Christmas is a funny time for me.

I enjoy the build up, really enjoy it. But then, as the actual day starts to get closer, my anxiety creeps in and generally just makes me one big ball of pent up stress for the three or so days preceding Christmas day.

“Am I sure I have everything we need? I must remember that last present I need to order. Have I sent the neighbours Christmas cards? What’s the name of their son at number 16? The kids are so excited. God, what if one of them gets ill over Christmas. They’ve been suspiciously healthy recently. Please don’t let that happen, I couldn’t bare the disappointment”.


Basically, I am a complete and utter control freak. And any big event where I know there is an element of chance and luck and that I can’t have a handle on every single aspect is guaranteed to send me into a bit of a spin in the days beforehand.

And so it was in the very early hours of Christmas eve morning that I found myself unable to sleep. Arlo had woken me up at 2am and I hadn’t been able to settle afterwards. I pottered downstairs, folding clean laundry, willing tiredness to hit, but I was completely wired. I took Rory into our bed when he woke at 4am, but by 5am I was still awake and now had Otto to settle. Eventually I crashed and snatched an hour’s sleep in Rory’s bed.

The sunrise was beautiful that morning. Vibrant orange and pink skies that bathed the whole house in its glow.

That morning, my grandma died peacefully.

Although this blog has always been an account of my life, I don’t necessarily always feel the need to blog every single aspect of our lives here. Some things feel too personal sometimes. But I couldn’t write about our Christmas without writing about her. It didn’t feel right to skip over any mention at all, and I know I’ll forever remember my weird night and that sunset preceding the news. That sequence of events is now part of the fabric of our Christmas 2016.

But now, onto other things.

Looking back, the first couple of Christmases with a young baby / toddler were underwhelming. We weren’t used to the exhaustion. There were too-frequent reminders of how we used to do Christmas VS our Christmases now we have a baby. There was no gratification for the hard work of keeping a baby in their routine at Christmas time. Baby Arlo couldn’t care less what time of year it was, but we sure would know about it if he was overtired or overstimulated.

Christmas started to get fun again once we had a two year old. With a three and then four year old, it started to exceed all Christmases that had come before. How empty it made those Christmases as a hungover twenty-something feel. There was a new excitement to experience Christmas through our child’s eyes, almost like being a child at Christmas again ourselves.

I know I’ve said the same thing every year, but our Christmases with the kids really have just been getting better and better each year.

With a six and a three year old, Christmas is off the scale in terms of enjoyment. Having young children who completely understand and believe in the magic wholeheartedly is just the best.

I really feel like we are entering our prime Christmas years as a young family. Primary school children really have the best time experiencing Christmas, and we are just at the beginning of that stage.

Family time can often feel out of balance for us. In between the usual busy life details, and Sam’s work trips, more often than not, I am left craving MORE time together. Feeling that we’ve not quite had enough.

This Christmas break has been our antidote. The bit between Christmas and New Year’s, especially, has been the perfect time to just enjoy each others company. We’ve had slow-paced days, not many plans, just being together as a family. Arlo has become quite the board game fanatic this Christmas, and so we’ve spent lots of time playing games round the table, watching films and eating meals together.

There is nothing I like more in the world than spending this time with my family.

Happy New Year from the Sorry About The Mess family!



  1. Sorry to hear of your loss.

    I totally get what you say about Christmas getting better during the Primary school years. Now M is at school it seemed so much bigger this year. I love your new calendar.

  2. Oh I am so sorry to hear about your Grandma but glad you had the time you needed to just be together as a family – I’ve loved this last Christmas, both for the excitement of the incredible non sleeping children and the chance to just be as a family of five with no other calls on our time then hibernating together – it’s wonderful isn’t it.

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