Christmas Elma Family Kitty Photography Pip

Christmas 2014


A thud as two little bare feet hit the floor next door, the flump of a bunny and a blanket being pulled along for company, a pitter patter, and around the corner of the doorframe came a little face radiating excitement.

“Is it Christmas!!!!?” said Kitty.

And it was. And with Elma and Pip awake and fed we all piled downstairs to see whether Father Christmas had eaten both the mince pie (Elma’s choice) and the ‘spicy biscuit’ (ginger biscuits lovingly made by Kitty), and whether Rudolf had enjoyed the carrot (yes, yes and yes).

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

We sat in the glow of the tree and watched while the girls explored their stockings and helped Pip to his, and then opened up our own little collection of lovely bits and bobs; a new tape measure, more washi tape and some of my favourite dairy free chocolate in mine, and washi tape (are you sensing a theme here), chocolate sprouts and most impressively a Lego batman that shines light out of his feet when you press his tummy (which I keep finding behind the curtains accompanied by one or both of my daughters).

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

We ate breakfast as a gorgeously bright winter sun appeared over the hedge and flooded the lounge with light, and then we rushed around to get dressed and headed off down the hill to church. There were carols and a dear friend to share singing the ‘twidly bits’ with, a church family drawn even closer in joy and celebration and even more impressively a small Pip who actually stayed awake for the service, bestowing beaming smiles on all and sundry, quite to the surprise of many friends who usually only see the top of his sleeping head tucked up in the sling.

And then home to finish up the roast turkey, with all the usual trimmings plus yorkshire puddings, to pour the champagne, to try to persuade Elma not to eat all of her stocking chocolate just before lunch, and to settle down into a day of being just the five of us in our very first Christmas as a five.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Pip was I suspect largely unaware that this was any more special than any other day; he paid polite attention to his presents being unwrapped but I rather suspect that for him the highlights were his sisters’ giggles, cuddles and tickles from his Daddy, and when things got a bit too much, the safety of the sling, and snuggling down on Mummy for a little nap.   But the girls, oh they just couldn’t contain their excitement, and there was one little pile that seemed to call to them more than all the others.

A little pile of flat wide slightly squishy parcels, wrapped in Frozen paper.  We started there:

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Two dressing up dresses, the one thing that Kitty had asked for from every Father Christmas she encountered, and her face says it all.  I don’t think there’s been a day since that she hasn’t worn it, and Elma is just as excited by her Anna dress (not least because it has a cape!).Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

But what was that. Two more flat squishy parcels, smaller, but a very similar shape ….

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

…well if the girls are going to dress up as Anna and Elsa then why shouldn’t Dully and Monkey too!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

It’s possibly my favourite memory of this Christmas, my little girls and their teddies, all dressed up and hopping with excitement.

And there was more to come. New stories, building blocks, fairy ribbon wands to twirl in giant circles, and all sorts of pots, pans and a very gorgeous kettle for the play kitchen.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

We went slowly, knowing that we weren’t in any sort of rush, and wanting to savour and enjoy each present as it came, and it was truly lovely to see how happy each little treasure made them.  It meant that we still had a little unwrapping to do on Boxing Day, but that’s no bad thing, and for the most part we managed to avoid any full scale meltdowns, though Kitty started to flag towards the end of the day and teeter on the edge for a while.  I think in years to come we might slow down even more.

I know it’s really cheesy to say that my favourite part of Christmas is finally getting to give my family their presents but it’s true.  I love trying to think of new and interesting things for people, and then when I’ve got them, I’m just itching to share the secret. It’s not to say that I don’t adore the things I was given; I have a reading pile a foot high and when I unwrapped the family’s present to me I may have sighed in happiness, hugged it, petted it and just sat there adoring it for a little while (it’s a Kitchen Aid mixer, something I’ve longed for but didn’t think was within the realms of possibility); but I was so looking forward to seeing the girls’ faces when they unwrapped their dresses, and by the time we got to giving H his present I may have been found just sitting giggling in the corner.  He’s been talking about visiting Paris and the Musee d’Orsay for a while and while it’s out of the question for the five of us at the moment, and a family trip wouldn’t have much time for sketching anyway, there was nothing to say that he couldn’t go by himself.  So we got him a Eurostar ticket, got in touch with his boss and secretly booked him a couple of days of work, and wrapped up his passport; it was brilliant. I’ve also promised to lend him my big camera for the day, so we can expect a lot of slightly out of focus photos of Paris sometime in the Spring.

And so the day passed in happy contentment; as have the days since.  We’re in that gorgeous lull at the end of the year, where it feels like there might be time to read or think or plan for the year ahead, but only if we really want to.  A time to fill our days with family and just be happy.




You Might Also Like

  • Hannah 29/12/2014 at 4:35 pm

    Gorgeous photos Looks a wonderful day 🙂 we purchased the same Elsa dress it’s beautiful xx

    • Carie 29/12/2014 at 9:26 pm

      Thank you 🙂 – it is a great Elsa dress isn’t it, yay for Matalan!

  • dean of Little Steps 29/12/2014 at 7:49 pm

    Oh my goodness, the photos are the cutest and finally! A little girl in an Anna dress. I personally prefer Anna’s dress, have been trying to convince little T that Anna is more interesting than Elsa… of course, it fell to deaf ears. The look on their faces is just priceless! Even little Pip’s face – so adorable… Now for the New Year, not that we really do anything exciting 😉 xx

    • Carie 29/12/2014 at 9:14 pm

      Well when you have two little girls you really have to have an Anna too – and I think she is Elma’s favourite – that or Kitty has her very well trained!

  • Katie 29/12/2014 at 10:12 pm

    Sounds just perfect Carie – as kids we always had to wait until after church to do our presents slowly one at a time. Now with my own we do the same, i think it sort of adds to the excitment and it’s nice to do it all together 🙂
    Those dresses! Wow, i’ve not even seen Frozen but i would have loved it as a girl. Glad you all had a fabulous day and i can’t belieive how grown up Pip is looking xx

    • Carie 30/12/2014 at 8:57 pm

      I can’t believe you haven’t seen Frozen! I think I live in such a little girl bubble I forget that there are people who haven’t seen Frozen – I keep making Frozen jokes to my sister and she just looks bemused!

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 30/12/2014 at 10:15 am

    Beautiful photos Carie and I loved reading about your day. I love that Pip paid ‘polite attention’ to his presents- so funny! And LL was largely non fussed about hers, bar a Peppa pig book and two bottles of Peppa Pig bubbles. 😉 The light in these are beautiful. So glad you had a fantastic first Christmas as a family of 5. x

    • Carie 30/12/2014 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you:) it was a really lovely day, and yes, yay for winter sunshine, it’s the perfect light for our house!

  • Jess @ Along Came Cherry 30/12/2014 at 2:17 pm

    Ah it sounds like a wonderful Xmas and I love the look and sound of all the presents! The matching teddies in Frozen outfits are adorable! x

  • sustainablemum 31/12/2014 at 10:15 am

    Wonderful photos!

    • Carie 02/01/2015 at 10:14 am

      thank you – it was a lovely day 🙂

  • sally 07/01/2015 at 4:12 pm

    It looks like a perfect day, and I love that you got the teddies Frozen outfits too! Were they Matalan too, they look equally impressive?

    • Carie 08/01/2015 at 9:17 am

      Build a Bear! H walked past the shop in Covent Garden before Christmas and met an elf standing outside asking “Do you wanna build a snowman?” complete with Olaf kits and he fell prey to that genius bit of marketing! Totally worth it too!