Christmas Day was always going to be a bit different this year. When we decided to take a sunshine break, it soon became apparent that this was only going to be possible if we flew back on Christmas Day. We carefully considered this and concluded that it was better to have a week of special family time rather than not go on holiday because of Christmas Day. I was exceptionally organised this year, the message was repeated to the children that Santa would be delivering presents to our home address and we would simply open them a little later on Christmas Day this year. Santa wrote this in his letter to the children and Tommy the elf’s letters reinforced this too. In the days before we left, I took all our presents to our neighbours who had very kindly agreed to put the presents out, leave the half eaten carrot and mince pie and decorate our lounge as if Santa had been. They also very kindly filled our fridge with all the fresh essentials we would need on Christmas Day. Throughout Christmas Day I noticed all the small kindnesses and sparkles from so many different people, it was what made Christmas special.
Although the children weren’t expecting presents, I managed to hide away their stockings in my luggage and so when they awoke on Christmas morning they had a few small presents to open. They were genuinely surprised and happy to have these gifts. We all dressed up for breakfast in Christmas hats and accessories and enjoyed a lovely relaxed and happy meal. So many other people were dressed up too in the restaurant and the atmosphere was very uplifting. Whilst I’m a real stickler for no screens at the table, on Christmas morning it was lovely to see so many people face timing or sharing photos at the breakfast tables, it really struck me how everyone was thinking of and enjoying their loved ones. During the morning Mr S helped an older lady with her iPhone so she could contact her family, I think it must have been a gift from a family member and she was still learning how to use it. Mr S was so kind and patient with her that not only was she incredibly grateful but I was so proud of him; between them they mastered Face Time, calls and messages. During the morning we were able to enjoy the hotel and its facilities, the children were happy playing with their friends and the morning passed quickly and pleasantly. Our journey home was so smooth and to time, we left our hotel at 12pm and arrived at our front door at 7pm. Our Christmas lunch was a cheese baguette at an airport cafe but we were all in great humour that it really didn’t matter.
One of the really Christmassy aspects of the journey was seeing the Christmas lights. As we descended into our local airport we could see the outside lights twinkling, they looked gorgeous. Our drive home took us through local villages all beautifully lit. In the car the excitement started to build for our return home. As we arrived the house looked lovely, our neighbours had been over to switch on the Christmas lights and heating and the shouts of he’s been, he’s been as the children peered through the window made everything seem rather magical.
After the presents, we had a very simple tea, soup and bread with Christmas cake and it was soon time for bed. It was a different Christmas Day but one I enjoyed. Sometimes there is too much pressure on what Christmas Day is supposed to look like yet given our circumstances for the day we were able to create a lovely little day for us. The things we weren’t able to do on Christmas Day were simply transferred to Boxing Day when the children played with their presents, neighbours visited and I cooked Christmas dinner. It was a special two days and a merry Christmas for us all.