This edition is written by my great friend Nic. She has written a fabulous blog on Christmas preparation.
For me Christmas is one of those funny times of year that combines lots of fun along side a lot of stress. Nic's blog is one that I feel we can all relate to. Our message at Natural Flair is that Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect to be good – while it might be lovely to have wonderful homemade food, beautiful colour-coordinated parcels and a spotless house, is that what's really important?
Apparently, it is the season to be jolly.
Everyday we are bombarded with adverts on the television full of perfect families, in perfect homes , with perfectly wrapped presents all still intact, around perfectly colour co-ordinated Christmas trees.
I am sure somewhere out there it does exist but certainly not in my life!
After a whole term of working full time in school, my house looks like I have been burgled!
My Christmas tree is a mish mash of children's creations and some very tasteful nordic style decorations. The latter being totally over shadowed by the wonky pine cone birds with stick on googly eyes and one wing and the old cd's strung on ribbons and covered in festive bling.
In an Ikea catalogue this would work .....In reality it just looks distressed......just like I do everytime I look at it!
And as for the presents.....The ones that have arrived are stashed all over the house , hopefully I will find them all before the big wrap commences but my children have been known to get some lovely gifts a few weeks later than expected when I come across a forgotten carrier bag , stashed at the back of a cupboard or under my bed!
I am really terrible at wrapping presents too and they all look like they have been wrapped by an inpatient five year old, just like my attempts at homemade mince pies always do!
Then there are all things that need to be remembered for school......
Christmas dinner money
The list is endless!
Is it really a wonder that as parents we have such high expectations of ourselves and our children at this time of year?
The adverts that we see paint such an unrealistic picture of a family Christmas that those of us, like me, who just wing it, feel inadequate.
Our children though don't have the expectations that we have, and as long as Santa arrives and they can eat half a selection box before breakfast they are not really too fussed about the rest of it.
Last year Small Girl was sitting on her Dad's lap pretending to be Father Christmas.
" Ho Ho Ho " she said. "What would you like for Christmas?"
He replied "Four perfectly behaved children who do what they are asked and don't make a mess."
She looked at him as if he had lost his marbles and said " Well there aren't any of those. You will have to choose something else"
So true and maybe it's time I stopped expecting it because it is never going to happen!
Whatever Christmas means to you .....have a lovely one. Make time for the ones you love, enjoy making memories and take some of the pressure off yourself because at the end of the day it's not the tree, or the presents or cooking a perfect dinner that matters, it's who we spend it with.
Sharon's note: Ensure you check out my Christmas appearance on The Chrissy B Show tonight 16th December at 8pm SKY Channel 203 where I will be talking about avoiding Christmas stress "Keeping The Peace At Christmas" - If you miss it check out our TV and Media page on our website.