Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas 2012

A lot of the last month or so had been spent preparing for Kaleb's first Christmas. We were having the grandparents over so had a lot to get ready.

The holiday I had taken off work in December had been split in two; a few days at the start and the rest at the end of the month. We started off by going to London for a photoshoot that we had organised at the Baby Show. There was a bit of an issue getting there as the trains were in chaos, but we made it eventually. Kaleb was wonderful for the whole session, even after the longer than expected journey. The photos are great and we're glad we got them.

That weekend we travelled to Lincoln to visit Liz's family. There is a Christmas market that happens every year that we always mean on going to but never got round to it until now. We went to that market three times over the weekend (mostly getting presents and a few things we wanted for Christmas) so I got a good workout walking up and down the steep hill to get to the castle. We got a good testing out of the light attached to Kaleb's pushchair, the paths were sometimes dark so it helped there. It also allowed us to move through the crowd slightly quicker as people noticed it coming towards them a lot more than usual, so moved out the way to avoid getting run over.

While at Lincoln, we also popped over to my friend's wedding as it was happening nearby; the third wedding I had been to that year. Kaleb wore his smart bibble and managed to sneak into a few of the photos. 

After the Lincoln trip, I had a couple of days back at work, in a fairly empty office, before starting my second block of holiday. After a delivery at home, we spent a couple of evenings putting the new table and chairs we got together.

On the Thursday before Christmas, we popped over to the Ampthill market for the first time to have a look around and get some of the last things we needed for Christmas day. We had gotten most of the presents we needed in Lincoln, so were only finishing off getting cheese, vegetables and side meat for Christmas day. 

The Friday before Christmas started with a trip to the Flitwick market and then supermarket to finish getting anything we needed for Christmas, followed by a visit to my cousin and grandparents. Impressively, this involved us making a 19 minute transfer between the two St Albans train stations. Kaleb got one of his Christmas presents early (a good thing too as it took some time to put it together!), and we had some food before going home (Kaleb even had some vegetables of his own to play with). 

On Saturday, my mum dropped off the Turkey, on Sunday, Liz's mum arrived and I made some ice cream. I also made a cracker tree as an alternate to just putting them on the table, and to have an interesting centrepiece to the table. 

Christmas eve included getting everything ready for Christmas, a local open air carol concert, me making my biscuit tree again, and our tradition of watching the Muppets Christmas Carol. I also discovered that Kaleb had some teeth poking out from his bottom gum. 

Without knowing the significance of the day, Kaleb woke up pretty early Christmas morning (I suspect that is not the last time it will happen). He fell back asleep again, so we all got a bit of a lie in before getting up and starting preparing everything. Liz was focusing on the food, so I went over to see what Kaleb (who had woken up again) thought of his first Christmas morning. 

All smiles as usual. 

My family all seemed to arrive at once; I think they met on the motorway. With everyone here we started Kaleb on opening his presents. I let him have a go at unwrapping each one, but he usually needed a bit of help. He had a couple of breaks between presents (I opened some of mine in the downtime) to stop him getting overwhelmed. I took him upstairs for a nap before dinner was ready, and food was being brought to the table when we came back downstairs. 

We put Kaleb in a Santa bib that we had for him, and gathered together some of the different foods for him to try out. He mainly had some of the turkey, but did try most of the other foods  (although wanted to stop eating before I got him to try a sprout). 

Full up from dinner, we finished the present opening. Being the first grandchild (and great grandchild) on both sides of the family, he had a lot to get through. He was spoilt for choice as to what toys he could play with. 

We eventually got back up at the table for desert; I had some of the different ice creams I had been making recently. I had made a fruitmass tree (various fruit in the shape of a tree, sort of) which I brought to the table too, but mainly used it myself to give different fruits to Kaleb. 

After another break from eating, we had some cheese and crackers (and crackers - we had a spare set of unused Christmas crackers that I had nearby that needed using up, but I think I was one of the few that wore the party hat for a second time). Kaleb sat on his Grandad's lap while we ate cheese, and tried a few out on Kaleb. He pulled an amusing face at the strong Lincolnshire cheese, but liked the Applewood and Red Lincolnshire cheese. He also had a little bit of ciabatta in between munching on bread sticks. 

Eventually, Kaleb was getting too tired to stay up after a very busy day so my family started to get ready to leave. Liz and my Mum took him for a walk outside after the first attempt to put him to bed didn't materialise. Kaleb settled pretty well the second time, so me and Liz thought about organising his presents before deciding upon leaving it to the morning. 

Boxing day (today) has been a fairly relaxing day by comparison. We organised most of the presents and I put the table back to its normal size, then , after some turkey sandwiches (with some bread Liz had made Christmas eve, but we never got around to eating on Christmas day), we went for a walk (mainly for the fresh air) to drop off some empty glass bottles at the bottle bank. We then had a wander over to a part of Flitwick that we've only been driven through to see what was there as I thought I had seen some shops (one closed, a restaurant and a take away, but it's nice to know they're there). 

Kaleb has had a lot more naps than usual today (recently, one nap a day was a bonus as he mostly sleeps at night), I think he is still processing all the events from yesterday. He seemed to be having fun, which is a great thing for his first Christmas. I had an enjoyable time too,it was very enlightening to celebrate the day from a very different perspective that I am used to. 

Merry Christmas!