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I was really looking forward to Christmas this year, yet it really seemed to creep up on us quickly, although we were as prepared as we have ever been. But it felt different; calm, relaxed and almost peaceful.

It started well with my first park run on the Saturday before, although being my first run in a crowd for a while I spent the night before feeling anxious about seeing people again. It appears any anxiety was unfounded and it was just needless worries.

Christmas Eve was the same, a very relaxed day, and with a few trips out and last minute preparations we were good to go. Santa had checked the area for squeaky floorboards and hidden hazards, children were in bed and as far as we could tell asleep, so I decided to take my medication. Now, one of them is sleep inducing and so disaster struck; my footsteps and talking left three children awake😩.  They were resettled but unfortunately not sufficiently enough for Santa to come and my medication was taking effect. I was trying to fight it but in the end I was fast asleep. I woke in a panic, what time was it? Were the children awake? Had Santa been? Luckily on this occasion I believe Mrs Claus had stepped in and saved the day – phew!

Now normally we have so many presents under the tree being a family of 8, that this year we decided to try and manage it with just stockings and one main present, whilst friends and family bought experiences such as horse riding lessons etc. We ourselves went down the electrical item route, although I don’t agree in using them as a babysitter they do have their benefits. The children love using Audible and the family function on iCloud is superb so that they can access everybody’s music and films. They also have some excellent teaching apps that they find fun and informative and with the right restrictions I have no problem with it. After all it really is a different world now! So when we came downstairs at a respectable 6.15 (happy with that) the tree was full but not overflowing with boundless plastic items and hoards of unnecessary items to add to the already overflowing playroom. We still had the game of catch up for thank you notes, now who was that from, did you read the label, and that’s lovely.

Christmas Day lunch was delicious and even better as we didn’t have to lift a finger, glorious! Also the obligatory Boxing Day Hare and Hounds run through countless streams, bogs, forest and the dreaded Horsford drewary whilst this year dressed as Bertie Bassett all in the name of charity. Although I didn’t feel very charitable when our navigator, who shall remain nameless, got us lost in the woods adding an extra 2 1/2 miles on to the already tortuous run. Then with family games (although losing my Monopoly crown to the new property mogul 8 year old Neve), woodland walks and family visits meant the week flew by. Probably our most relaxed and enjoyable Christmas ever. I think it may have something to do with not having the expectations of the perfect day, it just flowed from one day to the next.

New Year’s Eve we have our own tradition of playing lots of games, a buffet tea and we wrap up prizes so each child gets a couple of gifts.  We thought about taping fireworks on the early news and putting clocks forward (tricksy parenting) but as it was everyone was in bed by 10, Happy New Year.

As you will know from previous blogs I am suffering from a bit of depression due to a back injury and although my back is no closer to being resolved my resolutions involve my mental health. I’m still finding it really hard in the mornings so my resolutions are to have my alarm set for 6.30 (the Harry Potter alarm clock I got for Christmas will come in handy here).  We have a mile loop around our house which I will run giving me motivation and wellbeing. This will also have a knock on to showering and breakfast and being ready for work by 7:30, it’s a win win. So hopefully 2018 will see my back resolved, medication not needed, running back to normal, excess weight lost but most important I will get back to being myself.

Happy New Year and all the best for 2018!






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Shaun Hurr

Dad to 6, Husband to 1, runner for sanity!

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