Vokesy

A family man and his camera

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A very merry christmas to everyone who is reading this! Its Christmas day 2014 and although there is no snow and its not very white outside at all, it is still a day to celebrate and we even get to start the day with a little bit of a lie in…. well, I say a lie in, and yes managing to stay in bed until 9am sounds nice, but it is only in fact because, as has become the norm recently, Olivia has woken up again during the night. In a sense we don’t feel like we’re actually getting much benefit from the days where we sleep in a bit, in reality we’re actually just playing catch up!

We knew to take advantage of the calmness of today, as next year Olivia will have a much greater understanding of what is going on, and will very probably go on some mad present opening frenzy at a little after 4am, although thankfully that obviously isn’t the case for us today as she is much more reserved. She doesn’t understand exactly what it is that is different about today or this time of year, but she is loving all the lights. She has been quiet lately anyway because she hasn’t been sleeping properly and is waking up every night almost as part of a routine now. Like most mornings, she is back down again for her first nap of the day, and this gives me a chance to get to work on starting to cook the christmas dinner while Clare goes out to collect my mom and her other half. I was hoping to do the driving myself, but as we were already running a bit late, which in honesty was only made worse by my decision to cut my hair at the last minute in an attempt to look a little tidier for christmas dinner and a little less like Dr Emmett Brown from Back To The Future fame, and really there was no way I could get out and get back in time to look after the dinner properly. I did offer to drive instead, but it was made quite very clear that dinner was most definitely my problem and not Clare’s!

Eventually, once Clare had returned and her parents had arrived too we got dinner served up, and everyone tucked in. It seems a shame that the time taken to finish christmas dinner always seems to be a disproportionately brief affair considering the time taken to prepare it, cook it and get it on the table. I’m sure many who go through the lengthy process of preparing christmas dinner for multiple people feel the same way, especially when they have spent time peeling, chopping, planning oven space, working out the timing, carving, serving… but its definitely all worth it!

Once the kitchen was cleaned up and the dishwasher full and everything else washed up, it was time to sit down, put a christmas film on and relax. My sister and her boyfriend joined us after we’d eaten, bringing with them an assortment of presents for Olivia, which made her already vast collection even bigger. In fact both myself and Clare were surprised at how many presents Olivia had actually received, and were glad that we hadn’t spent any more money on her than we did. Its not that we didn’t want to spend the money, as our little angel is worth every penny spent on her, however we knew she would receive other gifts, on top of which her birthday was only a few months before where she’d also done quite well, and then there was the fact of finding room for everything afterwards, a tricky task in a house that’s already fairly small. Between me and Clare we figured we’d leave the bigger presents until next christmas, when Olivia will be able to understand them a little bit better. There is also the expectation of others, what will they think if we don’t spend a fortune on christmas? I spent a little while going through facebook and came across various photos from over excited parents exclaiming “He’s been!!” with a photograph of a gazillion presents filling half of their living room. For me, that is spoiling the child and setting even higher expectations for the following year. There is a saying that if you want your child to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money, and I firmly believe this!

Eventually the masses left, and we were able to put Olivia to bed and relax with our feet up, some chocolates and a few drinks.

Christmas 2014… done!

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Author: andrewvokes

Husband to my beautiful wife Clare, and father to two gorgeous girls. Cyclist, runner and photographer, living in Birmingham, UK.

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