8th December 2019

Ways the Christmas build-up is different with a baby

First festive season as a parent? Caroline Corcoran knows all about it…

These are some things I did in December before I became a parent: went to a nightclub at 3pm (don’t ask but I was so confused when I looked out of the window and saw daylight), battled vodka-induced nausea through family Christmas dinner and strolled casually down the street in a Christmas hat because someone had opened the prosecco at 11am and… well, just Christmas.

Now, to be honest, things have been on the turn for a while now. For a few years I’ve been partial to a 28th December box set, prone to a hangover on a lot less booze than before and fairly likely to skip a party to watch The Holiday and work on my gift wrapping with the special ribbons again.

But this year… WHOA. My baby boy is four months old and things are looking very different…

1. My Christmas present-buying is way less glam

Now I have a child, I repeatedly hear the following sentence: “Let’s not buy for each other, let’s just buy for the kids.” Fine and all, and a completely acceptable practise except that I’m 35 and I have way more fun buying Jo Malone candles and gin than I do ordering a job lot of Elmer on Amazon. NB: gets better when your friends’ kids get to aged eight/ nine and you can start buying them Little Mix diaries and a bottle of glittery nail polish you’re kind of coveting yourself.

2. My Christmas wish-list is pretty one-dimensional

A massage to save my car seat-carrying back. Some clothes to slim down my formerly baby-carrying middle. Some lavender oil to allow me to go to sleep instead of lying there listening to make sure our baby’s breathing. A pedicure because I haven’t painted my toenails in six months. Some sort of cream to help my face look 25 again. Etc etc etc.

3. The party schedule is slimmed down

To warrant a hangover, this is going to need to be one seriously awesome party rather than ‘anything hosted during December where there is booze, a mince pie and a couple of bowls of hula hoops’ which frankly was my previous criteria.

4. If I am up at 2am Christmas Day, the reasons will be very different to before

Old Me up at 2am Christmas Day: illegally eating a bit of the Christmas dinner starter after coming in from doing karaoke at the pub.

New Me up at 2am Christmas Day: something has gone badly wrong with the sleep schedule but luckily I’ve been in bed for five hours already after getting tipsy on one small port at lunchtime.

5. My festive days out: seriously altered

I used to favour a trip to the ice-skating (with mulled wine), a long pub lunch (with mulled wine) and a screening of The Nutcracker at my local indie cinema (with mulled wine). Now? Yeah that’s me over there painting a small bauble at a pottery cafe (with no mulled wine).

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