Hazel’s birthday started with gifts before breakfast. As she doesn’t really play with toys I decided that this would be the first year for her to get just clothes and accessories. She got two pairs of non-essential shoes-you know the kind: those bright ones with sparkly bits on them, red ones in this case.
She was rather pleased with the new outfits-some were a bit fancier and trendier than we are accustomed to, but all lovely on her. She also got some jewellery-which she seemed pleased with. Mostly the real earrings. Hazel has wanted her ears pierced for almost a year now, much to my surprise and Michael’s absolute dread. We will be over-riding his veto and be getting them done this January. With the NHS practically in shut-down mode around here over Christmas I didn’t want to risk an infection while our doctor was away.
After breakfast Michael went in to work for a couple of hours and was home for lunch. His company has mandatory shut-down over the Christmas holidays-which we don’t mind in the least. It’s worth the few days of holiday time to have him home for almost two weeks. While he was out the kids put on their Christmas outfits (one of Hazel’s new dresses) and we made the Merry Christmas video below. That was fun-I’m really starting to love all this technology! We also had a lovely chat with one of the neighbours before Michael got home.
Hazel loves wandering around Avebury and the scones in it’s tea shop, so we headed out for an afternoon walk. We had a great walk, but the tea-room was closed. We settled for chips in the pub instead. We never go to the pub as it is usually teeming with people, but as it was decidedly empty on Christmas Eve we were sure to get a table. The kids struck up a conversation with two sisters in the pub. There is actually a well inside the pub, and they were having fun looking at it and talking together.
Home then for a birthday treat. For her birthday cake, Hazel chose cupcakes. Not homemade ones, but the fancy ones from Waitrose. We decided to get eight as we needed seven for the candles. It actually looked cute, and she was pleased-what else could you ask for?
After the birthday cakes we decided we had better get baking or we’d have nothing to leave for Father Christmas. The kids and I had settled on biscuits this year-Peanut Butter cookies to be exact. It’s not a tradition we ever did growing up-but I do like leaving a cookie over a mince pie. At least this way the man gets a variety, and not the same thing in every house.
While we were letting the dough get firm in the fridge we made the pastry for the mince pies. Poor Hazel wants everything baked at once-but as there are only four of us it just always ends up going off before we finish it. So to ease her worry-I said we’d do the biscuits then and the mince pies on Christmas day-that way we could have them warm right for the oven.
While the cookies were cooling off they had their baths and put on their Christmas pyjamas. Kieran’s weren’t exactly Christmas ones-but they had a penguin on them, so I had to settle for those. The only Christmas one I could find in his size was grey and looked very drab. Then they prepared the plate for Fr. Christmas and the reindeer. Kieran insisted on 2 carrots to see if they’d eat both. I tried to get them to leave a parsnip, but that they wouldn’t hear of.
We then had the traditional reading of T’was the Night Before Christmas before putting two very excited children to bed. It was nice that Hazel was so excited again this year-in the previous years she was very nervous about Santa coming. Last year was the first time she slept in her own bed-and she did sleep soundly. But how Kieran ever fell asleep I’ll never know!
When they went to bed, Michael and I just relaxed and watched a bit of TV-I can’t for the life of me remember what it was-but it entertained us for a bit. It was our earliest bedtime ever on Christmas Eve-we were upstairs by 10:30, knowing someone would be up early.
They slept later than I ever did-and were up by about 6:30. We all had a cuddle for a bit before going to see if Father Christmas had come. He had. Kieran was thrilled to bits, but Hazel, though excited by the gifts, was a bit sceptical, as this year Santa wrapped all their gifts. That had never been done before-so we decided that it was ‘probably’ because when they were older now and could handle opening everything. ThenÂ she also decided, onceÂ she saw all the gifts, none of the gifts needed pre-assembling, so that could have been another reason they were wrapped. All these possibilities! The gifts in the stocking hadn’t been wrapped so weren’t regarded as suspect and we didn’t need to play the ‘what if’ game over those. Have to say-she quickly forgot to question the ‘wrapped state’ of the gifts as soon as she started to open them.
The kids spent the rest of the day reading, being crafty, racing cars and baking. They got some really good bubble wands in their stockings and used up all the bubbles in about a half-hour–it really seemed like they made a zillion bubbles!
Hazel now owns more crafts than I can possibly get my head round. They really are far too challenging for my-non-crafty-mind. I do try though. I did help her make one of the purses-but was thrilled when the kits glue wouldn’t work on sticking some of the bits on. I’ve always wanted a glue gun-now I have the perfect excuse to get one. Sad as it is-I do covet the tools of the trade! Hazel wasn’t thrilled that she’d have to wait a day or two to finish the bag-the perfect time to suggest baking!
We all pitched in and made a red lentil bake for lunch,Â and then we just had a simple roast pork dinner as Kieran wanted to have crackling for Christmas. That was followed by left-over birthday cupcakes. Our type of day-simple, happy and together!