This Christmas was to be a special occasion for our family, a celebration of Alyssa’s arrival and good health and being at home with us – not in hospital, but I think it was mostly a special Christmas for Liam. It was the first year he began to have any understanding of Santa Claus bringing presents – he wanted a big one – and enjoying the Christmas Tree and all of the excitement around the big day. On Christmas Eve, Tristan, the ever dutiful big brother, helped Liam get some food for Santa to munch on “he wants a biscuit and some apple juice” and a carrot for the reindeer. He lay out his santa sack, brushed his teeth and headed to bed.
Our Christmas morning began with Alyssa waking first at about 6am. Warren discovered a message beeping on my mobile and was surprised to see a message from my brother Ricki to say he’d be at our house just after 6 as he got off his night shift (he’s a police officer in Hobart) early and decided to drive straight up. So five minutes later, with me feeding Alyssa in bed, Ricki walked in the door. Warren and I had time to shower and dress and Tristan then got up and had a shower. By almost 7am we figured it was time to get Liam up as well so that he and Tristan could come 0ut and see their presents together.
Both boys were excited to see a big trampoline sitting in the back yard. Tristan turned 13 this year and Santa only comes to kids under 13, so it was his first year without Santa presents so we all sat and watched Liam search and destroy the packages in his santa sack. He was one very spoilt little boy – thrilled to see so many cars and trucks, a train track, some clothes and games, amongst others. We put Tristan out of his misery soon enough and let him open his brand new PlayStation 3 which he was thrilled about. Warren helped Tristan get that set up while Uncle Ricki helped Liam set up his train track which left Mummy to help Alyssa open her first little present from Santa Claus – some new bath toys. Santa didn’t bring Alyssa much for her first Christmas because he knew that her family would spoil her rotten – and they did.
Uncle Ricki headed off for a sleep, as did Alyssa to make sure she was well rested for all her visitors due to arrive later. Warren and I had to go outside and finish putting together the net enclosure on the trampoline and we all had a turn. It took a little while for Liam to get his confidence up but he was soon bouncing and galloping around happily. It felt weird being on a trampoline again for probably the first time in two decades but it was good fun. There aren’t too many presents Santa could have brought to keep a 2 year old, a 13 year old and fully grown adults all happy at the same time so he was definitely onto a winner here.
To celebrate Alyssa being home for Christmas, we hosted lunch and dinner for our families at our house. Nan and Pop (my Mum and Dad) arrived with Uncle Casey and Uncle Danny, soon followed by Grandma and Grandad (Warren’s parents). I had bought Alyssa’s outfit for the day, a gorgeous little Santa suit in size 0000. But would you believe it didn’t fit – her legs were all bunched up so it stayed on long enough for some ooohs and awwwws from the family and a few photos and we had our second outfit change of the day. Warren set up the webcam and we jumped online to have a chat to Uncle Jonno and Aunty Lisa. We wished Aunty Lisa a happy birthday and Liam and Alyssa opened their christmas presents that arrived by mail earlier in the week in front of the camera. Liam loves his little fire truck (the rest of us are still trying to learn to love the noise – hehe).
We enjoyed a lovely lunch of turkey, chicken, ham, roast potatoes and vegies, popping a couple of bottles of champagne in celebration. Alyssa was quite happy with her Christmas lunch breastfeed – even if she did throw up enough to warrant a third outfit change for the day. (Secretly, Mummy didn’t mind the many outfit changes).
To give everyone’s lunch time to settle, we decided to open the presents billowing out from under the tree.
This year my brothers, Warren and I did something different and had a Secret Santa so we all had one person to buy a really good present for instead of buying everyone little bits and pieces. My Mum was incredibly keen for me to open my present from Danny so once everyone was settled and ready I opened it. I had jokingly told Mum I had bought the best present of the year (a teddy for her collection with a photo of Alyssa printed on its shirt) but she didn’t believe me, saying Danny’s present was definitely the best. I was absolutely blown away as Danny had done a sketch from a photo of Alyssa and I the day she was born and had it professionally framed with a quote that reads ‘When they placed you into my arms, you slipped into my heart’. I concede. Mum was right and the tears flowed. I was just so surprised that he had gone to so much effort for me. It was the most thoughtful present I think I’ve ever received – just beautiful. “Thankyou Danny!“
[Photo coming soon!]
It was definitely a year for special surprises. Grandma and Nanna helped Alyssa open her present from Warren and me – a Cabbage Patch Doll. I had searched high and low, in Tassie and Melbourne, for the pefect Cabbage Patch Doll and almost didn’t find one but settled for this one, named Monna Letiqua. It’s still in the box and will probably stay that way for a couple of years at least, but I’d loved my CP Doll as a young girl and I really wanted to get Alyssa something special for her first Christmas, something that meant a lot to me.
When I was pregnant I had really wanted to have a go at making a patchwork quilt for Alyssa to play on but I was just too sick to do it so I was thrilled when Nanna (my Mum) offered to have a go. I had no idea what it was going to look like and I was again blown away when I saw just how much effort she had gone to – it looks amazing. Alyssa’s had a lay on it a couple of times already and seems more than comfortable.
And to make a perfect trifecta of special first Christmas gifts, Warren’s parents had bought Alyssa her first jewellery item, a beautiful little silver bracelet with a bluebird on the lock and room to have her name engraved. Each of these gifts are so special, with real thought and meaning, all things she can keep forever and give to her children. I don’t really have anything left over from my childhood that I can pass on to Alyssa so I’m really pleased she will have some special things to keep for her daughters should she have any.
Liam, of course, continued to be spoilt. We had bought him his first two wheeler (with training wheels) bike and Grandma and Grandad had bought him a clam shell pool/sandpit. He got a Magna Doodle from my parents, which he discovered while we were at the Ronald McDonald House in Melbourne and he is enjoying having his own. There was plenty more from the Uncles and we’re still trying to figure out where to put everything. Tristan scored himself ome neat things and also got some money so that he could go out and buy a new game and controller for his PS3 so all were happy.
Grandma and Grandad left to head to Devonport for tea while everyone else sat around chatting, playing, snoozing or vying for cuddles with Alyssa. Uncle Bobby and his girlfriend Melayne arrived for tea and we fired up the barbecue for a really calm end to a long, exciting day.We attempted to get our first good family photo since Alyssa joined us but we probably should have done it at the start of the day when we were all fresh and awake.
It was certainly a Christmas to remember and we’re so pleased we were at home to enjoy it with a beautiful little girl who has come so very far since the day she arrived and stole our hearts.