When I was looking for party game ideas for Ingrid’s fourth birthday, one of the pages I stumbled upon said, roughly, that a kids’ birthday party is a success if the child feels special, and none of the guests break down crying. I.e. don’t make it too hard for yourself. That struck me as very sensible advice, and I’ve adopted it for Christmas, too. It helps me keep away from the mummy trap, the one that makes mums struggle to make a perfect holiday for their families (especially the children) while they themselves have no time or energy to enjoy themselves.

So I kept my Christmas preparations relaxed and included nothing elaborate, nothing that felt like too much work. No gingerbread house, for example, and not much in the way of Christmas decorations (apart from the tree). A very simple Advent calendar for Ingrid. Gifts that (hopefully) were appreciated but not stunning, perfect, best-ever, because that’s what I could manage.

The best part of this Christmas holiday for me was having my mum here. She and Ingrid like playing with each other. So with 3 adults for 2 kids (my brother was here too but he’s not the kind who plays with children) we could keep all the kids happily occupied and still have one pair of hands free for preparing meals etc. I’ve been enjoying myself cooking semi-fancy meals, (a) because I could concentrate and know that I won’t be interrupted in the middle of an important step, and (b) because someone would have time to enjoy eating them. Even two desserts!