The leaves have fallen, the nights are dark, the air is chilly. That means December is here, and I’m feeling festive!

I thought I’d tell you a little bit about how we do Christmas in our house.

As normal, December has crept up on us like a silent hurricane! We began our year with an optimistic but deluded idea of having Christmas shopping completed by Autumn, everything wrapped and stored away until jolly old Saint Nick shuffles elegantly down the chimney (that we don’t have) and lays them under the tree on the 25th. As you can tell by my tone, that hasn’t happened. I am sure there are people out there who are complete and have everything in order, I know they exist, but in this house.. Not a chance!

So our Christmas begins with me and Chels writing a list of people to buy things for, and what they might like. Then we find a day that just me and her can go out and tick things off. This year, dressed in full medieval armour, we decided to head out on the Saturday, immediately after Black Friday. In my head I visualised a stampede, with me at the forefront with someone’s grandma in a headlock trying to get the last yard of Jaffa cakes in Asda. This was not the case, no Grandma’s were hurt in the making of this blog post.

That’s Job one complete, 85% of our list was completed on that hectic Saturday.

Now where on earth do we put it all? We live in a small two bedroom apartment, with no storage.. I’m sure with a bit of Tetris under the bed we’ll find a home for it all, maybe.

Next job in our festive build up is to sit with Bobby and help him compose his letter to Father Christmas. For this we use the delightful Royal Mail free post Santa letter service, and wait patiently for a reply. You can find more details by clicking here, but be quick as they can’t guarantee a reply for letters received after 9th December.

Once the 1st December rolls around we will have our cheap but reliable chocolate advent calendars to open. We have done a book advent in years gone by, instead of chocolate, you get a book. A really good idea, simple to do and gets the kids reading.

Also on the 1st, our ‘Elf On The Shelf’ will make his return. This little guy, who Bobby creatively named ‘Elfie’ is a real highlight for Bobby. He speaks about him often throughout the year, and looks forward to his return. The excitement from Bobby year after year never gets old. We have a DVD ‘An Elf’s Story’, that is all about the elf on the shelf tale, and reminds us and Bo of the magic surrounding our little knitted friend. I will be posting our ‘Elfie’ updates on social media using the hashtag #SOADElf – If you wish to join in, and share your Elf on the Shelf shenanigans with us.

We’ll put our tree up early in December, on the 3rd, as that is the day me and Chelsea got engaged, a special day. However no tinsel though, we can not stand tinsel!

Right, by the middle of December the shopping is getting there, advent calendars are open, Elfie is up to no good, the tree is glistening away in the corner.. What next?

Father Christmas! Of course, we’ll take a visit to one of his grotto’s, meet some professional Elves, make some reindeer food, and have a sit down with the big guy him self! This is the moment where Bobby finds out if he’s on the naughty list, or the nice list.. Fingers crossed!

Wow! This Christmas idea seems like a lot of work when you write it all down.

On to the nativity play at school, last year Bobby was a shepherd, with lines! Well a line.. It was great, complete with our best tea towel for his head dress! A couple of years ago, he was a Robin, the year before that he was Joseph. If you have been lucky enough to see a preschool nativity then you know what I mean when I say CUTE! However, this year there is no nativity.. Just carol singing.

So before we know it, it’ll be Christmas Eve! Excitement level 10,000! On this day we normally leave a plate for Santa and his reindeer, cake, carrots, milk, etc, etc. We have to leave a special key on our door mat, as we have no chimney. Bobby will hopefully be asleep by 9pm, and once we are 100% sure he’s not tricking us. Myself and Chelsea, I mean Santa, spend the evening putting the presents out.

Once the big day arrives we will spend our morning in a maze of cardboard and wrapping paper, playing pass the parcel, while attempting to keep the house in order. Black sacks at the ready! After the morning mayhem, we will then head out and spend the day with family.. Good food, belly laughs, and lots of love in the room. Trying to fit 3 families into the Christmas break is always tough, but we manage it.

Once the dust has settled, we can sit back and relax. I love Christmas, even more so now that I’m a grown up (up for debate) and have a child of my own. At the end of the day Christmas is a celebration. The magic, the excitement, the joy, and the love. Although the meaning of Christmas may be lost somewhere in the isles of gigantic toy shops, the foundations are there and it is what you make of it. For us, it’s about all being together and laughing. Happy times, the happiest time.

From us at Stories Of A Dad, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

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