Christmas morning in our house is spent in a sea of discarded wrapping paper, watching the children tear through several hours (and a bad back's) worth of wrapping in about an hour, nursing a coffee in my jimjams and snapping the occasional picture of a delighted face (or five). Long gone are the days when I expect anything other than a pair of slippers, some smellies or a box of chocolates, or perhaps a bottle or two of fizz. I don't need or want anything, because making sure that the children are treated to all of the things on their Christmas lists is - quite genuinely - more than enough for me.
Every year the Mister and I agree not to buy each other gifts because Christmas shopping for five kids is expensive enough as it is, and every year he goes behind my back and enlists the help of our eldest to shop for me. I have had make up, perfume (my favourite), a beautiful etched glass photo of our children, spa vouchers, jewellery and all sorts, despite me telling him repeatedly that he doesn't need to do it. This year I wasn't about to be caught out again and I roughly calculated the amount he usually spends on me, and spent that amount on him. I again told him, please do not buy anything for me.
We got to Christmas Eve and I hadn't had any sort of indication from A that there was any sort of gift coming my way. Indeed on questioning her, she didn't seem to know anything or be hiding anything, so I was satisfied that he had done as I had asked. Later that night I was aware of him wrapping something because he asked me where the sellotape was, and considering that he didn't help me wrap a single present for any of the children my suspicion was then aroused but I left him to it and didn't probe further.
On Christmas morning I was presented with a box, wrapped (clearly by a man) in gold paper. A at this point was almost beside herself when I was opening it, I later learned she had discovered her dad wrapping it on Christmas Eve and had been let into the secret then. I unwrapped it and found - a Jacobs Crackers box. I said "Oh, Avocado! Fanks...". Secretly hoping there was more to it than a box of snacks I don't eat, I opened the box to find three further wrapped items. One was obvious - a bottle of gin, of course. The second was perplexing, it was a very large green Bramley apple. A excitedly asked me what sort of apple it was, her mobile phone camera trained on me the whole time.
[reads label] "Bramley?"
"No" [excited jig]
[blank face] "... Cooking?"
"NO! Oh just open the other one"
And then I opened this.
To say I was floored would be an understatement. I had no idea, and with my husband being an absolutely shocking liar that in itself is rather impressive. I have wanted to go to NYC for years, it has been at the top of my must-visit list for as long as I can remember and I have been green with envy at friends visits listening to how wonderful it is and how much they enjoyed it, and now it is finally my turn! I'm going to New York City!
I would love to hear all about your visits to The Big Apple and any tips or blog posts you have for visiting NYC - places to go, things to see, places to eat and the like. I have a list as long as my arm of all the things I want to see while I am there so I just hope that we are able to fit it all in during our four day visit. I am counting down the days - 68 to go!