Well apart from the decorations. I don't seem to have a festive bone in my body. Give me a bunch of holly, ivy and eucalyptus and you'll end up with something for burning in the fireplace not putting on the mantel. Still, I tried.
You see we haven't spent many Christmases at home -- last year it happened accidentally and we just made the best of it, so this year I wanted it to be really special. And put myself under far too much pressure of course.
I wanted to create a new kind of Christmas now that our lives have settled into more of a routine. No-one is a big fan of turkey in this house - phew - so all I had to do was produce a perfect roast chicken and all the trimmings, not so different from our regular Sunday lunch. Plus something extra wicked for dessert of course. Chosen during our now annual festive shop at the nearest posh supermarket. It really was worth the trek and the queues thanks to the lovely atmosphere, as well as free newspapers and chocolate and lots of lots of helpful staff to keep us sane!
I took an executive decision to cancel the Christmas stockings too. They were falling apart anyway, even though they were only worn once with an ivory dress, they've had to cope with 22 years of having pointy packages poked in them. Still the excitement was mighty, even though everyone knew exactly what they were getting: They'd sent me the Amazon links weeks beforehand. And Smiley's sparkly grotto was already in situ. It needs a bit of improving for next year though.
The day started well, with a first breakfast of chocolate buttons and all of us squashed in the living room and Arrested Development on Netflix. Chosen by Angel, and surprisingly a hit with everyone, including Smiley. Then Angel took orders for second breakfast. So that was the fry taken care of, and I was able to park another logistical nightmare. I'm sure there's a variation of it in your house: how to start the dinner, have my shower, clean up, hoover, entertain Smiley and have the children ready to go up to see their grandparents in two hours. But it all happened. The visit to the grandparents was a success - helped by a little advance preparation. Meanwhile I had time to chat to my brothers and start the cooking.
And everyone ate the Christmas dinner this year and stayed sitting at the table until it was all done. So civilised. Angel said she never wanted the meal to end.
But of course it did.
I took Smiley out for a walk to see all the Christmas lights and we tried to take a photo of the moon, and got one of windmill lights instead.
Note to self: I must find a mobile phone that takes really good pictures this year.
Harry Potter brought everyone back in front of the TV again in the evening. Okay so there were no family board games or bike rides, but I'll take anything that works if it brings us together.
About half eleven the day seemed to be over and I was happily reflecting back when I heard Smiley crying on the baby monitor, and so the night began. I may have cracked Christmas, but I certainly haven't cracked special needs.
One more way Disney World is magical for our children with special needs - For months now, Max has been planning and anticipating a boys' trip to Disney World with Dave and Dave's dad, Grandpa Michael. I figured they'd have the ...