Christmas is all about time with the family. We like to keep it simple.
One way I’ve chosen to do this is by developing simple traditions. Kids love knowing what to expect, it adds to the experience and excitement for them. We are currently building up to the big day as the weekend after Remembrance Sunday now signifies the start of these traditions.
Each week I will post on our countdown to Christmas. First born is now at an age where she can actively get involved not just in the ‘doing’ but in the decision-making. This seems the perfect year to start documenting it all.
A home-made Christmas doesn’t happen overnight. A consumerist Christmas literally can. Buying stuff isn’t what Christmas is about for us, but at the same time Christmas is a shared holiday, and other people’s expectations need to be taken into account. I’m hoping I can demonstrate how I keep the balance between a Simple Traditional Christmas whilst making it enjoyable for everyone whether they share that vision or not.
So what did our first weekend entail?
First things first. Operation Christmas Child. This is important as it acknowledges that there are others for whom the abundance of Christmas doesn’t apply. This was done before the Kids did their own letters to Santa.
So as a family we sat down and decorated our shoebox. The idea was that by sticking the torn gift wrap to the box with PVA glue, and sealing it by painting over with the same glue, that it would make the box extra durable. It could then be a keepsake for the child throughout the year, maybe to keep their gifts inside? It also meant that we spent time (the greatest gift of all) on their box rather than just buying things to put in it.
The result was pretty impressive (IMO :-))! (more items went in the box – the photo was pre-shop). We will do two next year once Second Born fully understands, and has the concentration to do his own.
With an act for others completed, the Kids got to write their own letters to Santa. They will drop them off tomorrow at Santa’s special post box in the village, a donation to charity will be made and a reply sent!
The final activity this weekend was to make the Christmas puds. Now a confession, I have never done this before, although it was always on the ‘To Do List’. After discovering a very simple recipe, and summoning up the courage, First Born and I set to work. All the dry ingredients mixed, I started to panic. There was an awful lot of mixture, and my gaze kept returning to the two small pyrex basins I own. At this point common sense prevailed and we put the dry ingredients to one-side as I called for back up. This meant that the pudding weren’t cooked until yesterday after my Big Sis arrived with two extra basins. What a fabulous smell there was throughout the house yesterday as 4 puds slow-cooked for 10 hours. Hooray for having 3 slow-cookers!
The plan is that as the holiday season progresses at the weekends we do the fun stuff. During the week I’ll do the boring stuff and the things the kids can’t get involved in. I’ll also ensure anything we need for the weekend activities is to hand, as for a child there’s nothing worse than aborting mid fun! (as we did with the puds – lesson learnt!).
I’ve just finalised the gift list for the family – and I’ll share more on this next week. I keep it simple, but at the same time take into consideration the expectations of others. I quite like my approach to it. There’s some creativity thrown in for good measure!
This week I’ll also ensure that Santa and his helpers (aka family) are fully informed as to what the Kids would like in their stockings this year.
A School Christmas Disco on Friday which I will be helping at then kicks off weekend 2, with another selection of traditions and fun activities to do!
What traditions do you hold? How Simple are you going this year?
I’m now posting on Facebook almost daily odds and ends that I wouldn’t post here – feel free to check it out!