December always seems to be a really busy month for our family. There are three birthdays amongst our extended family, Sam’s evenings get booked up with at least three different Christmas parties, and this year my photography work has also been added into our December scheduling. Any free weekend and evening time I’ve had has been spent editing or on photoshoots.
But the good news is that we are now all done for the year, work-wise. I have just sent off the images from my last shoot of the year, and Sam has been off work since the middle of December and won’t be back until the new year. It’s the one really great bonus about not going on any holidays or trips away, Sam ends up having a ton of annual leave left to take at the end of the year and usually he’s lucky enough to be able to take it all in one big chunk. So for the past couple of years we’ve been enjoying a week or two ‘Staycation’ before Christmas starts. It’s always really nice to have this family time at home and it’s started to feel like a little pre-Christmas tradition.I sang with Popchoir in this very Christmassy church last weekend for their ‘Christmas Tree Festival’.
Arlo is certainly starting to feel the Christmas excitement. He’s now familiar with all the typical Christmas imagery – Father Christmas, reindeer, snowmen, etc. He’s met Father Christmas twice this month and surprised me by being totally OK in his presence, unlike last year. I think the lure of chocolate and presents helped things just a bit. Arlo’s favourite part of Christmas so far is probably his Thomas the Tank Engine “Aggvent Cadadar”. He does understand that it’s only one per day, but that hasn’t detered him from asking for it at least three times a day.
We’ve also been doing Elf on a Shelf this year. An Elf comes to stay at the start of December, Arlo finds him in a different place each morning. On Christmas Eve he will leave us and report back to Father Christmas on Arlo’s behaviour. We’re not really focussing on the good behaviour part, but Arlo loves finding the elf each morning and I’m sure over the next few years this is going to become a well-established part of our build-up to Christmas.
We have our largest Christmas tree yet this year. I don’t know why we always end up going larger when we really should be going smaller. This one is a six-footer. It takes up half the room, but it does look good. I think we picked a really nice shaped tree this year.
Sam and I are looking forward to Arlo seeing his stocking on Christmas morning. He’s at an age where he doesn’t quite yet fully understand Christmas, but he’s not too young not to get excited by the sight of a pile of presents for him to open. Arlo’s stocking has been made by my mum, it’s the same design as the ones she made for me and my siblings over a quarter of a century ago (in fact, three of those stockings are still in use, I believe *ahem*).
I’m itching to post more, life has been too busy recently for all the blog posts I have stored up in my head, and I’m desperately hoping to be able to finish blogging my 366 project on time (although I’m still posting photos from October at the moment!). But for now we are kicking back and enjoying a slower pace in the lead up to Christmas.