a merry little Christmas

This evening is the first, in weeks I think, where I have not been sewing, or knitting. It feels a little strange, but then the fullness of the day is also resting on my shoulders so I am happy to just rest.

Last night, after Ava had opened her Christmas Eve box and fallen asleep, I kept on sewing until 1.40am – and I realised that it is always the Mama who goes to bed last on Christmas Eve, making sure everything is ready for the next day.

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Resulting, today, in the fact that I fell asleep after dinner, like I used to see my Gran or Nana do on Christmas day. Passing the point I have been working towards for weeks left me feeling so exhausted, so wiped out, that a small cat-nap on the sofa was needed (I assume the ridiculously large Christmas lunch also had something to do with it)

Today was such a good day, in such stark contract to last Christmas. We needed a day like today, just the three of us, in our own rhythm, to counter what had been a busy, manic and somewhat uncomfortable last Christmas. We took our time today opening presents. The last one was opened at 7pm, just before I took Ava up to bed.

Do I have the only child on earth who is not bothered about tearing into gifts? She gets positively overwhelmed after the first couple, and since it does actually seem like a strange thing, to give a child something special – a toy or book – and then immediately ask them to forget about it and move on, we did our best this year to just take it easy, opening something here and there, whenever Ava seemed ready.

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Last year her gifts from us were her first Waldorf doll and a wooden pram to go with it, Myriad eco bark blocks, Mama-made playsilks, and then a whole host of other things from well-meaning family members. She was so frazzled. There were so many bright and over-stimulating colours and blingy objects – things we positively avoid in our home.

This year, her big present was her wooden kitchen, with a whole bunch of accessories that we’d bought or made her (tea sets, food, Mama-made dish towels and apron, oven gloves, etc) I had no idea that she would love it as much as she did, but my goodness, she barely left it alone all day. And what’s funny is that although she has lots of other imaginative toys (dollshouse, cradle etc) she did so much pretend playing today, so much more than I’d ever seen her do before, that I felt like we’d waited to just the right time to give it to her.

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And in usual Ava style, she kept the kitchen remarkably well ordered. Even her gifts were kept neat and orderly, paper put in the bin, boxes restored to their lid-on status. My little neat and orderly girl makes me laugh, for that is so definitely an Ava thing.

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Other big hits this year were the felt penguin (that I had winged, excuse the pun, and finished just last night), her two farm playmats (one felted, with felted animals and the other a surprise Yule gift), her tutu (this was the last gift she opened and she wore it with her fairy wings, for the most part, prancing around the living room with a little toddler swagger) and a ladybird backpack that she predictably loved organsing and reorganising.

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But there were moments today where I couldn’t help but think of all the days to come, which I have not been giving much focus to. Christmas was the point that my head had been working towards, and with the added pressure of more MamaMake orders than I had anticipated in December, I have been sometimes frantically busy.

Now, there is one big thing to focus on, and that would be this little baby who is due in just over 3 months. Hmmm. I am hoping that pregnancy yoga and beginning my hypnobirthing once again will put me back into that mindset where birthing a baby is something I really look forward to. Last time, I truly believe my attitude and preparations for Ava’s birth gave me such a wonderful birthing experience, but this time, I feel like poor Ezra has been somewhat overlooked. Such is the way, perhaps, with second children, who are born into a busier environment and who are used to, from the get-go, sharing attention. But still, I feel like I owe this little kicker some one on one time, and now Christmas is here and nearly gone, I’m going to do my best to make sure he gets it.

So my head began to think of the things we would like to get him (so much less, and so different, than Ava) – the slings, the real nappies, the sheepskin. I thought of the furniture that needed painting in what will be his and Ava’s room (though no doubt neither one will sleep it in for quite some time). I thought of the baby clothes he might need, and tried to remember what it is exactly newborns wear – what a Spring newborn may wear as opposed to an Autumn one.

I thought of all the things I’d like to make him before he arrives – his quilt, some clothes, booties, knitted items (because I can kind of read knitting patterns now, you know).

I thought a little about the work ahead in preparation for our new line at MamaMake – the bits and bobs we will add along the way, the business dates we have planned, and how that will develop next year. The Waldorf dolls we still have to make – one for Sam’s daughter, Rose and one for Ava, from Ezra, when he’s born.

And I am glad that we have things to get us through these next two months, which always seems so gloomy and dark, so uneventful, to me. But I also don’t want to look too far ahead. For now, I want to enjoy the time Howard has off work, and all the playing we might fit into our days whilst he is here. I want to pour over my gifted crafty and parenty books, and I want to delve into my gifted fabric and get started on our big Family Bed quilt.

And most of all, I want to squeeze that little toddler of mine, who I happen to think is the best person I’ve ever met, and let her cook things for me in her new kitchen, and dress her up in new MamaMake clothes every day (she doesn’t mind, in fact, she has become quite demanding of all these dresses), and I want to rest these next two weeks, just a little anyway.
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Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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About Kendal

I'm Kendal Mosley-Chalk. I live in York with my husband and two children.
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