Friday, 14 December 2012

Christmas. It’s what (naturally formed over time) memories are made of.

This will be our 4th Christmas with our two children and already it feels like it will be the loveliest yet. You might have read on my previous Christmas blog about how I force fed people Christmas music from 4am and we all argued and cried and refused to eat and injured each other with toy guns. Well, we’ve come a long way since then.

The problem all those years ago was that I was so keen for us to ‘make memories’. Hearing all the lovely stories from other mums in the playground about their traditions, new pyjamas on Christmas Eve, all opening stockings in the parent’s bedroom, the family walk etc. It made me really envious. I know how daft that sounds now but our children were 4 and 5 when they joined our family and I felt like I had lost time to make up for. We didn’t have any traditions. I put a satsuma in their stocking, like I used to get, and they looked at me like I was crazy. Fruit. For Christmas? Who is this mad woman we are calling mum?

The first Christmas was really hard. The second was better but still quite an intense day as I had insisted it should be just the four of us. We have grandparents and uncles and aunties over now and it makes the day so much more pleasant. Easier, even, because they can entertain the children while I cook and test the wine. After the big lunch the children have started entertaining us by putting on sketch shows and singing. It’s like a scene from the Scrooge’s nephew’s house. This is the type of Christmas I always wanted and it came to us naturally. Once I calmed down a bit.

Putting up the tree this year was also the loveliest time yet. I got the decorations out of the loft and there are now 4 years worth of memories in that box. Baubles they made in Reception, the cardboard fairy that’s past it’s best but so cute we use it every year, the ridiculous reindeer head doorbell that makes me think someone is at the door every time I look at it. We’ve finally done it. We got there. We have our own family Christmas traditions without me copying other peoples or forcing new ones upon us all. I can’t explain this any other way. It just feels like Christmas has clicked.

My obsession with memory creation doesn’t just apply to Christmas. I’ve always been keen for us to have stories to tell about things we’ve done together. We’ve got plenty of them stacked up now. The time the dog dragged mummy S down the side of a hill as his lead was tucked under her chair and he saw a squirrel. The time the three of them nearly fell into a fishpond because I asked them to step back so I could take a photo. The time we did an open top bus tour during a thunderstorm. All of these memories take time to create and I know that now.

So, if you’re a newly adoptive parent or if you’re thinking about adoption as an option, think on. It’s not unusual, I hope, to want these special times to mean something to you and your family just don’t worry about making magical memories. They come to you as you live your lives together and they are worth waiting for.