Christmas Gems

My feet are tired. I have head spins. We have eaten so much meat (Betsy excluded, ‘No meat Mammy. I don’t like it’. She doesn’t even realise where it comes from yet). Our household has expanded by many, many, many dollies, who have infiltrated every domestic corner with their adorable, bug-eyed primary coloured beauty and promises of happily ever after. Glitter, glitter everywhere.

Burger Hats from Sostrene Grene. Christmas must have!

I would do it all again.

Here are a few little highlights from this Irish Midlands Mother of what was a bumper Chrstmas with all the trimmings. Trimmings including turkey, tears, tantrums and immense, tremendous bundlings of love. A truly magical, indulgent, hyperbolic normal festive season.bitmoji-201712261015481. Cinderella20171226_204636

As a family, we recently watched the version of Beauty and the Beast with ‘people in it Mammy’ and it was lovely. However, I was blown away by this movie. Gorgeous in every aspect and what a perfect Cinderella (or should I just say Ella?). We don’t watch a full movie in one sitting yet around here but the snatches I managed to get of this were a highlight and hopefully one to add to the future Christmas film line-up

2. Return of Sister from Scotland.bitmoji-20171226095612

The little sister (11 years my junior) currently abides in Aberdeen. Who knew, but this city is both expensive to visit and difficult to access from here- genuinely. Pricing a weekend there with the girls was going to cost us 600 euros for flights (in October) before I even looked at accommodation!! We could get to the US for that!! Therefore I don’t see her very often. So Minnie coming over is definitely a Christmas highlight. She is now on the sky road to Hong Kong for the next fortnight. Enjoy!bitmoji-20171227052011

3. The Christmas Eve Party at Nana and Grandad’s. bitmoji-20171226095741

Mr Paper’s family tradition of gifts and supper on Christmas Eve is like Christmas itself. Children, aunties, uncles, special chicken wings and Baked Alaska before The Gift Giving is chaotic and fun. Children eagle eye your every mouthful as they wait for the food finish line in order to get into the presents. The present giving is large and flamboyant with everyone smiling. Everyone is spoiled. We eat chocolates. Cookies. Become heavy-eyed and overheated. Someday I might just wrap up some frankincense and myrrh to see how that goes down…might hold the gold.

Not one photo is posed, clearly visible,or in focus. That tells you everything. Young Beckham would get a book out if it.

4. The Morning Magic where Santa ‘made a mesh’. 20171224_203134

The moment everyone waits for. Small children gift your household with the innocent purity of the Santa magic.

Poor baby.

Santa made a right mess this year with snowy footprints and reindeer food strewn across the floor. Who knew how much glittery sparkle dust a sleigh dragged in? Betsy exclaimed in toddler horror at such ‘a mesh’ as we created more chaos unveiling dollies and their homes to add to our home.

5. The St.Stephen’s Day Dinnerbitmoji-20171226100441

I have very few pictures of what was the loveliest day just because it was busy, busy. Mulled wine, turkey and ham vol-au-vents, steak as a main and an ice-cream cake bombe all went down a storm. We poured hot chocolate sauce over the ice-cream cake and just ate, talked and made too much noise interspersed with breaking up the Conor McGregor inspired tangles that occasionally broke out between the little Papers.

6. Home Alone Final Scene 

The first time my girls even noticed this story was yesterday. The boy is on his own Mammy! We had a lovely moment where my own parents, myself and both girls watched that final scene where Mrs McAllister and Kevin reunite on Christmas morning all together. Gigi was riveted. A true Christmas movie will cross the age divide.

6. Falling Off My Bike was My Favourite Part20171226_204930
I often ask Gigi what her favourite part of a day was. Last night, she said it was cycling her new bike. Santa did good here. Then she changed her mind by told me her favoured part of the day was actually falling off her bike. I didn’t expect this one! Tears and black knees had accompanied this fall at the time so I am proud that she remembers it fondly.

7. Christmas Carol Bossy Boots.20171227_095238

A Christmas problem is the potential spoiling of a child in a world where many children have little. I definitely worry about giving my children a sense of over entitlement or encouraging ingratitude. I reckon approximately four pm on Christmas day is when brattiness may appear and our little ones channelled their inner Veruca Salt bang on time. Veruca-Salt.jpgA present of a Carol book was pronouced yucky and poor Nana was told it wasn’t wanted. It is the time to retreat and give the child time out with a cuddle as the excitement overwhelms. Having said that you can counteract such contrary behaviour 24 hours later as happened here. Gigi arrived with the same book, snuggled up and requested a reading. As it was a Carol book, I lightly sang. However, some songs were meant to be sang out. Gigi must know this as she bossily cried at me louder. Louder! 4b5482a9c2dc56e1d035a7e807836d98Finding myself bellowing Deck the Halls in a vaguely tuneful roar at four pm on my couch, I pondered on the old me who would have been too bashful for such dramatics. Not any longer. No choice when your own personal elves are injecting you with cheer.

8. Snuggle Buggles.bitmoji-20171227040358

The little ones are particularly snuggly this time of year. Tiredness, moments of quiet or just feeling the love, small children will take times in this busy season where they just let you bundle them up and cuddle their snuggly little cuteness for ages. I dread the day they don’t want my huggies so I will take them now while they are on offer.


There we have it: only a couple of the marshmallow moments in a few days of sweet-smelling insanity.

Enjoy the lost days between the big event and the New year. Those days where we feel the extra pounds, tire of the sweet treats and start to swear to make life changes!! 

PS. The head spins turned out to be vertigo. How festive! An irritating condition that inspired a Hitchcock classic. 91c4a984fbe7cbf3006c3618a44ae110As long as I don’t become Psycho or for The Birds…for now The Lady vanishes. Poof!


Images by: 

The Paper Phone



15 thoughts on “Christmas Gems

  1. Orla, I do love your sense of humour and your descriptive writing. I can see nothing wrong with having dollies all over the house [talking as a child, of course] 🙂 My favourite present to receive on Christmas Day, again as a child. Someone would have to worry if it was a requirement for Christmas’s now!!


  2. I totally missed Cinderella being on and I haven’t seen it. It sounds like a full-on fun-filled festive period in your house – truly wonderful! I let out a wonderful snort of laughter at your Beckham comment (giving a child a Burberry photography campaign who isn’t even that great with a camera pffft). Great post 😊


  3. Christmas with kids! I don’t have any – and although I love my assortment of god-children, I have few regrets. But, your description of Christmas is the kind of thing that does make me regret. How lovely are your kids – the Christmas cycle story will stay in my heart.


  4. Loved the recap of your Christmas. I have a sister away also and yes airfares are awful. I can get to Europe cheaper than out west in my own country (Canada). Looking forward to reading about what 2018 brings you and family. Happy New Year.


  5. Christmas is my favorite holiday! It’s busy and stressful, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Looks like you had an awesome Christmas, too! 🙂 I hope you have a Happy New Year!


  6. This sounded so much like fun! You are very lucky to have so much family involvement around Christmas!

    Also I live thirty minutes from Aberdeen…. but in the states 😉

    Hope your new year is going well!

    Liked by 1 person

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