A food-free Christmas

This week we have our first guest post, from a dad who is getting used to having a son who is tube-fed. Here he tells us about the impact that has had on Christmas and the positive changes that they have made as a result.

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Christmas! What an amazing time of year!

There are so many things that make us think "Christmas is here!", things such as mince pies, candles, mulled wine, Starbucks Christmas Coffees, pigs in blankets, Christmas trees, roast turkey, stockings, selection boxes, carols, Christmas pudding, nativity plays, chocolate advent calendars, Terry's chocolate orange. There's not much left once you've omitted all the edible elements is there?

As a man who loves to eat and who has a tube-fed son I have had to readdress a lot of the traditions that I've grown up with. The big festivals are synonymous with food and drink so it can be hard to overcome the feeling that a non-oral Christmas is second rate. But we have learnt that there are a lot of festive activities that don't involve food.  Here's some of the things that we've started as traditions in our family:

A Christmas movie.......Find a movie that gets everyone in the spirit. Get your biggest blanket, everyone on the sofa and cosy up! We don't watch it any other time other than at Christmas - we used to watch the lovely Arthur Christmas but, as of this year, we're switching to the brilliant The Star.

Candles.......After our family dinner (for those of us who are oral) we go to the living room, light as many candles as is safe (!) and put some Christmas music on in the background. We then sit, appreciating the Christmas tree lights, and read a Christmas story.
Get creative......There's a bazillion ideas out there on how to make decorations to make your home tastefully festive or a garish mess. My kids love getting the craft set out and it can be heaps of fun.
Ice skating........At Christmas lots of town/city centres have temporary ice-skating rinks set up. Yes they're horribly over-priced but what the heck! The kids love them especially as many of them have training aides in the shape of massive penguins. Alternatively, you can always go round a few shops and finish off by watching other people on the ice festively fall on their festive behinds!
Christmas lights.........Every neighbourhood has 'that house'. You know the one, their front garden lit up by thousands of lights looking like Christmas just vomited over their property. Wonderful isn't it? Take a drive or a walk over and appreciate the amazing over-the-top splendour!
These are some of the things that we like to do..............what about you?

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