It’s the time of year when even the lady in the corner shop asks, “So are you sorted for Christmas?!” I begin the question myself…am I sorted for Christmas…? I usually reel off something about my little boy doesn’t really like Christmas so we go away and so that takes the pressure off a bit…blah blah.
The problem this year is, yes I have a little boy who doesn’t like Christmas but it turns out that I have another little boy…who loves it! The past couple of years Teddy has been too little to really understand about Christmas and presents and so we’ve been able to get away with not really doing anything Christmassy – no presents, letters to Santa, Christmas trees or decorations as all these things stress Toby out. However it must be something to do with Teddy turning 3 on Friday but this year he’s seems to have caught the Christmas bug!
“Oh wow! Kis-mis tree” every time we drive past anywhere with any decorations and I lost track of how many times I’ve read, ‘Father Christmas needs a wee!’ (it’s a children’s counting book for anyone wondering!) And his Baby Jesus toy is definitely a favourite at the moment….he keeps getting a ride in the lift of Teddy’s garage or given birthday cake. He’s also been singing Christmas song’s at nursery and does a very enthusiastic “hey!” at the end of Jingle Bells.
On the other hand I’ve got a very anxious little Toby who hasn’t been sleeping well – he’s been up since 3am this morning…yawn! He’s very emotional and the slightest little thing can send him into meltdown. He’s been more aggressive, more wild and if I’m honest more emotionally challenging. He hates Christmas music in shops, doesn’t cope well with changes to his routine and a big noisy Christmas party would probably be his worst nightmare.
At the moment one of our biggest challenges is balancing the needs of both our boys. Toby needs normality, routine and not to be over stimulated, whereas Teddy wants excitement and fun and to experience all of the things ‘normal’ families enjoy at this time of year.
We are heading off to Center Parcs again this year over Christmas as both of the boys will love that but part of me is a bit sad that sometimes Teddy misses out due to the needs of his brother.
So this year we’re embracing Christmas….a bit!
Teddy has an advent calendar which is locked away in our bedroom as we can’t have in on display downstairs as Toby would throw it/break it – he often ‘clears’ work surfaces, windowsills, units etc. He throws things, climbs on everything and anything ‘new’ is usually a target. For anyone reading this who just thinks he’s being naughty he honestly doesn’t understand and hasn’t got any awareness…he throws photo frames and then jumps and flaps…in his head they shouldn’t be there…he’s the same with the cushions on the sofa – they’re always on the floor. Anyway back to Teddy’s advent calendar! Teddy has a sensitive tummy and can’t have milk or soya so we went for a non chocolate alternative. I found a beautiful wooden calendar online and inside each door is a little wooden star to hang in the sky. Teddy loves numbers at the moment and loves finding the right door and the stars have numbers on too, he comes bouncing in on a morning to see the numbers – he’ll be gutted when advent is over!
Teddy also got to put the Christmas tree up at Nana and Grandad’s last weekend – apparently some of the baubles didn’t survive the process as he thought they we’re surprise eggs and wanted to open them – hahaa! Unfortunately a tree would stress Toby out at home and wouldn’t be safe…Toby would be climbing up it and constantly pushing it over. He climbs on everything – kitchen cabinets, storage units and even tries to get on top of the fridge freezer – a tree wouldn’t last five minutes in our house. So we are making an effort to enjoy every one else’s trees with Teddy. He loves going for a walk to see the village Christmas tree and pointing out trees and decorations when out and about. Maybe next year Toby will cope with one at home…who knows? But for now we are just enjoying everyone else’s ‘kis-mis trees!’
We also have a likely wooden nativity set that I bought when Toby was little and although this too can’t be out on display (mainly because Toby would throw/chew it) Teddy and I have had a lovely time playing with it while Toby is at School. Poor baby Jesus has had a bit of a crazy time – been eaten by the camels, having trains as visitors and not to mention riding up and down the the lift of Teddy’s garage! We’ve also been watching songs and videos online about the nativity as it’s important to us that Teddy grows up knowing what Christmas is really about.
People are often surprised when I tell them that we don’t buy Christmas present for the boys. We often justify it by explaining that Teddy is a December baby and so gets lots of birthday presents and that being on holiday is a present for us all. Other people still like to buy for them and trust me they’re not exactly deprived! However as Teddy he’s going to realise that Santa visit’s everyone else’s house at some point and so we’ve decided to do them a stocking each to start a new tradition. Teddy is at an age where he loves anything and everything and would be over the moon with a surprise egg and a toothbrush in his stocking. Toby is a bit more tricky and so in his stocking he’s going to get a new Peso the penguin (even though he already has 7 or 8) and a pack of his favourite cereal bars…they will both be unwrapped as he doesn’t like wrapping paper and maybe he will get the same two things next year – who knows!
If you’re interested here are a couple of posts about Christmas from last year –
Doing Christmas differently… (I can’t believe how little Teddy looks!)
Anyway we’ll see…if anything having a stripped back Christmas helps me to remember what it’s really all about without getting carried away in the busyness of it all. Happy Christmas to you reading this too – however you celebrate I hope you have a wonderful time.