Well, it’s over for another year. Thankfully our Christmas went as smoothly as it can do.
I picked the kids up on Christmas Eve, ready to take to mine for the night. I’d agreed with the ex-wife to pick them up at 7 pm, but by the time I had finished running around I was more than an hour early.
Not that the kids minded at all, and they were happy to come to mine earlier. Mel was equally happy for them to go, on the proviso that I fed them dinner. Not a problem, even though it was unexpected. With an hour before they closed we shot to the local Tesco as I grabbed some food and the four kids - each of them in some kind of onesie / pyjama state of dress - pretty much bounced around the store full of Christmas excitement.
We grabbed what we needed and headed back to the flat, where we all just managed to create a mess and generally do nothing.
I posted a jokey Facebook status saying that, as per our Christmas tradition, the kids were over and that the family arguments were due to start anytime soon. It was tongue-in-cheek as we’d not had a cross word between us up to that stage.
Obviously I had spoken too soon, as within ten minutes Charisma and I were arguing about something or other. It got heated really quickly and then died out just as quick, and things were back to normal within half an hour.
Bedtime quickly followed, and despite everyone being quick to say they weren’t tired, the flat was silent by 9 pm.
I fully expected to be woken at silly o’clock on Christmas morning, but the kids didn’t wake up until almost 8 am, and even then their excitement levels were well-contained.
Our Christmas tradition is that we go to my mum’s on Christmas morning and open presents there. It’s also where Father Christmas drops off his presents, so it makes sense. This year, however, the kids had decided on a new tradition.
Amongst the four of them they had organised a secret Santa, which they wanted to do before heading to nanny’s house. Presents were swapped, the “secret” part seemed to escape them as they all let on who had bought from who, and everyone was pleased with the results.
Brooke had also thoughtfully included me, so as well as buying for her sister, she had bought a raspberry-scented candle for me, which was touching. It smells lovely, too!
After that, we all got dressed and made our way to mums for 9 am.
By 9.02 am all presents had been unwrapped and the floor was a sea of discarded wrapping paper. (I jest about the time, obviously, but it did fly by)
Everyone seemed happy with what they got and it seems that the lists made for Father Christmas were followed so there was no disappointment.
Nanny gave everyone money, which was well received by all, and I received a small present from the kids via nanny. In the words of my OAP mum, “If it’s good enough for Beckham, it’s good enough for you!”
After we’d unwrapped all of Santa’s goodies, I gave the kids my presents to them. All paper-based, Chance got a year’s XBox Live membership, which he’d wanted and all three girls got weekend tickets to Summer In The City following Charisma’s visit there this year.
There were whoops of delight, so they were obviously thrilled.
By midday, I had dropped them back to their mum, where they began the second round of present unwrapping. Who said coming from a broken home was always a bad thing, huh?
It’s Boxing Day as I write this and I am due to collect them again later, as this is officially “my weekend” with them, though obviously the festive calendar has thrown everything out of the window. I have them until Sunday afternoon, or possibly Sunday evening. Maybe even until Monday morning. It’s all very fluid at the moment and really depends on what the kids want to do or where they want to go.
Once they’ve gone I shall be racing (at no more than 70mph, officer) up to the Wirral to spend some much-needed time with Mrs DannyUK who I haven’t seen since before I lost my job.
All in all, our Christmas went well. Happy holidays, everyone!