The Mummy Diaries – The socially distant Santa, Christmas baking and Mummy signs off

The Mummy Diaries – The socially distant Santa, Christmas baking and Mummy signs off

by Emma Hargan
article from Monday 21, December, 2020

WOO HOO – It’s Christmas week, peeps, and I have to say that I’m super excited this year. This has been the most organised I think I’ve ever been. Usually I’m still running around on Christmas Eve like a headless chicken because I’ve been so caught up in all the other things I’ve forgotten to buy one selection box or collect the turkey. But nope! One thing this year has taught me is we need to slow down and take stock of what’s important. 

I say it every year! “Next year, I’m going to start early so by the time Christmas week arrives, I can actually sit back, relax and enjoy the run up to the big day.” And what happens? I leave it all to the last minute and am freaking out and stressed when I can’t find anything in the shops or online.

I think it’s just been the way this year has turned out, but like everyone I’m sure, I was so worried that we were going to be in and out of lockdowns that I didn’t want to be left stuck. The kids don’t understand what’s been happening this year as it is and I really didn’t want to go down the route of having to explain that, because of Covid, Santa wasn’t able to get all he needed to make the toys for all the children! And the panic actually drove me into getting my act together and get started early. I can now actually say that I’m finished. 

Well, aside from the last bits and pieces of food and the wrapping – which I love doing with the Christmas tunes going on in the background. After about an hour, I can impressively wrap one-handed and have a wee glass of red in the other! 

Okay, yes, the quality of the wrapping starts to go downhill slightly and the writing on the tags may be slightly illegible, but the kids won’t notice. James on the other hand won’t be getting wired into the Bushmills on Christmas Eve until all the stuff needing built up is assembled. And believe me, you need a degree in putting some shi.. stuff together. 

So with being organised, we have time! Time to spend doing things with James, Jamie and Lily…

Friday morning and as usual, James and I got the wake up call from Lily at 6.30am who always comes through to our room quietly, taps me on the shoulder to move across so she can climb in and cosy-in for a cuddle. Half-an-hour later, Jamie the tornado wakes up, jumps out of bed, races through to our room and shouts, “Morning! Get up now we need to open our Peppa Pig advent calendars! Come on !” We’ve tried telling him to go play in his room for a bit, or come into our bed for a while, just so we can have that wee bit extra lie-in. But nope. Nothing works. There’s chocolate downstairs and chocolate in a four-year-old’s eyes is life.

Except today was different.

“Jamie, come here next to Lily.” I said.

“No mummy, we need to go downstairs now, quick!” Jamie replies frantically.

“No Jamie, climb in here, I have a surprise to tell you.” I whispered.

And just like that, as soon as you mention the word surprise, you have Jamie and Lily’s full attention. Jamie launches himself into bed and all I can see in the dark are two sets of white eyeballs staring back at me.

“Do you know where we are going tonight after Daddy gets home?” I say.

“Where are we going Mummy?” They both ask.

“We are going on the Santa Express train and we are going to see Santa!” I reply.

“No way!” squeals Jamie ,while Lily is sitting with her mouth open trying to take it all in.

And then it started..

“Mummy? What time are we going?” 

“Mummy? Will the elves be there?” 

“Mummy? Will there be reindeer?” 

“Mummy, will it be night time?” 

“Mummy? Mummy? Mummy?”

Fox. Ache. I maybe didn’t quite think this one through. This was going to be one long day! In my hasty attempt at buying myself another ten minutes in bed before heading downstairs to start the day, I entered myself into the Christmas junior mastermind championships. 

By lunchtime, I had eaten every double decker in the house, answered every question known to man about Christmas including, get this – “Mummy? If Rudolph eats that sparkly reindeer food, is his poop sparkly?”

Fox. Ache. I was ready to throw myself out of the window. What was I thinking telling the kids eleven hours before the surprise of going on the Santa Express? Major parent fail? Check!

When James arrived home that evening I was so happy to see him walk through the door! The kids were jumping up and down with excitement as they knew it was nearly time to leave. 

And what an evening it was. 2020 has been the year of Covid, lockdowns, worries, isolation, missing family and friends – but for all of two hours, we forgot about all of it. Yes, we had to wear masks – and social distance – and sanitise – all of which has become part of daily life now, but I was totally amazed at how well the park and the train was set up to make sure all these things were in place. And boy, did Jamie love being on a train that moved! Everyone was safe but the kids were so occupied with all that was going on around them they never even noticed. We watched a puppet show with Mrs Claus, played reindeer games, had hot chocolates in the Christmas courtyard and then boarded the Santa Express to visit the main man himself. All of the elves and Santa were all wearing masks and I was preparing myself for the two tonne of questions from Jamie as to why Santa and the elves had to wear masks but not the reindeers – or why he couldn’t go and sit on Santa’s knee to tell him what he wanted for Christmas? But he never asked anything. He just got swept along in the magic of it all which was lovely for us to see.

Having told Santa – from a seat placed strategically two metres away – about the football he wanted, Jamie piped-up, “Right, let’s get back on the train!” I fear I have unwittingly created a trainspotting monster like his Gramps was.

Now, of course, a family outing isn’t a proper family outing without a few tears from someone or an argument about who got more marshmallows in their hot chocolate, is it? But you know they’ve had a good time when they have a meltdown in the car park because they don’t want to leave and then before you have the car engine started, they have conked out in their car seats! 

Job done.

So, the weekend before Christmas and what better way to spend it than chilling out at home and baking with the kids – which Jamie and Lily love. James disappeared upstairs to “do some wrapping” apparently, but I’m not sure why you need the iPad to wrap presents! Hmmm. So, we got the baking kit out, the recipe and ingredients for making Christmas biscuits.

And so it begins..

“Right Lil, you spoon the butter into the bowl and Jamie you mix.” I said.

“No, I’ll do..” Jamie interrupts Lily, “No, I’ll spoon the butter!”

“Noooo!” Shouts Lily and the butter gets launched on the floor.

Uuuuugh! 

Right, two bowls, two spoons, two sets of ingredients, two sets of biscuits. Problem solved! And it worked, well at least until it came to icing them.

“Right guys, we need to decorate the biscuits now, I’ll show you how it’s done.” I said, bearing in mind the biscuits were in the shape of Christmas trees and baubles.

“No Mummy! I want to put Mike Wizowski and Sully on mine!” Says Jamie.

“I want unicorns Mummy!” Roars Lily.

“But they’re Christmas biscuits, do you not want to put Santa and snowmen on them?” I asked.

“No Mummy!” They both shouted.

So that’s what we did. We made Christmas biscuits with Mike Wizowski and unicorns because that’s what you do for your four and two-years-olds – and that’s what I’m hoping they’ll remember.

Let’s be honest, the kids will probably not even remember what they all got for Christmas in years to come. Yes, there’s always that one special gift we remembered getting at some point but can you remember all the toys and gifts you got? But what I do remember is one Christmas morning – having been told the night before we could not get up to see if Santa had been until at least 6am –  my sister and I rising at 5am and moving all the clocks in the house forward an hour. It took a good wee while until our scheme was rumbled… 

I do remember my mum working away in the kitchen to make our Christmas dinner so special. I do remember my family spending half the day building up toys and setting up Scalextric tracks and playing games. I do remember all of us sitting down on the sofa together to watch Home Alone after we had the dinner. Those are the things your kids are going to remember too. 

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and more peaceful 2021!

#fourmoresleeps 

#merrychristmas 

#mummysigningoff 

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