JUST THE TWO OF US
WOMAN'S OWN|November 09, 2021
This Christmas, single mum Amy Nickell, 32, is doing it all alone and curating the whole day for her son. Here’s how she tackles the festivities
AMY NICKELL

TRADITIONS

Every year, for the past few years, I’ve invested a lot of time and thought into my son Freddy’s ‘Elf on the shelf’. I’ve prided myself on my creative ideas, leaving the elf in a mess of toilet roll, or toothpaste. But being creative is getting tougher, especially when all the ideas are my own. This year, however, I can’t seem to find the little rascal in the loft. It’s literally vanished. After concluding that it really must be magic, I ask my mum to drive over so I can take a late-night dash to Tesco to pick up a new house intruder – and it is rubbed in flour and ‘baking some cookies’ before 7am. The Christmas magic is just about maintained.

THE TREE

Freddy wants a real Christmas tree, an experience that promptly reminds me of my lack of spatial awareness. First, I have to ram it in the car (my little Suzuki Ignis), which is like trying to cram a turkey into a microwave, before I realise it’s even bigger out of the car and fills the best half of the lounge. Of course, lugging a Christmas tree around would be much easier with the help of a partner, but I manage and Freddy is chuffed. He calls our hulk of a tree ‘Bruce the Spruce’. I fear Bruce is already dropping his needles and won’t be great friends with the Hoover in a few weeks!

SHOPPING

I make great plans every year to start my Christmas shopping early – in September, in fact. Instead, I do nothing and, now, with weeks to go, the shops are busy and bargains have already been snapped up. I make my way to the high street and throw myself into the hustle and bustle of shoppers. After just an hour, I’m stressed, and with no purchases to show for it.

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