The Alternative Christmas

Well the wrapping is finished and the cards have been sent.  The bathrooms have been cleaned, we’ve bought a new rug for the lounge and the floors have been washed.  Give it another couple of days and the house might be presentable enough for the christmas visit of the in-laws.

I shouldn’t be complaining really, we’re having Nanny Boudica and the in-laws over on Christmas Day.  The boys are stupidly excited about having family over and are really looking forward to it.  It’s not just their first Christmas in our new home, it’s their first Christmas at home for the last few years.  We’ve “opted out” the last couple of years and gone camping instead.

Yes, you read that right.  We went camping at Christmas!

Now before you get all “OMG are you completely insane?” and start imagining cold and draughty tents, punctured air beds and huddling together to share body heat, I’m talking the comfort of a hired yurt with wood burner and double bed type of Christmas camping.

I have to say, I miss it.  While I’m scrubbing the toilets clean and putting out guest towels, I’m thinking it was much more fun to be packing the cooler and thermals.  And lets be honest, wouldn’t you like to wake up to this view on Xmas Day?

Christmas 2012
Christmas 2012


No spending hours cooking in the kitchen, while everyone else watches my kids open the presents that I paid for and wrapped.  Not much washing up, no naff christmas tv, no relatives that want to visit, just simple living, spending time with the family, without distractions.

This is what I’m missing.  The simplicity of it all.  It was my idea to go camping at Christmas originally and I thought the family only tolerated it but they loved it too.  The other day both Mr Boudica and the kids asked where we are camping next Christmas!  So while it’s nice to be at home, in a new home with family, it seems the rustic getaway christmas is a vote winner.

Who needs party games and the Queen's Speech when you can run around a field?
Who needs party games and the Queen’s Speech when you can run around a field?


Yes, the first year we went we tried to cook roast beef in a Cobb.  It was very cold and windy, it struggled to maintain cooking temperature and we gave up after 6 hours and had sausages and beans for christmas lunch.  (Kids still declare it to be the best Christmas lunch ever).  When we got home we finished off the beef in the oven and it was the tenderest, most beautiful beef ever!  And last year we ended up coming home early as Baby Boudica the Younger starting puking at 3am Christmas morning and showed no signs of stopping by lunchtime.  It was the right decision as he didn’t actually stop until New Years Day and the dreaded D&V went through the entire Boudica clan over the christmas period.  But up until 3am Christmas morning, everything was all fine and dandy!

Note to parents – please DO NOT take little Johnny to his school play in the last week of term, even though he’s “been a bit sick and poorly but I wouldn’t want him to miss it” as him not missing his play, means other parents get to spend Christmas emptying sick buckets and repeatedly washing bedding.  Not to mention throwing away lots of food as no-one wants to eat it.  Trust me, if you want civility in the playground come January, keep sick little Johnny at home.

Anyway, as I sit looking at my beautiful tree, in my freshly decorated lounge, watching pre-recorded Walking Dead on Sky+ very quietly in case the kids wake up, making a shopping list for Mr Boudica for the morning, its lovely.  Really it is, but I still feel a bit sad that we’re not sat looking at a mini tree with battery powered lights, snuggled up listening to the wind howling round the side of the yurt.  Mulling things over and putting the world to rights over a hot brew.  Without electricity and gadgets everything seems so much simpler.  Somehow, we’re more “together” as a family without all that stuff.

Yes, we had mobile phones and occasionally updated Facebook, mostly to keep in touch so everyone knew we were ok,  but it was an adventure.  Waking up to the calls of geese flying overhead, rushing back from the loo’s in the middle of the night, because the wind howls through the empty tipi’s next door and it’s very spooky indeed, virtually having a whole campsite to yourself, staring up at the stars in a very dark clear sky and feeling awed by the tranquility and beauty. Visiting the beach on Christmas Day and not worrying about what time lunch is, or when we’ve got to be anywhere.

Baby Boudica The ElderBaby Boudica The YoungerChristmas 2011Boudica Clan Xmas Adventure 2011

Everyone thought we were a little mad going camping.  Truth is, I’m beginning to feel that there’s more insanity involved with staying at home and trying to please everyone else.  (Apparently grinding your teeth at night, means you wake up with a monumental headache in the morning and a serious case of the grumps. Who knew?!!)

Everyone’s idea of what makes a good Christmas is different, so whatever you’re doing, I hope it’s great.

Lastly, no. I’m not going to tell you where we like to go glamping at Christmas.  I’m planning on going there next year and much as I love you all, I don’t want to see you there! :-)




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