MERRY CHRISTMAS

As I sit watching Christmas carols on television, awaiting my munchkins to go to sleep (which takes much longer on Xmas eve than any other night due to the excitement of the imminent visit from Santa) I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support this year and to wish you and your family all the best for a very happy Christmas.
I have just returned from a holiday with my extended family which is why I have been AWOL for the last two weeks. You really can’t put a price on the value of seeing kids interacting daily with their cousins and similarly grandparents with their grandkids. I will be absent again for a few weeks as I spend quality family time with my kids and husband over the Christmas break. I hope you also have the opportunity to enjoy fun times with your family over the coming week.
As bed time draws near I know it won’t be long before the visit from the jolly man in the red suit – I just hope our puppy has left carrots for the reindeers – she was enjoying snacking on them when the kids put them out earlier!
Merry Christmas and all the best for a happy New Year!

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A SUGGESTION FOR SANTA

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I would like to suggest to the jolly man in the red velvet suit who brings joy to children all around the world, that he really needs to send out a manual to all parents so they understand the way he operates.

We all know he is magical in the way he manages to deliver presents all over the world in one single night, but realistically, with varying time zones he really gets just shy of 48 hours to complete this task!

What parents need to know are a few key things:
a) Do you need to leave food for reindeers, if so what do they prefer?

In my household we always leave out carrots for the reindeers and occasionally magic oats with red and green glitter.

b) What food should be left for Santa?

We always leave a sweet treat and a glass of milk, although I know plenty of people leave out an alcoholic beverage, but do we really want to encourage Santa to drink drive?

c) Where should Santa stockings/sacks be left?

I know traditionally they are left hanging on the mantelpiece of the fireplace near the snow encrusted windows, but as we live in Australia and we don’t have a fireplace, not to mention any hint of snow in the middle of Summer, we leave the sacks on our children’s beds.

There always seems to be confusion amongst kids (and parents for that fact) as to why Santa leaves lots of gifts for some kids and a single present for others. My kids always wonder why Santa gives them trinkets, whilst he leaves trampolines and bikes for other kids. I just tell my children that obviously those other kids are much better behaved than them 😉

It would be great if Santa were to have a standard set of rules to alleviate the confusion at this time of year, as it may help in reducing the number of ‘Is Santa real?’ type questions that seem to plague many parents at Christmas. For the record, I always assume the ‘If you don’t believe, you don’t receive,’ mantra and it seems whilst ever my kids are receiving gifts they are happy to believe (or at least make me believe that they believe!)

Ho ho hoping you have a Merry Christmas and that you made it onto the nice list this year!

(Picture courtesy of stockimages, freedigitalphotos.net)

ONE PRESENT

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On Christmas Day my kids are spoilt beyond all reason. My husband and I are both one of four kids, so not only do they get gifts from Santa, us, friends and two sets of grandparents, they also get gifts from six sets of aunts and uncles. 

The day is an over abundance of receiving and the more they receive, the less impact each gift seems to have. 

Last night I did something I’ve never done before. I suggested to my husband that we give each of the kids one major present early so they could really appreciate it.  

We gathered the kids around the Xmas tree and they were all very suspicious. In fact the girls asked whether we were planning a ‘Jimmy Kimmel prank’ where we videoed them receiving a really lame gift.

We assured them that we genuinely wanted to give them each a gift. The excitement and honest appreciation for that one gift far surpassed the reaction we have seen on previous Christmas Days when they have been inundated with presents.  

I did however make the mistake of giving them their gift just before bedtime, which of course delayed them getting to bed as each of them wanted to try out their new gift. 

Each gift was as diverse as the child and this morning they have all woken up and immediately used their presents. It is so lovely that this one gift has already brought so much joy. I just hope on Christmas morning they can show as much appreciation for the pile of gifts they receive as they have for this one early present.

 

 

 

(Picture courtesy of aeopsan at freedigitalphoto.net)

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

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A few years ago, when my youngest daughter was at that age when any reference to poo, farts and toilets was all the rage, she took to altering a Christmas carol to sing ‘All I want for Christmas is poo!’

She thought she was so clever and that it was hilarious. So funny in fact, that she sang it ad-nauseum for days leading up to Christmas. Her older sisters pleaded with her to be quiet, but she continued on singing in a loud voice for all to hear. 

So on Christmas Eve, my older daughters decided that if all she wanted for Christmas was poo, that they would answer all her wishes. They secretly went next door to our neighbours and collected some dog poo that was on their lawn. They put it in a plastic bag by the back door; ready to swap this sack of feces for the Santa sack on the end of her bed once she went to sleep. Thankfully they were sent to bed before she went to sleep and forgot to do the exchange. Can you imagine being a 7 year old girl waking on Christmas day to find a sack of sh*t was all that Santa had left you! 

When I went outside the following morning, I wondered what the stench was at our back door. I opened the plastic bag left there to find its contents were dog poo – not the best way to start Christmas! I disposed of the bag and wondered where on earth it had come from – what sicko leaves a bag of poo on your doorstep???

It was only later that morning that I heard the older girls lamenting that they had forgotten to make their little sister’s wish come true by giving her poo for Christmas, that I understood why this mystery bag was at the back door.

So my message today is a clear one – be careful what you wish for this Christmas, because you just might get it!

 

PS. I dare you to now listen to Mariah Carey singing ‘All I want for Christmas’ without subliminally changing the word to poo. Heaven knows that song is ruined for me for life!

 

 

 

(Picture courtesy of Victor Habbick, Freedigitalphoto.net)

THE SANTA PHOTO TRADITION

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First and foremost I have to admit, I’m a Christmas tragic! I love everything Christmas from buying the presents, to decorating the house with the family, listening to Christmas carols and having our extended family come to our house to share the day. Therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I still get my kids to have their obligatory Santa photo each year.

It started when my eldest (now 16) was just 1 week old. I took my newborn baby girl to be cuddled by Santa. She ended up a crumpled mess and I think poor Santa had no idea how to hold such a tiny infant. The photo wasn’t that great, but the memory behind our baby’s first Christmas was something I wanted to capture.

Fast forward a few years and another child down and my second daughter had an aversion to the scary old man sitting on the big red chair. That year I had to sit on Santa’s chair with the two girls on my lap, whilst Santa popped his head over the backrest of the chair, out of sight of my kids.

By the time we had four kids, getting the photo was a logistical feat. One or two would sit on Santa’s lap, whilst the older two would perch themselves on the arms of Santa’s chair, trying to look happy as the photographer did tricks with squeaky toys to get them to look in his general direction.

Now my kids think it is lame that I still want to get their photo with Santa, but they humour me, as I’m such a Christmas tragic. We just have to drive to a shopping centre 1 ½ hours away from home where there is no chance they will run into someone they know. Last year we had a prolonged wait in the cue to see Santa, whilst toddlers that reached up to my kids knees, alternated between laughing and giggling to throwing themselves down on the floor in protest. My kids probably sympathised more with the latter group of kids, but stood there patiently so we could get our two minutes with the jolly old man.

A friend took her young kids to have Santa photos this week. Poor Santa wasn’t feeling so merry and had a meltdown, yelling at the photographer elf that she was a ‘b****’ before storming off.  ‘Tis the season to be jolly tired old Santa (whose wife probably signed him up for the gig as a bit of fun!) 

I have earmarked the weekend before Christmas to go away so I can find a remote shopping centre to get this year’s photo. I can’t wait to see relief wash over Santa’s face as he realises he won’t have to pretend to be jolly to get infants to smile at the camera. I know the years of getting this traditional Santa photo are very limited, so I will treasure this year’s pic and ad it to the fifteen others that I have tucked away for safe keeping. It is quite amazing that as my kids get older each year, Santa doesn’t seem to age – he truly must be magic!

 

 

(photo courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net – I was going to post a photo of my kids, but given the extent we go to, to ensure no-one sees them getting their photo taken, I didn’t think my teenagers would take kindly to me uploading their photo with Santa)

OH CHRISTMAS TREE

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Have you ever looked at a Christmas tree through the eyes of a toddler? All those twinkling lights, glittery tinsel and sparkling ornaments all look so enticing – you just want to eat them all up, or stick them up your nose – whatever your preference! So the question remains, how do you keep your tree safe from those marauding tikes whose soul purpose is to pull off every decoration within arms reach?

Anyone who read my post yesterday ‘Baby Jail and Other Safety Ideas’ will know that I used a playpen to keep my kids contained when they were young. The first few Christmases our toddlers were out of harms way when they were playing in their ‘baby jail’.  Then as they got older and were wandering around the house I was left with a dilemma – how do I stop them from pulling the tree down onto themselves, electrocuting themselves with fairy lights and choking on ornaments? That’s when I came up with my brilliant plan – I put the Christmas tree in the playpen. I raised it up on a small side table so the munchkins couldn’t reach the bottom branches, then put it at the back of the playpen, so that I created an exclusion zone the kids couldn’t enter. As a bonus, they couldn’t touch and feel the presents underneath either!

I was reminiscing about this the other day as we put up our Christmas tree for this festive season. As my kids have grown up, the tree is no longer only decorated on the bottom branches. This year the kids decided to have a colour scheme on the tree, so all hand made ornaments made from paddlepop sticks and cardboard were left in the box.

I think back to Christmases past and how I couldn’t wait to have a beautifully decorated tree the kids wouldn’t touch. Now that those days are here, I feel nostalgic for mangy handmade decorations and the tree stuck in solitary confinement!