age) and they just cried and cried and cried (probably at all the noise and fuss – what were we thinking), we couldn’t eat the dinner my Mum had spent ages cooking properly because they needed feeding and it just wasn’t the same! I feel a little like a spoilt brat writing this but it really wasn’t very successful.

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Christmas had changed.

The year after we were in a similar position. The twins this time were 2 months old and Lily just 15 months. We really really weren’t getting any sleep. After last year I decided Christmas lunch just wasn’t a good idea, so we had starters and pudding at lunchtime and Christmas dinner at 7pm after they had all gone to bed. This gave us time to play with the girls in the morning and be a little bit more relaxed rather than trying desperately to make a perfect Christmas dinner for 1pm whilst entertaining three children.

Christmas Day went a little better.  It still wasn’t the boozy raucous affair I was used to, but I think I was starting to realise that changing Christmas around could work.  Even if putting the girls to bed in reindeer costumes didn’t help them sleep it just made them overheat and cry! Lesson learnt!

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Christmas had changed

The following Christmas in 2012 I felt like a pro! Well obviously not (whoever does!) but we stuck to the same idea and invited not only the three Grandparents but my brother, his wife and their little boy too.  We did lunch mainly for the children with Christmas crackers and nibbles and again made Christmas dinner for us after bedtime.  The booze came out, the silly games were played and I saw a chink of the old Christmas.

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Christmas had changed

Time for 2013. My girls were now 2 and 3.  Excitement levels were through the roof and I started to appreciate what Christmas was actually all about. It was no longer about me and more importantly I didn’t want it to be. I threw myself into the preparations and loved seeing my girls put out their plates out for Santa and hang up their stockings. They loved everything about it. They loved watching their little Santa videos, they loved everyone being around all their favourite people and they just loved opening their presents. It was brilliant.

But after a morning of chocolate and hyper excitement they were starting to get tetchy so we decided to go out for a walk in the woods behind our house.  By changing Christmas we were making it work for our family.

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Christmas had changed

2014 was probably our best Christmas so far (although I get the feeling this one is going to match it or be even better!) With 6 children excitedly getting ready for Christmas Eve (well 5 plus one baby) our house was a genuinely lovely place to be.  On Christmas Eve we read letters from Santa and his Elves, left glittery oats for the reindeer, watched videos, read Christmas stories and appreciated how truly lucky we were.

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On Christmas Day we changed the plan a little, to include the kids in dinner in the early evening but we still decided to abandon the thought of Christmas lunch.  My girls don’t want to sit round the table for hours at lunchtime and I don’t want to cook all morning, I want to play games of Frozen snakes and ladders or build lego castles!  We went out for our now traditional Christmas morning walk and the fairies had thoughtfully left us chocolate coins to find.   To top it off, it even snowed on Boxing Day!

Christmas had changed and it was better than I could ever have expected!

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30 Comments
  • Barjerow
    Posted at 10:17h, 03 December Reply

    How lovely to read this this morning, it’s brought back such happy memories for me too. XX

    • Mini Ventures
      Posted at 10:18h, 03 December Reply

      lovely seeing all the photos in a row too isn’t it!

  • Julia @ Rainbeaubelle
    Posted at 22:39h, 03 December Reply

    I love seeing all your Christmas photos, and hearing about the Christmases with tiny ones! All so familiar. It’s just not so relaxing for us as parents is it but it gets much more fun as they grow xx

  • Catherine @ Story Snug
    Posted at 08:37h, 04 December Reply

    I really enjoyed reading about your changing Christmases. I hope that you have a great Christmas this year too :)

    #pocolo

  • Coombe Mill - Fiona
    Posted at 22:13h, 04 December Reply

    We have Christmas lunch early evening too, that way we can all enjoy the daylight hours, I like to go to the beach and take the kids surfing in the day while the turkey cooks. #POCOLO

  • Verily Victoria Vocalises
    Posted at 21:13h, 05 December Reply

    This is such a beautiful post and what wonderful photographs. I have felt that Christmas has really evolved for me since having Grace. It is hard but I have learned to not sweat the small stuff. It is so much easier now she is nearly 9. She has always been good at the dinner table but now she understands too – which really helps! Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

  • Silly Mummy
    Posted at 23:08h, 05 December Reply

    I get this. I love Christmas and still had stockings and advent calendars into my thirties too. But it is hard first Christmas’ with babies and toddlers, as now I have to do everything myself and want to make everything perfect, but of course it does not go to plan and there is so much to do Christmas comes and goes without me really getting to enjoy it properly. Glad yours have become better than before as kids have grown though – I’ve been assuming that will be the way! #PoCoLo

  • Katie
    Posted at 23:17h, 05 December Reply

    Aww I love all your photos and how your Christmas routine has adapted over the years. We go always go my mam and dads for Christmas lunch, which is very handy for me 😉 xxx

  • Crummy Mummy
    Posted at 08:55h, 06 December Reply

    Love all the photos charting your Christmasses – so nice to have and look back on! #SundayStars

  • Rocking Around the Christmas Tree - Mini Travellers
    Posted at 09:30h, 06 December Reply

    […] been explaining how much I love Christmas and how Christmas has changed over on my new blog Mini Ventures this week.  I love getting the tree up early and the Christmas […]

  • lizzie ( firstooth )
    Posted at 10:23h, 06 December Reply

    It’s like your post is talking through me. I absolutely love Christmas and having children does make it that little bit more magical but because ours are so young, they just don’t get it yet. It’s a lot more stressful than it used to be and we can’t have a leisurely Christmas because things are just so different now. But we do still enjoy the season and pop our xmas jumpers on, I’m looking forwars to the year our child KNOW what’s going on, that’ll be pretty special. Loved reading all your different xmases you’ve had some pretty amazing ones and your pics are just fab! Thanks for hosting #sundaystars

  • Cheryl @ ReimerandRuby
    Posted at 11:29h, 06 December Reply

    How nice to read how your family have grown over the last few years and celebrating Christmas differently in a good way. I think Christmas having kids are more fun and enjoyable as we get more excited for them. Lovely post and gorgeous photos too! #sundaystars

  • Random Musings
    Posted at 11:54h, 06 December Reply

    I really enjoyed this post. It sounds like your Christmas is now even better for the changes you have had to make. I love Christmas and the idea of a Christmas wedding is lovely. Thanks for hosting #SundayStars :)
    Debbie

  • Sarah (lifewithwaldo.com)
    Posted at 14:42h, 06 December Reply

    I love this post! Christmas certainly changes when you become parents. Last year I had a one week old baby boy at Christmas. The easy part was that I was not expected to help in the prep of food at all, the hard part was that I was exhausted caring for a new born and recuperating from a c-section! It was still great to spend the day with family and this year I’m looking forward to seeing my one year old enjoy the day. I love Christmas, it’s my favourite time of year, and the sharing the joy of the season with my son is something I just cannot wait to do. I hope this year is your best year yet with your family, Merry Christmas!
    #SundayStars

  • jeremy@thirstydaddy
    Posted at 16:15h, 06 December Reply

    There really is nothing better than the excitement of little ones this time of year. You’re right, its a completely different holiday now

  • Rachel
    Posted at 16:16h, 06 December Reply

    Ohh Christmas is tricky isn’t it. Our first christmas as a family of 3 went really wrong, my little boy was 3 months old and we tried to get round both grandparents resulting in a very tired miserable baby. Ever since we have had christmas day at home and then seen grandparents on christmas eve and boxing day. It has made for a much calmer christmas. Your christmas photos are beautiful by the way #sundaystars xxx

  • mummyofboygirltwins
    Posted at 17:27h, 06 December Reply

    What lovely photographs and such amazing memories over the years! Wow how your life has changed!! Your girls are beautiful and here’s to an amazing christmas this year and I am sure it will be VERY exciting too :) Jess xx

    #sundaystars

  • Sarah Christie
    Posted at 20:26h, 06 December Reply

    Karen I love this post, it is so odd as I am coming out the other end and feel so sad it is all changing again. And omg you look like Kiera Knightly in you wedding pic x

  • becca farrelly
    Posted at 21:42h, 06 December Reply

    Ahh a lovely post and beautiful photos! It is amazing how much children change things, I found (still find!) social ‘gatherings’ really odd as we are the only ones in the family with a child and so some family members don’t fully understand why get togethers cant be the full day to evening event with us all sat round the table chatting away, that it used to be! You just have to go with it sometimes! we are having a quiet Christmas day this year as our 2yr old is starting to understand Christmas more and we don’t want her to too overwhelmed by the day! Really enjoyed reading your post :)

    #SundayStars

  • Megan - TMK
    Posted at 21:44h, 06 December Reply

    I love this post! I remember my first Christmas with my eldest as a 3 month baby, and she sobbed and sobbed … Now, they are mainly wonderful!

  • Laura Clark
    Posted at 08:04h, 07 December Reply

    This is really lovely. Our first Christmas with my son was certainly different! My son was a little grouchy too, like you say the excitement and noise, change in routine etc. I was recovering from PND too which made it extra tricky.

    However, with every year Christmas gets more exciting. He is so into it this year, and I am too. We have lots of crafts planned, have been reading Christmas books for weeks and he is so excited about Santa. I can’t wait! Christmas with children is simply magical :)

    #sundaystars

  • Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap)
    Posted at 18:35h, 07 December Reply

    I remember this in 2013 – my first Christmas as a mum. I was chained breastfeeding my daughter – couldn’t open presents and a walk was imperative!! We didn’t cook and were at my MILs. This is our first Christmas at home as a 3 to make our own traditions. I’m sio glad you have yours and things have got better. You have a gorgeous family and I hope you have an awesome day!! xx #sundaystars

  • Mummyhereandthere
    Posted at 15:43h, 08 December Reply

    How lovely to reminisce over the years, sounds like you do an amazing job and kids aRE happy, healthy and safe then your winning X #KCACOLS

  • Something Crunchy Mummy
    Posted at 07:52h, 09 December Reply

    What a lovely post. I know exactly what you mean, I want everything to be perfect and our first few Christmases with the boys were carnage lol! So looking forward to this one #sundaystars xx

  • Su {Ethan & Evelyn}
    Posted at 22:56h, 11 December Reply

    Wow! What a wonderful post! Your girls are so super cute! Love love love their smily faces! Christmas is such a wonderful thing for everyone – but the kids are an exceptional, they live for Christmas! Happy Christmas to you and family! Hope this year will be as good as the previous one or even better! :) x

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    Posted at 07:13h, 17 December Reply

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  • Lisa@intotheglade
    Posted at 22:02h, 17 December Reply

    Oh this sounds so familiar, but what a great idea to eat starters and deserts at lunchtime but leave dinner until the evening – inspired! Such a gorgeous post and the pictures are so lovely. Christmas has changed again for us now that the girls are older, but thankfully Father Christmas still visits and the fairies on Christmas Eve with the new pj’s ha! XX

  • Nina Baumler
    Posted at 04:40h, 18 December Reply

    This made me dead teary! Best thing about you blogging is regular pics of you all. Xxxx

  • Mrs Tubbs
    Posted at 12:35h, 18 December Reply

    True this. It’s the people who make Christmas great. Have a wonderful time :)

  • Jenny
    Posted at 13:44h, 06 January Reply

    Oh Karen your posts are so beautifully written. I love your blog. Thank you ever so much for linking up to #ShareWithMe with your christmas treasures here. I loved every second it of it. Definitely changed for us too but again for the better.

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