Simple Christmas Traditions / Chutney, Tree Decorations, Jammies & Advent Calendars

Preparations are in full swing in the countdown to Christmas.

At Chez Wright we keep it simple. Simple doesn’t necessarily mean quick or convenient, rather a home-made Christmas takes time. Hence we are doing a little bit each week and weekend.

So what did we get up to last weekend?

Slow-cooked Tomato and Cranberry Chutney

First activity was to chop a few ingredients and pop in the slow-cooker to make a Chutney worthy of Christmas Tea. This year dinner will be served at 2pm followed by a ‘choosing tea’ from 6pm. The chutney should go very nicely with leftover turkey, cheese, bread and crackers. Nice and simple! As Chutney needs a month to mature so this was the weekend to get it done.

Homemade Tree Decorations

At the start of November the Kids attended a couple of pottery workshops at the local library. They were fantastic! The first one was making pottery with clay (and it was free), the second class had a small charge but we ended up with some spectacular painted pieces. The Kids enjoyed it so much. Upon collecting the Kids artwork I discovered Jenny from A Time To Kiln had popped some extra ‘air dry clay’ in the bag. This meant we were able to get busy making some more decorations this weekend.

The original plan had been to make the tree decs with salt dough at the weekend, but the Kids really wanted to use up the clay first. In the UK teachers are on strike today, so by delaying the dough decs, we got chance to spend time on them today with some of their friends. They went in a cool oven just after lunch and aren’t ready yet – but I have high hopes! I’ll post a photo on my Facebook page tomorrow (1st Dec) once dry and you can judge for yourself.

This year all adult relatives and close friends will get a handmade decoration to hang on their tree from the Kids. The younger ones get something else – this’ll be revealed next week!

Let’s talk Jammies!

I was so inspired by the feedback left last week about your traditions! One thing that really stood out was the role that Pyjamas playedΒ (Jammies as we call them at Chez Wright).

We are very lucky in that from time to time The Bedtime Fairy pays us a visit when the Kids are asleep. The Bedtime Fairy started coming many years ago to improve sleep routines here, and still from time to time makes an appearance. Once my Daughter woke in a completely different bedset and was very surprised! I asked TBF if this year she’d deliver some special Jammies in the early hours of Christmas Eve and she thought it was a great idea – in fact so great she immediately choose a pair for each child.Β A new Christmas tradition has begun!

Advent Calendars

Tomorrow is the 1 December, so the advent calendar will be hung….

Handmade by Big Sis last year! She’s a bit of a seamstress πŸ™‚

That’s all the fun stuff – I’m still plowing through the more mundane bits and I will be updating on how I do gifts – but as this was such a long post I thought it best saved for another time.

How are things going for you Guys? All organised and stress-free, or is pre-Christmas panic setting in?

If you’d like to check out what we got up to last weekend click here

 

 

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • sharron November 30, 2011, 7:01 pm

    How fab are those ceramics!! You have very talented kiddos Jo, you can tell them i said that πŸ™‚ And everyhouse should have a pj tradition!!

    Our decorations were put up today ( i don’t do the 12 days before thing, as i alwasy take them down new years eve) I really enjoyed pulling them out, it was like meeting old friends, certain baubles, kids stars made in nurserey circa 1998, you get the picture, our kids were off today as the teachers were striking so they throughly enjoyed it and it kep them amused. I also sent a lot of decorations packing. The house feels lovely and cosy with little twinkles here and there. I really don’t have much to do now, food shopping and write the christmas cards and that’s probably it. Leaves plenty of time to eat, drink and be merry!!

    Jo do you have a b&m Bargains store close by? A mega store has just opened 300 yards at the end of my road and the food bargains have to be seen to be believed, really gives home bargains a run for their money!!

    Sharron x

    • simplybeingmum December 1, 2011, 5:30 pm

      Sounds like a perfect day at home to me! A lot of people I know put the tree up yesterday as the Kids were off. We are doing it Saturday as we combine a visit to Santa at the local forest with getting ours.
      We do have a B&M I think – not real close by but I can get to one relatively easily if you reckon it’s worth a look? Went into Aldi today to get some of their nappies (Dan wears them still at night) as I was so impressed with the ones they sent. I also picked up a bottle of their ‘baileys’ which at Β£3.99 it would have been rude not too πŸ˜‰ – and sampled it went I got home (how bad is that?) – just a smidgen at lunchtime, I was intrigued to see whether the old lady’s tastebuds on the Aldi advert were still going strong!

  • sharron November 30, 2011, 7:01 pm

    How fab are those ceramics!! You have very talented kiddos Jo, you can tell them i said that πŸ™‚ And everyhouse should have a pj tradition!!

    Our decorations were put up today ( i don’t do the 12 days before thing, as i alwasy take them down new years eve) I really enjoyed pulling them out, it was like meeting old friends, certain baubles, kids stars made in nurserey circa 1998, you get the picture, our kids were off today as the teachers were striking so they throughly enjoyed it and it kep them amused. I also sent a lot of decorations packing. The house feels lovely and cosy with little twinkles here and there. I really don’t have much to do now, food shopping and write the christmas cards and that’s probably it. Leaves plenty of time to eat, drink and be merry!!

    Jo do you have a b&m Bargains store close by? A mega store has just opened 300 yards at the end of my road and the food bargains have to be seen to be believed, really gives home bargains a run for their money!!

    Sharron x

    • simplybeingmum December 1, 2011, 5:30 pm

      Sounds like a perfect day at home to me! A lot of people I know put the tree up yesterday as the Kids were off. We are doing it Saturday as we combine a visit to Santa at the local forest with getting ours.
      We do have a B&M I think – not real close by but I can get to one relatively easily if you reckon it’s worth a look? Went into Aldi today to get some of their nappies (Dan wears them still at night) as I was so impressed with the ones they sent. I also picked up a bottle of their ‘baileys’ which at Β£3.99 it would have been rude not too πŸ˜‰ – and sampled it went I got home (how bad is that?) – just a smidgen at lunchtime, I was intrigued to see whether the old lady’s tastebuds on the Aldi advert were still going strong!

  • sharron November 30, 2011, 7:01 pm

    How fab are those ceramics!! You have very talented kiddos Jo, you can tell them i said that πŸ™‚ And everyhouse should have a pj tradition!!

    Our decorations were put up today ( i don’t do the 12 days before thing, as i alwasy take them down new years eve) I really enjoyed pulling them out, it was like meeting old friends, certain baubles, kids stars made in nurserey circa 1998, you get the picture, our kids were off today as the teachers were striking so they throughly enjoyed it and it kep them amused. I also sent a lot of decorations packing. The house feels lovely and cosy with little twinkles here and there. I really don’t have much to do now, food shopping and write the christmas cards and that’s probably it. Leaves plenty of time to eat, drink and be merry!!

    Jo do you have a b&m Bargains store close by? A mega store has just opened 300 yards at the end of my road and the food bargains have to be seen to be believed, really gives home bargains a run for their money!!

    Sharron x

    • simplybeingmum December 1, 2011, 5:30 pm

      Sounds like a perfect day at home to me! A lot of people I know put the tree up yesterday as the Kids were off. We are doing it Saturday as we combine a visit to Santa at the local forest with getting ours.
      We do have a B&M I think – not real close by but I can get to one relatively easily if you reckon it’s worth a look? Went into Aldi today to get some of their nappies (Dan wears them still at night) as I was so impressed with the ones they sent. I also picked up a bottle of their ‘baileys’ which at Β£3.99 it would have been rude not too πŸ˜‰ – and sampled it went I got home (how bad is that?) – just a smidgen at lunchtime, I was intrigued to see whether the old lady’s tastebuds on the Aldi advert were still going strong!

  • Apple November 30, 2011, 8:17 pm

    Very artistic kids you have, Jo! Our Christmas pyjamas are not as cute as yours….my boys are Liverpool supporters. πŸ™‚
    Today, I visited the sweet shop and got one of my mason jars filled with those sweets that look like bullseye, except with a red stripes. The jar now looks very decorative for Christmas, it was only a few Euros and we can either eat the sweets after the holidays or keep it for next year. …and that jar is as far as my creativity goes. πŸ™‚

    • sharron December 1, 2011, 11:21 am

      We have Liverpool pjamas to πŸ™‚ And that’s just me… πŸ™‚

    • simplybeingmum December 1, 2011, 5:34 pm

      The Bedtime Fairy has good taste πŸ˜‰
      The jar sounds great, we have an old-fashioned sweet shop in the village, and I’ve noticed they have some lovely decorative sweets in their window. That may be a good idea for the kitchen, as I want to make it festive, but not overly keen on decorations in there!

  • Apple November 30, 2011, 8:17 pm

    Very artistic kids you have, Jo! Our Christmas pyjamas are not as cute as yours….my boys are Liverpool supporters. πŸ™‚
    Today, I visited the sweet shop and got one of my mason jars filled with those sweets that look like bullseye, except with a red stripes. The jar now looks very decorative for Christmas, it was only a few Euros and we can either eat the sweets after the holidays or keep it for next year. …and that jar is as far as my creativity goes. πŸ™‚

    • sharron December 1, 2011, 11:21 am

      We have Liverpool pjamas to πŸ™‚ And that’s just me… πŸ™‚

    • simplybeingmum December 1, 2011, 5:34 pm

      The Bedtime Fairy has good taste πŸ˜‰
      The jar sounds great, we have an old-fashioned sweet shop in the village, and I’ve noticed they have some lovely decorative sweets in their window. That may be a good idea for the kitchen, as I want to make it festive, but not overly keen on decorations in there!

  • Apple November 30, 2011, 8:17 pm

    Very artistic kids you have, Jo! Our Christmas pyjamas are not as cute as yours….my boys are Liverpool supporters. πŸ™‚
    Today, I visited the sweet shop and got one of my mason jars filled with those sweets that look like bullseye, except with a red stripes. The jar now looks very decorative for Christmas, it was only a few Euros and we can either eat the sweets after the holidays or keep it for next year. …and that jar is as far as my creativity goes. πŸ™‚

    • sharron December 1, 2011, 11:21 am

      We have Liverpool pjamas to πŸ™‚ And that’s just me… πŸ™‚

    • simplybeingmum December 1, 2011, 5:34 pm

      The Bedtime Fairy has good taste πŸ˜‰
      The jar sounds great, we have an old-fashioned sweet shop in the village, and I’ve noticed they have some lovely decorative sweets in their window. That may be a good idea for the kitchen, as I want to make it festive, but not overly keen on decorations in there!

  • Rayna (the Suburban Minimalist blog) November 30, 2011, 9:26 pm

    How pretty, Jo! I remember about that Advent Calendar! How lucky you are to have a seamstress for a sister!

    • simplybeingmum December 1, 2011, 5:35 pm

      Thanks Rayna – We are lucky and she’s doing stockings this year. I’ve decided however to give sewing a go next year – how hard can it be? (famous last words…)

  • Rayna (the Suburban Minimalist blog) November 30, 2011, 9:26 pm

    How pretty, Jo! I remember about that Advent Calendar! How lucky you are to have a seamstress for a sister!

    • simplybeingmum December 1, 2011, 5:35 pm

      Thanks Rayna – We are lucky and she’s doing stockings this year. I’ve decided however to give sewing a go next year – how hard can it be? (famous last words…)

  • Rayna (the Suburban Minimalist blog) November 30, 2011, 9:26 pm

    How pretty, Jo! I remember about that Advent Calendar! How lucky you are to have a seamstress for a sister!

    • simplybeingmum December 1, 2011, 5:35 pm

      Thanks Rayna – We are lucky and she’s doing stockings this year. I’ve decided however to give sewing a go next year – how hard can it be? (famous last words…)

  • Trish November 30, 2011, 11:57 pm

    Hi Jo
    I’m a bit behind in reading your posts – I am in the US and was wondering if you could either share your recipe for Christmas pudding or a link to a good recipe. I lived in Australia for a year during high school and sampled christmas pudding there, plus a fruitcake we had often as dessert – they were fabulous and I miss them lots. Thanks!

    • simplybeingmum December 1, 2011, 5:43 pm

      Hi Trish… I didn’t post the recipe as I had never tried it before. However just after dinner this evening I tried one of the puds. Here comes the but… I’m not a massive Christmas Pud fan, so it tasted okay to me – nothing special, but Christmas Pud never does – I’d rather have a steamed toffee pudding. I’m going to put the recipe on the blog tomorrow as part of No Waste Tastes Great (there is a reason! I have mixture for the bin oops!).
      The Hubby will try it later and give me his verdict. Regardless they are getting eaten as brandy sauce can disguise a multitude of evils!
      However I did find this recipe which looked good (and had a lot more variety of ingredients), and it’s in the telegraph so presuming they know their stuff! Jo

  • Trish November 30, 2011, 11:57 pm

    Hi Jo
    I’m a bit behind in reading your posts – I am in the US and was wondering if you could either share your recipe for Christmas pudding or a link to a good recipe. I lived in Australia for a year during high school and sampled christmas pudding there, plus a fruitcake we had often as dessert – they were fabulous and I miss them lots. Thanks!

    • simplybeingmum December 1, 2011, 5:43 pm

      Hi Trish… I didn’t post the recipe as I had never tried it before. However just after dinner this evening I tried one of the puds. Here comes the but… I’m not a massive Christmas Pud fan, so it tasted okay to me – nothing special, but Christmas Pud never does – I’d rather have a steamed toffee pudding. I’m going to put the recipe on the blog tomorrow as part of No Waste Tastes Great (there is a reason! I have mixture for the bin oops!).
      The Hubby will try it later and give me his verdict. Regardless they are getting eaten as brandy sauce can disguise a multitude of evils!
      However I did find this recipe which looked good (and had a lot more variety of ingredients), and it’s in the telegraph so presuming they know their stuff! Jo

  • Trish November 30, 2011, 11:57 pm

    Hi Jo
    I’m a bit behind in reading your posts – I am in the US and was wondering if you could either share your recipe for Christmas pudding or a link to a good recipe. I lived in Australia for a year during high school and sampled christmas pudding there, plus a fruitcake we had often as dessert – they were fabulous and I miss them lots. Thanks!

    • simplybeingmum December 1, 2011, 5:43 pm

      Hi Trish… I didn’t post the recipe as I had never tried it before. However just after dinner this evening I tried one of the puds. Here comes the but… I’m not a massive Christmas Pud fan, so it tasted okay to me – nothing special, but Christmas Pud never does – I’d rather have a steamed toffee pudding. I’m going to put the recipe on the blog tomorrow as part of No Waste Tastes Great (there is a reason! I have mixture for the bin oops!).
      The Hubby will try it later and give me his verdict. Regardless they are getting eaten as brandy sauce can disguise a multitude of evils!
      However I did find this recipe which looked good (and had a lot more variety of ingredients), and it’s in the telegraph so presuming they know their stuff! Jo

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