Honest Motherhood: Countdown to Christmas

I am feeling frazzled. I have just spent the last hour scouring the internet for presents. This can often yield highly unsatisfying results. I find hunting for potential gifts online incredibly difficult, mainly because I get easily distracted and start finding things for myself or the house.
Searching for a gift from my Great Aunt on the Anthropologie website last night, I ended up in the sale section convincing myself we needed some vibrant overpriced new tea towels. Then I found the doormats. 
“What do you think of this?! I LOVE it!” I send a photo of a funky mat to Joel. 
“Oh love it, order it!”
I didn’t. We already have a functioning doormat. This wasn’t good. I was straying way off course. Despite the crowds, if I’m totally clueless, I much prefer going into real life shops to choose that something special. 
I felt a disproportionate sense of achievement the other day when I left Oliver Bonas with two pairs of socks for friends, as part of our annual “Socks n Chocs” tradition.

The end-point action of gift-giving itself I love, the actual handing over of the object, that’s always a feel good. It’s the decision making at the beginning I loathe. I’ve taken to asking certain friends for a short list of books for me to choose from. This is a win win for all. I don’t have to rack my brains thinking of a suitable gift and I can take comfort in the certainty of knowing this is something they actually want. Plus I always like to encourage reading. 

I’ve stopped bothering to ask Maia for a Christmas list now, she only repeats “I don’t know Mummy!” whenever I bring it up. Instead, we’ll walk into pretty much any shop in Wokingham and she’ll gravitate towards the toys, games or hair accessories on display. 
“Can I have this?”
(*Holding yet another Pop It fidget toy, despite already owning one, she wants the exact same thing in a different shape.) 
“Put it on your list!”
Her Birthday was in October, so I always feel as though I’ve used up all the good presents then. Thankfully eight year olds are relatively easy to buy for. She still loves lego and unicorns and anything covered in gems. Then there was the recent rainbow glitter explosion on our dining room table that makes me think I should stock up on that too.

Whilst I’m still in the minefield of present-purchasing, there is one big decision we have finalised; the size of our tree. A yearly topic of debate between Joel and me, (he always wants to go big, I want to save a few pennies and get something that doesn’t dominate the room) we’re forced to swing my way this time for practical reasons. The presence of Leo’s playpen in our dining room means we simply don’t have the space for anything substantial. We’ve agreed on a small but most definitely charming and gloriously decorated tree placed on a suitably-tinsel-adorned book stand in the corner. I intend to show Joel it doesn’t have to be huge to be magical. 

Speaking of festive magic, we recently went to watch Joel’s Mum playing the ukulele with the “No Strings Attached” group at the Wokingham Winter Carnival . (Which wasn’t easy with Leo’s pushchair. A tight crowd had formed by the time we arrived and we had to jostle our way to the front for prime viewing, it was very much worth it.) A fantastically lively and festive performance, we clapped and bopped and sang along, inches away from the strings as Leo slept soundly. We were no doubt the most enthusiastic fan base present. 

From one stage to another, Maia will be performing in Aladdin this week, her first ever Stagecoach show. She has two lines, many songs, and some new jazz shoes. I am a very proud Stage Mum.

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