herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

My son has brought the magic back for me

I'm so happy. The time has finally arrived and the big jolly man will be coming down the chimney tonight. For three months I have listened to the same questions day after day, hour after hour. "Is Santa coming? Is it Christmas? Is he here yet?"

We have written numerous letters, posted them to the North Pole, changed our minds, gone to see various Santas in shopping centres, changed our minds again, and finally decided that we want a surprise.

We have a big red Santa stocking hanging off the fireplace. We have mince pies laid out on a kitchen plate and, most importantly, the tumbler of whiskey ready for the big man himself.



childless

Christmas is so different when you're a parent. When you're childless and living alone, it's kind of hard to get into the whole Christmas spirit of things. You go out clubbing in a sparkly dress and too-high heels, drink too much and then wonder what everyone will buy you (that was me, anyway).

Of course, before I became a mum I still loved Christmas but for different reasons. I mean, I put up an artificial tree every year and played cheesy Christmas tunes on my CD player and invited my pals around to drink champagne. However, having my son Gary around has brought the magic back into the festive season this year.

This Christmas is the first time in a few years that I'm finally getting into it. When I was pregnant my main worry was that I couldn't find anything that was glamorous enough and big enough to fit my huge bump for the family Christmas lunch. Then a year later, when Gary was only 10 months, he didn't have a clue what Christmas was all about.

He went to his dad, my parents were away and I ended up watching The Hills on MTV all by myself while drinking a can of cider. Now that was a pretty sad way to spend my first Christmas as a mother.



snowman



Then last year Gary was vaguely excited about Santa and the tree. But now he's three, it really is full on. He has made me feel like a kid again as we hang up decorations together, make the Christmas cake together, sing Christmas songs and dance around our plastic snowman.

Because I have a little boy bursting with joy at the thought of Christmas, I no longer fret about meeting everyone for Christmas drinks, or the endless parties.

I am no longer in BTs lusting after the designer dresses and wondering how much they will be reduced in the sales, but I am in Smyths and Hamleys and Toymaster, buying toys for all my nieces and nephews.

But I also take Gary to visit the crib in our local church and tell him about Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus, the shepherds and the Three Wise Men. We light candles for those who have left us this year and for those who do not have a roof over their heads this Christmas.

Sadly, not everyone will be in a position to celebrate so we need to remember those less fortunate than ourselves. And we need to be kind.

Merry Christmas.

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