I've lost the plot this year as far as Christmas goes. It was only when my sister called this morning to talk about christmas food etc (we're going there this year) that I realised we only have two weeks to go. TWO WEEKS. For the last fews years, because of the long advents we've usually had almost four weeks after our school fair and this year's short advent has come as a bit of a surprise to me giving me only three weeks. Trouble is it generally takes me a week to recover from the fair so hence the 'only' two weeks left......... Well, I've made a huge list of who's getting what and now I just have to purchase it - thank goodness for Etsy, Ebay and Amazon I say. I don't think I'll be able to avoid a trip to the nearest out-of-town shopping centre though but I need to psyche myself up and maybe just go for it one morning after dropping the children off at school. Thank goodness I have all those journals made already as they'll be great for close friends and my sisters.
I made our first mince pies today and over half were gone in a flash. I've also got in some stollen, pannetone and some lebkuchen and ofcourse a lovely tin of ameretti biscuits. I've held of getting a tin of Quality street (chocolates) just yet - more traditions in our household as you can see.
The christmas cards are made and all I have to do now is write in them. This usually takes me ages because I like to jot down a little news in each one. The list gets shorter each year as I ruthlessly take people off it who don't write any news and just sign their name. My logic is that if you see someone regularly it's OK just to sign your name but if you have't seen someone for a year or more what's the point of sending a card without any news. Your'e obviously not close anymore and you should just let the friendship go - harsh I know. But I want to know what the friend is up to or what the children are doing.
As I said last time my cards this year are more or less the same as the ones I made two years ago. I collected some christmas stamps a while ago and I basically pasted them on to red mulberry paper which I glued on to black card and then a bit of glitter glue around the edges. There are some lovely old stamps about:
We put the tree up today and dotted decorations around the place. We're going to make paperchains this week and biscuits to hang on the tree. I make them with sweets in the middle so that the tree lights show through. Promise to post up a recipe at the weekend - it's a lovely thing to do with the children and also makes a nice end of school gift for friends. Just go out and buy a bag of different coloured boiled sweets - I don't think they have a name do they?
Mary and Joseph are nearly halfway along the star path already and some animals have appeared on the table. We're still reading our stories every night and I wanted to just share some of our favourite ones with you. Most of them are on the flickr group I created but here's a quick mention of our top five.
A beautiful, beautiful book which makes me cry each time I read it. About a woodcutter who lost his wife and child and is commissioned to carve a nativity scene for a woman and her son. Through this work he comes slowly out of his grief.
A poor sad donkey out on the common on christmas eve. Lonely until he hears the tinkling of bells overhead.
The angel host fly down to earth but the little angel is too young to join them. She knows that she is needed on earth that night so goes anyway......and needed she is.
This one is just choc full of ....joy. Full of lovely stories, poems, carols and ofcourse the illustrations are just wonderful. We come back to this one time amd time again. I could go on and on but if you want to see what else we're reading click here.
I was going to show you how to make stars out of kite paper but it wasn't meant to be .... I didn't have any kite paper, so I bought some from school this morning which got soaked in the pouring rain ......... never mind. I will leave you with a link to this amazing snowflake site though. Last year most of the patterns were free I think but this year you have to be a member. However, he does have some free patterns. It might be worth joining though as the snowflakes that adorned our windows last year were beauties. Just click here. Got to go and write those cards...........