Matthew Munson: Thankful for family life as we approach Christmas

Bryan and Matthew preparing for Christmas

I’m living life close to the edge with this week’s column, writing it first thing on Sunday morning instead of in advance. I can’t pretend I’ve been exceptionally busy over the last couple of days, hence why I couldn’t write it. Instead, I’ve been pottering, and the weekend has somehow run away with itself. I don’t mind weekends like that, even though I am something of a planner and like to organise my time. But, on occasion, it’s nice just to potter around and take it easy.

I spent an hour or so yesterday morning – with Bryan’s able support – wrapping Christmas presents. I decided to get it done and organised now so there wasn’t too much stress closer to the Big Day itself – I can’t be doing with last minute stress, especially as we have family visiting in the couple of days preceding Christmas. If I can get some things out of the way beforehand, it makes life a lot easier.

We’re not one of these families who has already put up their Christmas tree yet. Bryan and I play a game of “Spot the decorations” every time we go out, to see how many decorations have been put up – and we have a competition to see who spots the first Christmas tree. I won this year, seeing one in Broadstairs in the second week of November. That felt rather early, I don’t mind admitting. We’ll probably do ours next weekend – and, as always, I’m conscious we have far too many Christmas decorations, but I can’t part with anything, as a lot have special memories. I’m also hoping to pass on certain mementoes to Bryan when he’s an adult, so I just keep them all instead.

So there’s Christmas organised; I’m happy the big job of presents is done and dusted, and I can enjoy the rest of the season making it as lovely as possible for my son. He deserves it, after all.

On another note, I am a not-so-secret science fiction and fantasy fan. I have introduced Bryan recently to Star Trek; we’re watching the prequel Enterprise series together, and he seems to be enjoying it so far. I don’t think he’ll be as much of a Trekker as I was at that age – I had posters on my wall, models and figures on my shelves, and read almost everything there was available about Trek – but it’s nice to introduce him to a series that we can bond over and enjoy.

I loved going to the cinema to watch the new Star Trek films when they came out and, more recently, when the Marvel films were introduced. Introducing them to Bryan as well has been a pleasure, as I’ve got to see his reactions to certain big moments that genuinely shocked me, and that replicated itself when Bryan got there as well. We’ve not been to the cinema in a while, and I must take Bryan soon – there are a couple of films we’re eager to watch, but life does seem to get in the way of these activities sometimes!

This coming week is a busy one, and I’ll actually be staying away one evening for work. Bryan is looking forward to spending an evening with his grandparents, and I’m looking forward to doing something a bit different mid-week. I’ll miss him, which I know sounds daft given that we’ll only be apart for a day, but still – I’m a parent and of course I’ll miss my son when I’m away. But it’s a nice opportunity to give us each a slightly different mid-week routine, and it’s the right thing for both of us. I make it sound like I’m off on a huge adventure, but I’ll only be in Ashford – it’s not like I’m going on a trek to the Himalayas or anything.

I’m thankful for a lot of things as we approach Christmas, but family life is up there at the top. Being a parent makes me appreciate the little things in life, and has changed my life in so many ways. It requires a lot of logistics and planning to stay on top of what I need to do, but it’s worth every second.

1 Comment

  1. I like reading your articles Matthew. Being a good parent takes effort, but it pays dividends. I’m sure you’d agree.
    I’m a big Sci-Fi fan for the most part. Had my daughter watch “They Live” the other day. Didn’t think she’d take to it, but she enjoyed it. Merry Christmas.

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