I had no time after Christmas to post a little update. Four days post the big one we were packing and cleaning and packing and tidying and packing and trying to get organised. It felt like groundhog day trying to get us and the kids out of here. On the 28th we were finally On. Our. Way. down to our family’s little country hideaway. We got back today and we are lucky enough to be heading off again on Thursday in the opposite direction to spend time with the other side of the family on the coast. I feel blessed to have these little hideaways that our parents generously allow us to visit. Without them we would not be in a position to have a holiday for a very long time.
Christmas came and went and for us is always spread out over a couple of days with the various groups of family we have. It was the first year that our biggest kid really got into the spirit of it all and went to bed tingling with thoughts of Father Christmas, reindeer and surprises to open the following morning. I remember those days so well and am reliving the thrill of it all through her big brown eyes.
Like I have spoken about before, I am very conscious of not have a house full of discarded toys, but instead having meaningful and well loved things to play with. The biggest attends Montessori once a week so much of our play is inspired by the beautiful Montessori setting, but I also really love Steiner environments and philosophies as well. I am not qualified in either and what we do is just a mix of things I have seen, liked and feel comfortable with.
She was given a lot of lovely gifts on Christmas Day, which I predicted, so at home that morning she just had a few simple presents to open, the main one being a secondhand doll’s house that I found on a local Buy Swap and Sell group. Well worth checking out on Facebook to see if you have one near you! I was so thrilled to find this secondhand as I feel uncomfortable about our throw away society, and like to re-use things where possible and instill this value in my children. I couldn’t care in the slightest that my child is getting something that isn’t ‘brand new’ and if anything I think it adds to the character and value of many of the things she owns. The well loved doll’s house in the picture above is a perfect example of this, I love it, and I think I am having more fun playing with it than she is!
This Christmas was probably the most joyful day I have had, the build up, the advent calendar, the excitement… I really am loving Christmas again and am so pleased to be starting new traditions with my little family. I should probably admit now that at 11pm on Christmas Eve I realised that I didn’t have anything for the littlest as I had spent so much time focussing on the biggest. Bad Mother Alert!!! Luckily I had a few things in the shop that I could wrap up at the last minute. Sorry darling baby.
What traditions do you celebrate with your kids? Do you celebrate traditions that you didn’t as a child? I’m interested to know as we started celebrating Winter Solstice last year which is something we never did as kids in my family. This year we will also celebrate Valentine’s Day as a day to show our friends and family how much we love and appreciate them (puke, sorry.)
* Does my littlest not remind you of a tiny wee possum? She is such a little pixie.
Last year I wrote a bit about the meaning of Christmas for me and my crew. Christmas had become all kinds of nasty for me and I’m just so thrilled to have a teeny weeny family of my own now to regenerate the spirit of Christmas in me… It’s for this reason I was ever so desperate to make the biggest her first advent calendar this year (and engage in any type of Christmas event/tradition possible). We never had an advent calendar as kids so it’s not a tradition I have been a part of before, but I feel really strongly about developing our own family traditions that we take part in each week or month or year to enjoy and look back on with fond memories.
I began scouring pinterest to get some ideas… there were sooo many! I finally decided to make one with little gifts hanging from a stick, as I had collected some from our yard and around the place which have been driving Prince Charming nutty as they are continually falling over in the corner of our study. They are such beautiful sticks though, he just can’t seem to see that! Nevertheless he was thrilled that I was finally using one for a project. Little does he know that come the 25th of December this pretty little stick will be going back to my stash once it is no longer in use. Until this post arrives in his inbox of course, drat!
Anyway, I had all manner of creative ideas about the bags I would sew and numbers I would carefully stitch onto each one, then it was Friday 30th November and nothing had been started… so I scratched that and made this instead. Is that a nice stick, or what?
The ones on pinterest and the one in my head looked a lot better, but the kid has been more than thrilled and I am getting a bit of a kick out of that each day when she climbs up on a kitchen chair to help me cut down a gift. I have cheated somewhat and almost all of the gifts are Christmas decorations we already had, in the hope that being two and a half, she won’t remember them from last year. So far, success! There are about four which are actual gifts for her, things I had lying around the house like a bouncy ball, a stamp, a little purse and something else which I can’t remember. The last gift isn’t there yet but it is going to be a small card from me telling her (and next year one for each girl) how special she is and mentioning something wonderful she has achieved that year. I’ll punch a hold in it, date it and put some string through it and she can hang it on the tree. I thought that might be something nice to look back on each year when we are decorating the tree and can read through cards from previous years. We’ll see!
The wrapping paper is recycled pages torn out of our Melways (the city map book for Melbourne) which has become obsolete nowadays with iPhones and google maps and those things you get in your car which tell you where to go (I don’t have one). It seems I hardly need these things anyway as there is something in my genes which prevents me from getting lost. It’s weird. When I got my licence my friend and I went driving and thought it would be an adventure to get lost somewhere and have to find our way out. She had a great time as every bend we went around she was lost, but I couldn’t join in because I always remembered how to get out. I’m a bit like a homing pigeon.
I digress. It’s late. The advent calendar. Yippee, it’s up, we’re having fun, we’re into it, we’re all about Christmas here at our place.