The kids and I finished our last session at our volunteer position today and the gorgeous girl Claire who manages the program had a little Christmas activity ready as a surprise for the kids. They got to make mango ice cream and then make these little Christmas wreaths out apples and greenery from the garden. I thought it was a super cute idea.
Its actually very simple to make. You just need to first core an apple and place a candle in the middle. Then you can poke greenery into the apple working your way around in a circle from the bottom up. Super easy and the kids loved it.
I love Christmas Traditions. I love the wonder and excitement they bring to Christmas, and the joy I see when I look at my little ones faces. I love doing things that have been done for generations past and the history and sense of belonging that goes with this. But this year we have a lot going on and I love that when things get too busy we can change things up. I want to make sure we focus on making memories together that are meaningful and full of love.
I dream of a simple Christmas full of nature inspired crafts, home baked goodness and handmade gifts, but my boys dream of a house wrapped in sparkling, flashing Christmas lights and coloured twinkly baubles. This has led to some fantastic talks about our traditions and deciding what is important to us and also adding in some new ones that put the focus back on Jesus.
The first job chosen by the boys was to wrap the house in lights. They turn them on at the first sign of sunset. I sneakily turn them off as soon as they go to sleep. Shhh.
Our little Nativity collection is out. Whilst there might be a bit much Gold for my liking, each one has a story.
The little one below is a gift from my mother. It handmade and sits in a Chickens Egg. In front there is a beautiful Christmas Gift from our friends in Austria of a tiny Swarovsky Crystal Bowl with Gold fruit.
This one was my first nativity. I was telling a friend that I wanted to find a nativity set and amazingly this then arrived in my mailbox from TBN. I have no idea why but I was very grateful.
We have purchased and decorated our tree. We go every year and purchase a freshly cut tree from the next street and the kids and I just love this tradition. I love the smell that wafts through the house.
The Christmas books and DVD's are out including a beautiful new movie "The Nativity". Its already a family favorite and has been watched several times. At the request of Goldilocks we also have a new Nativity Set for the younger two to play with. Its a little book with seven boxes, one to open each day with a new nativity toy leading up to Christmas.
This year I purchased the most beautiful hand made advent wreath from Cradle to Cross. Designed and handmade by a 15 year old Canadian boy who donates all the proceeds to Compassion. The candle is moved each day counting down the days to Christmas and followed by a wooden image of a pregnant Mary on a donkey. I LOVE this. I love that this takes our daily tradition of lighting a candle every evening for dinner and makes it even more meaningful.
This year we are making our first Gingerbread house. I'm guessing the kids will love this so much they will want to do this every year. I must confess we tried to make our own and it was a huge crumbly failure so we purchased a little kit from Ikea. :) For a while there we were caught up in the consumer madness that seems to take over the Christmas Season, but for the past few years we have been working hard to change our lives. I can remember actually feeling guilty unless the tree was piled with presents. What on earth was I thinking? But our hearts have changed since then and I'm blessed that the kids have willingly come along for the journey and realise that more stuff does not equal happiness. They actually seem to realise how blessed they are which makes me so happy. This year we have decided to introduce a tradition of making each other a present. There are busy little hands working away and I can see so much love and thoughtfulness going into this. This year I suggested the kids each receive 3 gifts as this is what Jesus received on his birthday. I expected to hear a chorus of disagreement but surprisingly the boys think this is a great idea. Goldilocks only seems to ever ask for one little present so she will be more than blessed with three. Although there will still be mountains of presents from Aunties, Uncles and Grandparents. :)
If you know me you know I have a passion for scouring hard rubbish for things to salvage. Im sure I totally embarrass my kids but I really hate the idea of things ending up in landfil. I found this little ladder in hard rubbish and the pots I was given from a lovely lady on Freecycle.
Do you collect hard rubbish or do you find it too embarrasing? D x
Muscles had a school excursion to Federation Square last week. He came home and told us all about the excitement of the Lego play area and then causally mentioned he met Princess Mary and Prince Frederik. When we expressed a little bit of excitement he said he really didn't understand what all the fuss was about. They were just people. Love that boys attitude. :)
Dont let this pretty smile fool you. Do you know what she has hidden under that blanket?
Yes her very patient little cat.
When Goldilocks was only 1 we found this little stray (and very wild) cat in the engine of our car keeping warm. It moved under our house. We were in the middle of renovating and there was a little gap under the stairs. One day I couldnt find Goldilocks and guess where she was? Yes, under the house with the kitten (and the spiders and mice and broken glass). Being our little adventurer, she was very relaxed about the whole matter and didnt want to come out. I had to send Zookeeper (who was only 8) under the house to get her. Poor boy. Needless to say the little stray has since been tamed and they are now the best of friends.
We also had fun painting some tree blocks with olive oil. It was apparently so much fun that now Muscles wants to oil my dining table.
This blog is my little journal of sustainable living, gardening, cooking, healthy living, crafting and home decorating. I’m working hard to build a life for my little ones that is simpler, has less clutter, less stress and more joy. But I also want to be surrounded by beautiful things and I love to shop vintage and to repurpose all things old. Stop by and say hi. :-D