Christmas Day With Small Kids (In Numbers)

I’ve already confirmed that “The Perfect Family Christmas” doesn’t exist, but what about the perfect family Christmas Day? You know, the ones with the champagne and smoked salmon for breakfast, new outfits for all, beautifully wrapped gifts, carol singing, piano-playing, charades and board games, restaurant quality dinners eaten and enjoyed by all, lazy afternoons spent in front of the fire watching a movie.

If you’ve never spent Christmas Day with small children you can read this account and feel like you were there, in my house with my three children, my husband and I. This was our “perfect” family Christmas Day. We were all together, the five of us, all well, all happy. That’s as perfect as it can get, right?

Here’s our “Christmas Day with small children, in numbers”. (In numbers because I’m feeling lazy, it is Christmas after all, gimme a break, there are crisps to eat and wine to drink).



Christmas Day with Small Children, in Numbers

5(am) the time my six-year-old arrived in to ask if Santa had been yet

3.5 the number of hours’ sleep his parents had had at that stage

2 the number of his parents  who confirmed that it wasn’t morning yet and to wait for his brother and sister to wake

5 the number of times he protested before falling back asleep beside his parents

7.50(am) the time we had to wake(1)  his younger brother to see what Santa had brought


Creeping down the stairs

999 (approx.) the number of times my six-year-old said “wow!” when looking at what Santa brought

2 the number of presents my six-year-old got that my four-year-old thinks are “weally cool” and covets

7 the number of times I fretted about whether everyone had gotten the same amount of everything from Santa

16 the number of times my four-year-old said “it’s JUST what I wanted”

467 the number of plastic ties I removed from toys on Christmas Day

12 the number of times I needed the scissors to help me

32 the number of times I cursed the fact that you need a screwdriver to change batteries in kids’ toys these days

26 the number of times my kids asked if they could have their selection box before breakfast

11 the number of minutes we were late for Christmas Day Mass

2 the number of dolls that my son brought to Christmas morning mass

“Only 1” the number of forward-rolls my six-year-old requested to be allowed do, at the back of the church during mass

Dozens the number of presents my kids had to open from their grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends when we got home from mass

1,985 the number of chocolates we ate between the 5 of us

5 the number of times over our recycling bin is full after all the wrapping paper and boxes were discarded

8 the number of minutes I sat down between coming home from Mass and starting to cook dinner (it may have been more than this)

1 the number of my children who didn’t like the “pink turkey” (ham)

3 the number of my children who refused to eat their Brussels Sprouts

0 the number of photos I remembered to take of my Christmas Dinner (!)

1 bottle of Shloer smashed by me as I took it out of the fridge during Christmas Dinner

1 the total number of bottles of Shloer I had bought

0 the number of Christmas dinners I’ve eaten without Shloer as an accompaniment up to this year (sob)

3 the number of helpings of pavlova my six-year-old helped himself to


I don’t blame him for eating three portions

7 the number of times I said “I must have a Bailey’s coffee in a minute” on Christmas Day

0 the number of Bailey’s coffees I had on Christmas Day

7 the number of minutes the game of Frustration we started lasted til the toddler won out and we retreated 

78 the number of times my toddler demanded asked that I put her “baba” back into its buggy

127 the number of times my toddler demanded requested that she sit on my “yap”

1 and a half the number of hours the toddler napped (hooray)

9 the number of times I denied my four-year-old’s requests to do painting

28 the number of times I counted to three

1 the number of epic tantrums my toddler had over something inconsequential (so inconsequential nobody can remember what it was, but we did take a photo)

18 the number of times my sons burst into spontaneous choruses of “We WISH you a Merry Christmas” during Christmas Day

5.15pm the time I gave up counting, poured a glass of wine,  put on my new fleecy pjs and Christmas snuggly socks and snuggled on the couch with 2 of the kids watching Harry Potter

How was your Christmas Day?


The floor could really do with being hoovered…

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