Saturday, 17 December 2011

A Very Merry Mockmas

As mentioned in my last post (Countdown to Mockmas), at the beginning of December we headed over to England to celebrate our Christmas before Christmas, affectionately named Mockmas. This meant taking Lydia on her third flight to my home land - what a little jetsetter!

How to get a baby through
the security checkpoint
Admittedly the flight over wasn't as easy as it could have been, as Lydia was not in a good mood. A squirming, whinging baby does not make for good company on a flight, even if it was only for an hour and a half.

Needless to say, it was quite a relief when we landed and got off the plane.

Lydia cheered up straight away, even managing a nice big smile for her Nan when she picked us up at the airport.

A day of shopping was on the cards for Chris and I during our first full day in England, getting those last-minute presents for the family ready in time for Mockmas.

Lydia with her
great aunt Ruby
 In the afternoon, Ruby and Jack - my mum's aunt and uncle and therefore Lydia's great great aunt and great great uncle - came over for tea. We don't get to see them often, although my brother James had invited them to his wedding in the summer, and it was great to see how happy she was while giving Lydia a cuddle.

We had arranged this get-together for a while, and we could tell Ruby was looking forward to it. When arranging a time for her to come round, my mum had said "come round any time from 3pm", to which Ruby had replied, "I'll be there AT 3pm!".

She also gave her a Christening bracelet, which is something Lydia will be able to keep as a souvenir throughout her life. Aaaaah... :)
The cutest reindeer in the world
On the Saturday, Mockmas Eve, we popped over to my brother Adam and his wife Hayley's new flat in Hitchin for afternoon tea, including delicious mulled wine, sandwiches and snacks. In the evening we dressed Lydia up in her first Christmas-themed outfit, that of a little reindeer. It was a very soft pyjama, which made giving her a cuddle even better than normal!

Then came Mockmas Day. The tradition in my family is to be woken up at 7am by my child-like siblings, who put a musical reindeer inside the bedroom door as an annoying form of alarm clock. The reindeer has been thrown down the stairs in anger several times over the years, and so received backup this year in the form of a singing Christmas penguin.

Our wake up call was far less annoying, as we were woken up by Lydia. She doesn't tend to cry in bed when she wakes up, instead making noises and blah-blah-blahing to herself.

Lydia, dressed as Mrs Santa,
sitting on the quilt made
for her by Auntie Steph
After feeding Lydia her morning bottle, we proceeded to open the presents with my family, with Lydia dressed as a little Mrs Santa. She was rightly spoiled by everyone, getting loads of toys and clothes for Mockmas. She even managed to unwrap a couple of her presents (albeit with a lot of help from her Daddy).

One particular present stood out - my sister Steph had made a quilt for Lydia, with various coloured patches, and her name sewed into the quilt. A lot of time must have gone into making the quilt - you can read about it in my sister's blog , The House of Steph), so thanks Auntie Steph!

The big Mockmas lunch was next up; the usual giant turkey, potatoes, parsnips, stuffing, pigs-in-blankets and vegetables all piled high on our plates. I savoured every mouthful. Delicious. We followed this up with Christmas pudding and cream, then my mum brought out the chocolates. It seems no matter how full I am, I can always squeeze in a bit of chocolate.

The next day (possibly called Mocking Day) Chris and I went out for a meal at an Indian restaurant in Stevenage old town with my friends. It was good to catch up with everyone again, made even more enjoyable by stuffing my face with a sumptuous Indian feast.

Throughout the whole Mockmas holiday, Lydia was a very good little girl. I had been worried beforehand that she would be grumpy and whingy, meaning my family - who don't get to see her very often - would not really be able to appreciate their time with her. What actually happened, however, was a very pleasant surprise, as Lydia was really good. She smiled and giggled with everyone, rolled around the floor in exploration, and got really excited every time my sister's cat Malika walked past (she wasn't quick enough to grab the cat though!).

We struggled to get everything back over to Switzerland in our suitcases at the end of the trip, partly because Chris had spent some time at her favourite shop - NEXT - buying clothes for Lydia. Each suitcase weighed just over 20kg, and we had to borrow a carry-on suitcase from my parents. Despite that, we left several presents at my parents house for them to bring over with them when they come to visit us in January, as there simply wasn't enough space to fit it all in.

All in all, we had a thoroughly enjoyable Mockmas in England. Lydia seemed to enjoy it as well, as did my family, so I think our first official Mockmas was a success. We will be in England for the real Christmas next year, so it'll be a a Swiss version of Mockmas with Chris' family instead. Not sure what that would be called, possibly "Non-ël", or something similar.

Merry Mockmas to all, and to all a good night!

The red star tree decoration I made when I was 4 years old
hanging proudly at the top of the Christmas tree.


Perfectly Imperfect said...

I actually liked how you coined the term "mockmas" :D

The star you made when you are 4 years old is totally adorable! :)

Paul Reed-Peck said...

Thank you - somehow "Mockmas" seems to roll easily off the tongue! :D

It's an annual ritual for my brothers and sister to hide my star somewhere in the tree and I have to dig it out. I always put it back at the top once I've found it! :D

Steph said...

*Lydia's Great Great Aunt & Uncle :) They are our Great Aunt & Uncle :P