A few new releases have crossed my desk in the lead up to Christmas, and few others I have heard about from colleagues. Here is a quick round up of what’s new on the shelves, and who these picture books might be suitable for as a gift this Christmas… Continue reading
Like many families, we have a growing collection of Christmas books. I keep these with the Christmas tree and decorations so that they only come out in December. We add one or two each year to the existing favourites. As we are Christians, it is important that the kids have books which tell the real story of Jesus’ birth, as well as fun stories about Santa. Continue reading
A very happy Christmas to all of my readers! May you and your families be blessed at this special time of year. On Christmas Day, make sure you look your kids right in the eye and tell them that you love them, and that you are so glad they are yours. There is no greater gift you can give your children than unconditional love.
Don’t forget that you too are loved unconditionally – by the One who started all this Christmas stuff in the first place.
Thank you all for your comments, emails, tweets, and most of all friendship in 2010. Enjoy this socialmedia-savvy retelling of the Nativity Story…
Cath / SquiggleMum xx
We are always busy, busy on Christmas Day. Two excited kids will rush to stockings at dawn, we’ll be off to church at 7am where I’ll be singing, and then we’ll be sharing with friends and family all day. Lots of presents to give, and food to eat, and love to share.
But Christmas Eve is our special time. Our time for the four of us to just be a family together.
- We wrap the last of the presents.
- We read the Christmas Story together.
- The kids put out their stockings.
- We turn the house lights off and sit in front of the twinkling tree.
- We pray for others – especially for less fortunate families in Australia, for children living in poverty, and for all those who will be working on Christmas Day.
- We get the kids into bed early! They need a good night’s sleep before the big day.
Then hubby and I get time to ourselves. There are always carols by candlelight* on tv, so while we listen we wrap the kids’ presents, and prepare food for the next day. In the “calm before the storm” we take a moment to be grateful for all the blessings in our lives.
How do you spend Christmas Eve?
(* In Australia, Christmas is in our mid-summer. We have a tradition of big-scale, outdoor Christmas concerts where everyone sits on blankets with candles to sing carols together. The biggest of these are televised nationally and include performances by Australia’s finest entertainers.)
As 2010 comes to a close (oh. my. goodness!) we say goodbye to some of the people in our “village” who have helped to raise our kids: teachers, carers, coaches, babysitters, specialists… But what to give to show our appreciation?
This morning on air I suggested some alternatives to the usual gifts:
Listen here! SquiggleMum Podcast – thankyou gifts
- Instead of chocolates… give a bowl of fruit.
- Instead of a bunch of flowers… give a potted plant.
- Instead of a book or calendar… give a magazine.
- Instead of a coffee mug… give a range of teas or some gorgeous coffee.
- More than anything… make sure you include a handwritten thank you card or note.
Two fruitbowls (one pictured above), wrapped in clear cellophane and finished with a Christmas bow went to my daughter’s kindy teachers yesterday. What a wonderful year she has had! Of course we included two thank you cards, and a handmade gift for use in the kindy. (It is summer here in Australia, so our fruitbowls were full of delicious stonefruits and juicy mango. Mmmm.)
Don’t forget – when it comes to thank you gifts, the amount you spend is NOT an indication of how grateful you are!
This week on 96Five FM (podcast below) I talked about their current campaign to send 3500 letters to soldiers serving away from home this Christmas. Many readers will know that I grew up in an Army family myself. My Dad served in the Australian Defence Force for 20 years, and much of my childhood was spent moving where ever Dad was posted. I remember the times when Dad was away. We missed him, and I’m sure he missed us too.
This year many Aussie families will be missing loved ones at Christmas because they are serving overseas. Kids will miss Dads. Husbands will miss wives. Parents will miss their adult children. And soldiers will miss all that Christmas means to them back home.
So will you join me in writing a letter? Just print off the letter head and write a quick note. All the instructions you need are available on 96Five’s site. Letters need to arrive at 96Five by this Friday, 10th December in order to make it into the hands of troops for Christmas.
I helped Miss 4 to write her own letter. Her words are precious, “You might miss your family at Christmas and feel sad. Don’t worry because you can blow kisses to them. Kisses can fly all around the world (and they don’t pop)!”
If you’d like to hear my radio interview it’s available here: SquiggleMum Podcast – letters to war
PS – I wish I could also write a letter to every Mummy who has to manage this Christmas on her own with the kids while Daddy is away. I would tell each mum that her kids won’t appreciate what she does, or notice how hard it is for her right now, but one day they’ll grow up. And then they will. xx