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Five things I learned from our Christmas Tree 2013 video


it takes me approximately twenty-seven years to unwind a string of lights.


the lot of a baby is to spend ten minutes trying to get hold of a plastic bag, then having it taken away a second after you manage it.


if Henry’s that keen to wear sparkly baubles as earrings, he might be spending a little too much time with me.


we really should go in for family ballroom dancing. A glorious career awaits.


Hen saves his very best dance moves for when the lights are off.

For all those who wish to watch 2012’s Christmas Tree video and cry about how much bigger Henry got in a year (*coughs, raises hand*), you can find it here.

Happy December! Now the season’s really started.

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Friday taught me this

Photo 14-12-2012 05 50 50 PM

1. There’s one thing you can’t do with my new hairstyle, and that’s nothing at all. Today we worked and played mostly from underneath a duvet, hibernating from the torrential rain, and I never got around to drying it. Most of it is just frizzy, but the fringe… It looks like my forehead vomited.

2. You can’t make pasta in the microwave. This is something you learn when a) you haven’t done the washing-up in three days, so b) there are no clean pans, and c) pasta in tomato soup is all there is for lunch. We had a good go. The physics is all there. It just kind of looks like the microwave vomited.

3. A little of most things goes a long way. Henry has become obsessed with watching baby TV programmes on my iPhone. I don’t want him glued to a screen, but I can do a lot with ten quiet minutes. This morning we tried Bob the Builder. Henry was entranced (‘CAR! DADDY, CAR! DADDY!’). Bob is the luvviest builder we’ve ever seen, and sounds a bit like a cement-obsessed Kenneth Branagh. After a couple of episodes in a row, though, Henry is slapping the phone out of my hands, actually growling, and getting so excited his fingers spasm and press the exit button over and over. He has discovered, as so many before him, that Kenneth Branagh is best in moderate quantities.

4. Everything has a purpose. I know this because I spend all day explaining what things are not for.

‘Henry, cables are not for biting.’

‘No, the printer is not for dancing on. No, it ISN’T. Climb off.’

‘Darling, scissors are not for boys. Come back. COME BACK, PLEASE. Crap.’

5. When you have a massive, unused bowl of chocolate frosting in the fridge, and nothing to frost, you can always just frost a spoon. And the inside of your mouth. This one self-explanatory.

6. We really shouldn’t make videos of any kind after 7pm. But when he does that cheeseball smile halfway through, I could eat him.

Happy Birthday Grandma! (10/12/12) from Rachel Jeffcoat on Vimeo.

Its name is Sprucey


Our Christmas tree experience this year got off to an inauspicious start.

We all had colds. And we took forever to get going because we went to Sainsbury’s first to get some wellingtons for Henry, and they didn’t have any but they did have a lady giving away Lindt chocolate samples, so we hung around her for far too long looking casual, and then we tracked down some wellies at Next, and then we got going to Yattendon Christmas Tree farm.

It’s at the end of a fifteen minute drive through twisty, woodland roads and little villages. Trees stacked up in every direction in size order. You wander around picking up likely candidates, and bear off your favourite to be wrapped. Afterwards I browse through the ornaments section and pick up our special ornaments for the year. I love it. It’s the most Christmassy start to December I can think of.

Henry, though: Henry had no idea about Christmas trees. All he knew was that we were very cold and surrounded by spiky things for a long time. So he cried, and tripped over his new wellies into piles of mud and cried some more, while we picked up tree after tree that wasn’t quite right. In the end we found one with two heads (we are siamese if you please) and took it away out of sheer desperation.

But then we got it home. And with the extra head facing the wall to watch for burglars it turned out to be the loveliest tree imaginable. We decorated it in the evening, all together – by which I mean that Timothy and I put ornaments on and Henry took them off – and had Christmas music on for the first time this year, and it was delicious. We still haven’t worked out how to stop Henry from stripping the bottom two branches – once he found out they bounced, it was all over, and he kept taking them away to a spot in the corner he thought we couldn’t see – but I am sat upstairs with the smell of Christmas pine drifting over the balcony, and feeling pretty spiffy about it.

Oh, and we made this.  Not that we were keeping count.

The Christmas Ornament Face-Off from Rachel Jeffcoat on Vimeo.

(it needs maximising to watch properly.)

And now I’ve worn the hat, I’m excited. Merry Christmas all! And if you happen to have two heads, then Merry Christmas twice.

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