I had no intention of writing a post over the holidays let alone on Christmas Day but when the day goes awry, all things are open to change. Our kids are four years old and seven months old. They have no expectations for Christmas day. I, on the other hand, do, and when those plans become incredibly skewed I can’t help but feel deflated, disappointed and as though my Christmas has been stolen from me. As I write, it’s still Christmas Day but I’m wishing it was over already. It’s been one hell of a washout with one thing or another but I’ve learnt some very important lessons today.
Call me an Elf On The Shelf Grinch but I won’t be falling into the trap of getting landed with one of these little
monsters Christmas Elves any time soon. While they look adorably cute, their mischievous streak has come to light all too quick. I admire the Momma and Papa Bears who, day after day, in the run up to Christmas have to clean up the mess these little divils get up to, but I’m firmly on the Nay side of letting one of these guys into our home. Recently, A has become enthralled with the Elf On The Shelf ad on TV after meeting the real life Elf at Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Luggwoods. But I’m sorry my dear, the Elf can stay firmly on that shelf for one simple reason – I’m already exhausted and the brainpower isn’t there. Even if we weren’t in the middle of baby days with teething and sleep training, I’m not sure I could muster up the energy to have an Elf as a house guest this Christmas.
Saturday was a magical day at Luggwoods. We were so lucky to be invited to the launch of their extremely special Christmas Event which opens on the 1st December. If you’re looking for a special Santa Experience that will leave lasting memories for both you and your children, then Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Luggwoods is not to be missed. It truly is one of the best, if not the best, Santa Experience in Dublin.
A has been watching The Santa Claus on a constant loop since July. So, the key phrase in our house for the past six months has been “Scott Calvin burnt the turkey“. It’s probably one of my favourite scenes in The Santa Claus when Scott sends the big whooper of a bird up in flames and himself and Charlie end up in Dennys on Christmas Eve. It’s all too reminiscent of an unwanted Christmas tradition myself and B have. We either burn the turkey or undercook the dear bird. We’ve lived together for over ten years and yet, I still call my Dad to ask his advice about the turkey every year. And most years, we magically cook an abysmal failure. To be fair, one year, our oven packed in half way through roasting so that one wasn’t our fault… no matter how often we fiddled with the temperature gauge, wondering what we were doing wrong! This year, I’m ready. Ready to cook that turkey with the mighty gusto of the Domestic Goddess that is petit vieux moi. Although, I’m no Nigella Lawson, I can follow her recipes with ease.
Oh, I do love Christmas! Obviously – since I’ve had two Christmas trees up in our house since the middle of November. I promise, that’s the earliest I’ve ever had them up. Everything about this season makes me happy except Christmas ad’s, all of which this year seem to have made me cry reams of tears into my tin of Roses. That is, until I saw the short-sighted pug, Gizmo. Vision Direct launched their Christmas ad for 2017 last week and Hooray, it’s the first Christmas ad that has made me laugh! So, I’ve been an emotional mess lately as pregnancy hormones dig their claws into me. I’ve watched all of the Christmas Ad’s by this stage and they have all pandered to these emotions and left me blubbering. Oh but Mr Gizmo, not you! No, no! Gizmo, Vision Directs adorable mascot pug, shared the lighter (literally) side of Christmas. I ended up giggling and dare I say, a chortle may have escaped as I watched Gizmo and his pretty neighbour, Cuddles the Cat, partake in a rivalry of festive extremes! We all have neighbours who like to one up each other in the Christmas lights stakes as their houses take on Santa Claus and the entire North Pole. Well, Gizmo and Cuddles have a hilarious competitive streak! Check it out and I dare you not to have a giggle like me. Animal lovers around the world are bound to love this one!
Christmas is my favourite time of year. I know a million other people feel the same and there is nothing new to someone loving Christmas but I can’t be a blogger and not write about what makes me incredible happy when the festive songs start playing in the shopping centers. When I was a kid, growing up in the 80’s wasn’t a piece of cake, not that I noticed. Our parents always made Christmas incredibly special. It was and still is, a time of family, love, happiness and joy. We are the inevitable cliché of Christmas and I love it! Christmas Eve, however, has always been my favourite part of the the festive season. With the build up, the excitement, the day before atmosphere, the prep for the big day, it was always a busy and happily chaotic day. It was, and still is, almost like a mini celebration, a mini Christmas Day without the presents. But presents aren’t always needed. What is important is to be present yourself. To be present, in the moment, with family and friends at Christmas.
And here it is, the final installment of my Christmas Gift Guide featuring the wonders and delights of beautiful handmade and handcrafted Irish Etsy Stores. I have really enjoyed pulling together these three lists for you and I hope you have found something new, something unique and something beautiful that you haven’t been able to find elsewhere. The best thing about Etsy stores is that you know the items have been made with thought, with care and with love. It’s like going to a Christmas Craft Fair without having to drudge around with the crowds 🙂 Take a peek inside and see what delights I have found for you.
We are on to week two of my Christmas Gift Guide, meaning its just one month to Christmas. November really does disappear and the holiday season has a habit of creeping up on us. I have been prepping the house for the day when the Christmas tree (trees – we have two!) comes down from the attic. Of course, when I say prepping, I mean ordering B around since I can’t do any of the heavy lifting that I usually too due to still being on bed rest. The lugging around of the furniture and cleaning under every surface and in every nook and cranny has been left to my amazing husband who this year has cribbed about my obsessiveness with Christmas. I like to have our decorations up for The Late Late Toy Show at the end of November, which I know is ridiculously early for most people but it’s a tradition I love. Besides, I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love Christmas 🙂 And just because I’m pregnant and on bed rest doesn’t mean the decorations will appear any later. So on to the Gift Guide!
Finally! I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to publish my Christmas Gift Guide Series. I am a huge lover of Christmas. As soon as November 1st hits, I’m bursting with the Christmas Spirit. Before A, I would have my entire Christmas shopping finished by the end of August. These days, with A’s birthday in October, I’m still Christmas shopping coming into November and December but I love it. I like to go all out (as much as finances allow!) with presents, food and yummy nibbles. For us, Christmas is all about family and celebration. It’s the one time of year when we’re all wrapped up together in the Christmas Spirit of warmth and love for two full weeks. With a little bundle on the way now, this is our last Christmas as a family of three, and we are going to make it extra special for that reason.
Delve into my special Christmas Gift Guide Series, which happily hosts online Irish based Etsy stores that make beautiful, unique and handrafted items, ideal for Christmas.
You may remember that B and I have a certain style when it comes to our bits and bobs that are mingled around our house. We’re collectors and over our twelve years of living together we’ve managed to gather some cute and quirky bits that simply say “us”. Annnnndd then along comes the offspring and I don’t mean the band. A is probably the best thing we’ve picked up over the years and is the best addition to our house! She’s also the most expensive item we own (I know we don’t own her. Don’t worry about pointing out how completely politically incorrect it is to say that). In the last few years, with a beautiful new mouth to feed, moving house and paying bill after bill, we’ve had little chance to add to our collection. I miss shopping for quirks and oddities. I miss picking up an awesome find in a random shop in some back street of Dublin. I lost the shopping gene when A came along and resorted to spending my time and money in Boots on soothers and beaker after beaker after beaker. Until last week. Oh last week I was a happy giddy Momma Bear. Enter Kopper Kreation!