Monday, 17 December 2007

Christmas cheer

Becoming a mum has brought out the earthy, wholesome person in me, which I didn’t know existed until now. I never cared much for roasting chestnuts; or making nativity scenes and wreaths with materials only found in the wood; or making my own mince pies and mulled wine; or making homemade soft toys and Nigella’s ‘euphoric’ chutney as presents for everyone; or buying a traditional chocolate-less advent calendar from Oxfam; or learning the grown-up version of We Three Kings; or making fairy-light chandeliers out of two circular knicker driers.

This year, however, I have become the ultimate, obsessive, and slightly manic earth-mother extraordinaire, or so I would like to think. As well as doing all of the above, and more, I plan to march Betty and Tom off to church on Christmas morning, with Betty donning her little elf outfit, which I made for her to wear for the front of our Christmas card this year.

Perhaps I am over-compensating, as last Christmas went by in such a blur because Betty was only five weeks old, hence I was knackered and busy coming to terms with all the emotional and physical challenges that a new baby throws at you. And Betty was busy still feeling annoyed about being born, and having no qualms in telling us so. On top of this, I was also trying to reconcile myself with the fact that it was Christmas and I couldn’t even get pissed on rancid drinks such as Baileys and Sherry and smoke my uncle’s cigars, make a complete tit of myself, and pass out before I’d even got to watch Eastenders.

In my mind, this is Betty’s first proper Christmas, and now that she is a delightful, non-crying, solid food-eating, gorgeous little girl, I am going all out to make it the best, most homely, and jolliest Christmas ever. It will be such a joy for us to have a Betty sitting at the table with us, providing all the entertainment, and devouring her Christmas lunch whole-heartedly. And sharing in all the Christmas cheer over the festive period – the presents, the long walks up mountains, the much anticipated arrival of all grannies and grandpas, my sherry-induced purple face, the obligatory viewing of Mary Poppins (accompanied by my slurred rendition of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, sung backwards), the Eastenders Christmas special, Trivial Pursuits (which inevitably always ends in my tears), all of which leads to the demise of any earth-motherness. Betty will marvel in it all, and Tom will be nowhere to be found, probably cowering in some dark corner hugging a whisky bottle.


Potty Mummy said...

Hi Elsie, I know those impulses, in fact I get most of them myself. I speak as a confirmed control freak / wannabe domestic goddess of the first order. (Note the 'wannabe'). Just don't forget to kick-back and leave the washing up to the relatives / husband once in a while. Otherwise it can get a bit overwhelming!

Jen said...

I love that you go all out for Betty's first - what a great mommy! Your get togethers sound like a blast! You singing super...backwards has to be a crowd pleaser. Tom "cowering in some dark corner, hugging a whisky bottle" - that is a funny image.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas! I can picture it now... chestnuts roasting on an open fire, jack frost nipping at your nose... Oh wait, those are just song lyrics aren't they?

Sounds like you've got a brilliant Christmas planned... So far a bit too much pre-christmas drinking and going out is scuppering my plans, but luckily I don't have a little Betty to create a perfect Christmas for, so that's ok!

Enjoy the sherry!

Anonymous said...

You are going to have a wonderful Christmas. Betty will be able to join in the fun in her own lovely way and you will spend all day smiling. I remember when Amy was a baby at Christmas and the wrap interested her much more than the presents!

Enjoy yourselves.
Crystal xx

ALF said...

Christmas with kids is so much better than Christmas without them - it makes it magical!

alexa said...

Now that Betty is old enough, it is time for her to have the same Christmas memories as other kids when they were her age. As a child, what I remember most about Christmas is all of the shows that came on t.v. Now all of the classic shows such as Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Clause is Comin' to Town, and Frosty the Snowman come in a DVD Box-Set along with four additional classic movies. It also includes a bonus music CD so she can listen and sing along to her favorite holidays tunes as well. This is the prfect gift to surprise Betty with along other kids her age. It can be purchased wherever DVD's are sold or online at I am aware of all of this because i work for the company. When Betty gets older a gift like this will remind her of what Christmas was like as a child and she can pass them on to her children so they can have memories just as she did.

Potty Mummy said...

Hi Elsie,

not related to this post, but you asked on my blog for the soup recipe... I've just checked with my mother and here it is (a little different from my original memory, so that's why I'm updating you!). And perfect for those Earth Mother impulses...

Fry a medium onion in butter until translucent. Add in yesterday's pre-cooked brussels sprouts, along with 1 or two of yesterday's potatoes (to thicken it up). When all mixed, cover with ham stock. Simmer for around 20 minutes. Blend, and just before serving, crumble in STILTON (not cream) to taste. (You may need to reheat it if if it has cooled down, to melt in the stilton).

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Fantastic! Still smiling at the candle knicker drier thingy! Sherry? REally?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Nice new look blog by the way!
Very fresh and fragrant, like your good self.

She's like the wind said...

What a great age Betty's at for her first proper Christmas, my daughter was exactly the same and she loved it.

Making a tit of yourself is all part of christmas and why the heck not! you crack me up as usual.


Anonymous said...

Typical Tom - disappearing off with the booze! I like the new look blog, Elsie. Happy Christmas!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Your blog has a new look too! I am anxious for Christmas too as Jonathan was about the same age as Betty last year and mainly slept in his infant seat or starred at the family like we were all crazy...which we are. But that is besides the point! Hope you will blog about the day when it comes, if your not too snokered (however that is there a "c" in there? So much for writers being able to spell).

Unknown said...

Hi Potty Mummy - absolutely! - Tom is now fully trained to my standard and an excellent washer uper!

Hi Jen - poor Tom, he puts up with a lot, and is very very patient!

Hi Beccers - yes, i am trying to create a song lyric christmas, and will probably fail miserably - but who cares, if there's sherry to be had, all will be well! Have a great Christmas!

Unknown said...

Hi Crystal - yes i fear all the love and thought gone into Betty's presents will be totally unnoticed, in favour of all that lovely paper to eat!

Hi Alf - totally magical - i am behaving like a 3 year old again and it's great!

Hi Alexa - thanks for the tip!

Hi Potty Mummy - great thank you so much for finding out - i reckon it's the stilton that does it - hides the taste!

Hi Pig - i'm so glad you mentioned the chandelier creation - it is quite something. Although a friend came round last night and said it was vulgar.

Hi SEM - I agree, why not! and lovely to hear!

Hi Jeff - ha ha!

Hi JM - if anything interesting happens I will try to write something, inbetween entertaining about a million people! look forward to hearing about your day too!

Sparx said...

Hi Elsie! Sounds like a great Christmas to me... I feel the same about the spud, it's his first proper Chrimbo too and I want to make it a good one. The Frog is even playing scrooge! Oh wait, that's not an act... tee hee.

Motheratlarge said...

Dear Elsie, enjoy your Christmas! Wishing you a lovely, relaxed time together. By the way, I'm treating this as our first 'proper' family Christmas too, for similar reasons to you. Take care, and have a good one. xxx

Frog in the Field said...

Dearest Elsie,
what a fantastic post, the best yet. Always making me smile..this one is laugh out loud funny, not a good thing when everyone is still in bed!

Anonymous said...

All those things sound pretty scary to me! Luckily I have my mother, mother-in-law, and stephmother to do all those things and just invite us over :)
But children do bring out those things in you, don't they. A couple years ago, I could never have imagined going down to the peer to welcome 'Sinterklaas' (Belgian/Dutch version of Santaclaus, he comes on December 5th or 6th), arriving with his ship from Spain. And actually be REALLY thrilled about it!
I wish you and your family a very happy and fulfilling new year.