It’s beginning to look a lot like a first Christmas

By Alex Gretgrix

FOR MANY, A first Christmas for a new, young family changes everything.

A lot of parents know, when you have children you need to readjust  your plans, who you can see and when, spend extra money and put in that little bit of extra work to make this time of year special.

Although for some this would be enough to deter you from having children in the first place, there are parents who can’t wait for this to happen.

For 28 years, Gemma Angove has wanted to share a Christmas with her own small family.

And now this year, she and her husband Jamie can with their five-month-old daughter Evelyn.

The couple, who started off as school-sweethearts twelve years ago, are making it their goal to make their daughter’s first festive season the best it can be, particularly around the two sides of the family.

“For us it’s all about family,” Gemma said.

“We used to split our Christmas’ between Jamie’s family and mine, but since we’ve been married we have lunch with Jamie’s family and then dinner with mine so we get a bit of everyone.

“It works out well because my family is in Gunbower and Jamie’s is in Moama so luckily we don’t have to travel too far to see everyone.”

And this Christmas isn’t any different for the little family, except maybe it being a bit more hectic.

“It’s going to be a bit more full on I think because everyone wants to see Evelyn,” she said.

“Christmas isn’t about us anymore, it’s about her. So all the family wants to have their time with her and have their cuddles.

“It’s all just about managing time now. We’ll catch up with family on the Saturday before Christmas and then Christmas Eve as well as breakfast, lunch and tea Christmas Day and on Boxing Day in different places.

“So needless to say, we’ll be busy.”

But this hasn’t stressed the couple out.

“We’re definitely more excited than stressed, it will just be a matter of squeezing everyone in,” she said.

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t nervous, but not for the reasons you think.

“I’m probably more nervous about how spoilt she’s going to be,” Gemma laughed.

“Jamie and I have bought her a toy box in anticipation for what she may or may not be getting from our family and friends.”

And while presents are a given for the tiny tot, the family is also making sure their family traditions don’t end with them.

“We’ve made sure to keep some of our family traditions going, so there will be little presents for her as well,” she said.

“We went out and got a Santa sack made, with her name on it and my sister organised a little Christmas bauble, also with her name on it.

“They’re just a few little things we have in our family and we wanted to make sure she would be a part of that.”

These traditions also bring back fond memories for Gemma.

“My siblings and I would always have the Santa sacks and for me it was always one of the best parts of Christmas,” she said.

“The night before we always got to have our sacks out and mum would have to put restrictions on what time we were able to wake them because all of us were always up at the crack of dawn.

“It’s just been so exciting to be able to go back to that now we have Evelyn and now she’s going to make those memories as well.

“Although I think I will be a bit more excited than she will for a while.”

As well as traditions, the family is hoping to eventually start some new ones of their own, even if they aren’t quite sure what they’ll be just yet.

“We’ll be starting to go for a drive around to see all the Christmas lights this year and I think that will be exciting for her,” she said.

“Even though she’s young, I think she will still enjoy the lights and how beautiful they’ll look.

“She loved putting the Christmas tree up with Jamie and me, she was just so fascinated by all the lights and decorations so hopefully she does that with the lights around town too.”

And even as their family grows, for Gemma Christmas will always hold a special place in her heart, now more so than before.

“I love everything about Christmas. It’s a time for family and that’s the most important thing for me,” she said.

“It’s such a special time and it’s a chance for everyone to get together and everyone’s very happy.

“I think it’s such an exciting time, especially now we have Evelyn.”