*Will we be here for Christmas*

We're still waiting for a letter from Great Ormond Street with the date for Martha's next operation. I'm hoping and praying its well before December. I hate not being able to look forward to Christmas like I usually do.

I love this time of year, the nights becoming darker a lot earlier, snuggling up on the sofa drinking hot drinks wrapped up in layers, loads of Christmassy films on TV. Having kids just makes this time of year a lot more exiting.

When I was little I used to feel sorry for my parents; Santa would bring us kids huge piles of presents but there wasn't anything for them apart from the gifts (1 each) us kids would have bought them. I used to wonder how was that fair? Did it make them sad? Did the even enjoy Christmas?

But since having kids myself I've learnt that the excitement of Christmas comes from seeing how happy the
kids are. When you buy the "Main present", the one they've been going on about for weeks, you imagine seeing their little faces on Christmas morning when they open it. On Christmas Eve when you lay out all the presents in piles, drink the Milk, eat the Biscuits to make like Santa has been - you just want it to be morning so they'll wake up and you can revel in their happiness; knowing you made that happen. That in my opinion is the best Christmas gift I could ever have - happy Children on Christmas morning.

A couple of years ago Osh had wanted this particular toy, it was almost £70 which I thought was a bit expensive for one single present, I was actually considering not buying it at all. Then I remembered when I was a little girl, it didn't matter what I asked Santa for - I always got it. My Karaoke machine, "My Baby All Gone", a Pram for my Dolly's - Santa always brought them; so why should it be any different for Osh? I was the eldest of three, it's only as I reached my teens did I start to wonder how the hell could my parents afford it.

Every year since I've been a Mammi I've saved for Christmas, I put a set amount aside each month ready for Christmas so that I'd never have to worry about what expensive gift they've asked for - the money was there ready to make their Christmas the kind they deserve. I'll be the first to admit, we do go a little OTT at Christmas, but we don't exactly spoil the kids through the year (we're not stingy either) so it's only right they're spoilt at Christmas, I want them to have magical Christmases where Santa brings them everything they've asked for. I start saving in December for Christmas the following year; I couldn't enjoy the run up to Christmas if I didn't have the money set aside to pay for it. I enjoy the guilt free shopping. Actually, I enjoy all kinds of shopping - even just "window shopping", but Christmas shopping; when it's cold outside, the shops are decorated in tinsel & twinkly lights and playing  Christmas songs, stopping at a cafe for a warming mug of hot chocolate and a slice of cake – now that's the best kind of shopping.

Isabella doesn't quite understand Christmas yet, she is far too young to grasp the concept of Father Christmas and of waking up to presents. Osh on the other hand has been going on about it since his Birthday at the end of May; each time there's a toy advertised on TV he wants it. I can't say I'm taking much notice at the moment because I know that between now and Christmas there will be more toys being brought out which will of course be added to his ever growing list. I may even sneak a look at the Dream Toys 2013 list which will be released by Argos in November.

This year I'm not worried about money for Christmas (that's all sorted) I'm worried whether or not we'll be here to do the actual shopping and enjoy spending time with the kids building up their excitement, worst still - will we be here on Christmas day. I can't look to Christmas at all; we don't know what the situation is going to be. But then I feel awful for worrying like this - because for hundreds of families this is the reality; they will be spending Christmas in a children's hospital. But these amazingly brave families won’t moan about their situation, somehow they will find the strength to celebrate Christmas and make sure their Children can forget for one day that they are sick and not at home with their Children. Some will be lucky enough to be allowed home for that one special day.

One thing is certain, whenever the letter arrives and the date is confirmed – we will move heaven and earth to make sure this Christmas is perfect.


This post was done in collaboration with Argos, who very kindly donated a toy each to the waiting rooms of Bear and Flamingo Ward at Great Ormond Street Hospital where Martha Grace has been looked after.

These photo's we're taken last Christmas when we had no idea what the
year ahead had in store for us.

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