Christmas activities

Last day of advent calendars!

Yes, it is Christmas Eve, Santa is almost here and our Christmas count downs are just about done!

Ornament calendar

Given it is Christmas Eve, finding Santa behind the flap is perfect! This is one of my favourite ornaments from this set – it just works really well with the two pieces giving the impression of Santa’s rotund body and cheeriness!

The cute image underneath of Santa racing down a hill on a sled is fun, too.

Press out decoration Santa on the Christmas tree

 

Lego City

Like the press-out calendar, the Lego City calendar left Santa until Christmas Eve! It was not unexpected (Santa was also on day 24 in 2015, 2016 and 2017) but still fun to find and build Santa carrying his sack!

This is what Santa looked like before we put him together.

Santa and his sack, with the Christmas tree and presents behind.

 

Lego Friends

Unlike the other two advent calendars, Lego Friends did not finish with Santa or even a Christmas tree. Instead we made a lovely little train pulling a trailer carrying a letter (to Santa perhaps?)

Lego Friends train

Christmas book

Of course, we had to save The night before Christmas to read tonight in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. Hopefully it will help put everyone to sleep nice and early…

Day 23, or Little Christmas Eve, is here!

Happy Little Christmas Eve, as they call it in Norway.

Ornament calendar

The hidden image tonight was cute – Merrit peering at a smiling bauble in a tree! We then made a red and orange bauble to hang on our tree.

finding a Christmas bauble decoration in the calendar

Lego City

The Lego City calendar produced a yellow helicopter which my son enjoyed putting together.

yellow Lego helicopter

Lego Friends

Tonight’s most exciting discovery, however, was the Christmas Tree in the Friends calendar.

Lego Christmas tree ornament

Christmas book

Our Christmas book is That’s good, that’s bad which the kids always enjoy, even if it is not my favourite Christmas story.

Day 22 – Christmas is close now…

Only two more flaps to open after tonight – we’re getting very close to Santa’s arrival now! Have you planned your snack to leave out for Santa yet?

Ornament calendar

We pressed out and created a shooting star for day 22. The picture underneath is cute, with two kids looking out a window at a shooting star – but I love that the neighbouring picture (from day 17) has Merrit and a reindeer also looking at the shooting star!

Shooting star ornament

Lego City

We made a little robot in the Lego City advent calendar tonight. The wind up key didn’t attach on the back as the instructions indicated though so my husband stuck it on the robot’s head instead!

small Lego robot on red background

Interestingly, there is a robot in the Christmas Collectables, too! I still don’t see the connection to Christmas, other than someone wanting one as a gift (but on that basis, EVERYTHING could be included!)

Lego Friends

Strangely, tonight’s Lego ornament is a microscope… well maybe not so strange if that is one of the decorations representing a Heartlake friend I guess (and I am more than happy if one of the Lego girls is into science as that is a great role model for kids).

Lego microscope ornament

Christmas book

And now we are going to settle down with our next Christmas book – Where’s Santa? I hope you enjoy your Christmas reading tonight, too!

Creating some collectables

While we don’t go shopping anywhere just to get their gimmicks, we have managed to gather a few of the Woolworths Christmas collectables this year. Have you collected them, too?

I decided to keep them aside so we could put them together as a Christmas activity, which we did this afternoon.  It was a simple activity but we all enjoyed doing it together.

 

I have no idea if we have all the different pieces but it is a good collection, and here are some of my thoughts about them.

  • they are made of cardboard – not plastic – so that is a HUGE win (we wouldn’t have collected any at all had they been plastic)
  • they are sturdy so will last – I think they will even be okay to use again next Christmas!
  • the layers of board can separate a bit too easily meaning pushing some bits through the slot was hard (particularly the key going into the robot – my daughter couldn’t get it in)
  • the collectables are more challenging to put together and sturdier than the ornaments in our press out advent calendar
  • some pieces don’t stand very well – for instance, the Christmas tree has two parts but as only one rests on the ground the final tree is wobbly

We don’t have the Christmas tree stand – Woolworths decided to only give it to some members (those who buy the ‘correct things’ during the year according to their response when I questioned this) and sell it to others, and I choose not to pay for it. So the kids can just arrange them on the mantle piece or their window sills I think.

Where do (or would) you display these collectables in your house? Would you add them to your stored Christmas items for next ear as well?

Santa with his sleigh, gingerbread man beside a gingerbread house

Countdown – day 21!

Well that’s it for the school year – the last schools have now had their final days (yes, state schools in some states have had classes right up to today!) and summer holidays are officially here! I think that makes tonight’s advent calendar opening even more exciting for those kids, including mine!

 

Ornament calendar

So, to finish the school year, my kids discovered a candle decoration and a picture of a candle with hot chocolate and an orange (maybe the orange is for us summer Christmas people and the drink for our northern neighbours?)

press out candle decoration

Lego City

Time is ticking away and Christmas is edging closer, so a themed clock tower is a well timed find in the City advent calendar tonight!

Lego tower clock

 

Lego Friends

Day twenty-one and Christmas presents have arrived! Cute little gifts with a holder on the side for a string to hang them on the tree, my daughter is very happy with today’s find!

to Lego presents with stars on top

Christmas book

Tonight’s book to share is the toys’ night before Christmas which is such a beautiful book and somewhat appropriate as we are getting so close to Christmas Eve!

Advent count down reaches day twenty!

Wow, we’ve made it to day twenty now.

What has happened on the 20th December? Well, in 1699 Peter the Great changed New Year from 1 September to 1 January, Grimm’s Rumpelstiltskin was first published in 1812, It’s a wonderful Life (a classic movie played every Christmas) premiered in 1946, and Rosa Parks sat in a ‘white seat’ on a bus in 1956.

Ornament calendar

Our ornament calendar today produced a sack for Santa – the image clearly shows it is full as the elves are struggling to move it!

Santa's sack pressed out ornament hanging on a tree hear a sleigh

Lego City

My son likes this mini digging machine, but I’m not sure it will fit in with his mining Lego very well as it is so small!

Lego digging machine

Lego Friends

Tonight’s Lego ornament is pretty – a white snowflake with blue ‘waterdrops’ on the end to give it colour and interest – and fits in with the white Christmas model.

Lego snowflake ornament

Christmas book

And tonight’s Christmas book is Santa is coming to Australia! – and he is coming soon! It is a cute book and my kids love spotting places they can recognise – maybe we can get a map out tonight and they can trace Santa’s journey across Australia, too.

It’s Wednesday and it’s day 19 in our countdown

Wednesday, middle of the working week and heading for our last weekend before Christmas…

What Christmas cooking have you done this year? Maybe some edible gifts, a gingerbread creation, vanilla wreaths or perhaps some Turron.

Ornament calendar

Merrit holding a baby’s rattle – a very relevant ornament theme once you have read the accompanying story – and having her hand licked by a reindeer in the hidden image.

AN elf holding a baby rattle ornament

Lego City

The Lego City advent calendar’s flap revealed a lot of pieces tonight – my son formed them into two remote cars and two remote controllers, with a lo of spare pieces left over. I wonder how many kids will get a remote control car from Santa this year?

two Lego remote controls and matching cars

Lego Friends

We now have a gingerbread man ornament hanging up, thanks to the Friends calendar. He is quite cute and but I don’t think he’d be as much fun to eat as our gingerbread sleigh or gingerbread house!

Lego gingerbread man ornament

 

Christmas book

Tonight, my son is going to read us Wake up Bear! which I am truly looking forward to as I remember it being a special story we enjoyed last time we read it.

We’re onto day 18 in advent calendars

One week to go to Christmas! School, work, advent calendars and preparations are still going strong though, so let’s find out what our calendars provided for day eighteen…

Ornament calendar

Perhaps not a typical ornament, Santa’s hat is certainly a well known symbol of Christmas and good cheer!

collage of Santa's hat ornament pictures

Lego City

As there is a picture of this on the box, my son has been looking for this monster truck to come out of the calendar since day one!

Lego monster truck

Lego Friends

Following on from all the cupcakes on Sunday (day sixteen), the Friends ornament is a cake stand.

Lego cake stall

Christmas book

Tonight’s Christmas book is going to be Santa’s Husband which is such a great book for making us question perceptions and accepting alternatives. If you haven’t read it with your family yet, I suggest you read my review (so you know what to expect) and then read the book with as many children as you can!

8 days to Christmas – day seventeen is here!

Just 8 days to go until Christmas – are you excited or worried about the size of your ‘things to do before Christmas’  list?

Ornament calendar

While this ornament looks fancy and is bigger than most other ones, it was still just two simple pieces interconnected to make our reindeer.

Images of the press out reindeer ornament

Lego City

I love the little chef with his tray of biscuits that my son found behind flap 17! He is inspiring me to go bake something, too…

Lego chef with a tray of biscuits

Lego Friends

Today’s ornament from the Friends advent calendar is colourful and cute – but is it a boot on wheels or an unusually shaped vehicle?

Lego boot on wheels

Christmas book

Tonight’s Christmas book is The naughtiest reindeer in the zoo which will be a nice story to read while those biscuits are cooking I think!

Day sixteen in the Christmas countdown!

After a busy day on the Santa train, the kids were tired but happy to open the 16th flap of their advent calendars…

Ornament calendar

Back to fitting pieces together, for day sixteen the press out advent calendar provided a blue gift box above an image of Merrit the Elf carrying many gifts to Santa’s sleigh.

Elf carrying tall pile of gifts

Lego City

A simple little cupcake trolley was behind flap 16 in the Lego City Advent Calendar.

Lego cake trolley

Lego Friends

Hanging on the tree, this Lego Friends ornament is quiet cute, but it was one of the hardest Lego constructions we’ve come across. It looked like one circular piece was attached to multiple hinges and the other circular piece was floating above it – there was no obvious way to attach it. Eventually, we realised that the white space it was floating above was actually a white Lego cylinder! From that point, assembling the cupcake was easy!

Lego cupcake Christmas ornament

Christmas book

There was an old bloke who swallowed a present will amuse us tonight as we continue our “Christmas book a night” advent activity!

Christmas advent day fifteen

Second last Saturday before Christmas and there is Christmas everywhere, including day fifteen of advent calendars!

Ornament calendar

In today’s calendar we still pressed out two pieces but strangely they do not interconnect – we have two decorations! It sort of makes sense as not many people go around with one ice skate, but still felt a little strange.

ice skate decorations on the tree

Lego City

The anticipated Christmas tree popped out from under flap fifteen.

Lego Christmas tree

Lego Friends

We are debating what the Friends ornament from day fifteen actually is… To me, it looks like a platter or board for holding cupcakes to hand around at a Christmas party, but my children think it is a present. Once hanging, it does really look like a present, but why are there raised bits (that look like Lego cupcakes!) randomly sticking out from it?

Lego cupcake platter checkboard

Christmas book

Happy Christmas Spot is the cheery little book we will read tonight. Have you read this one with your kids this Christmas?

Myer window – Alice in Wonderland

This year’s Myer windows show the story of Alice in Wonderland, based on Rebecca Dautreme’s illustrations from her 2015 book (published to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carrol’s story originally being published in 1865). This is the second time Alice has featured in the Melbourne windows at Christmas.

collage of children watching ALice in Wonderland at Myer 2018 windows

Alice in Wonderland captivating children

The story starts with Alice trying food and drink that makes her grow and shrink – there is no sign of the white rabbit nor falling down the whole.

Alice eat and drinks, grows and shrinks

Alice is then shown as particularly large again as she appears trapped inside a house that is now too small for her.

Alice poking her head out of a too small house

A purple caterpillar then appears in a field of mushrooms.

purple caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland at Myer windows 2018

I love the ants crawling around under the mushrooms, too…

Following windows include the croquet game with the Queen of Hearts and her cards, and the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. I liked the table under a hills hoist and the details of food and tea bags in this scene, but was a bit thrown by a large white cat – the original Sir John Tenniel (illustrator) and Edward Dalziel (engraver) artwork had a stripy cat and Alice describes him as having lovely green eyes, and most of us are used to images from movies and books where he is purple or orange. White and fluffy just isn’t what to comes mind for the Cheshire cat!

Alice at the Mad Hatter's tea party

The croquet window was fun with moving hedgehogs and such tall, expressive flamingos!

Alice playing croquet with flamingo bats and hedgehog balls

The Queen of Hearts watching Alice play croquet

And Alice’s final adventure in the windows was visiting the drawing room with an array of characters.

The rabbit, the queen and others in the drawing room with Alice

Have you see Alice in the Myer windows?

It is exciting and fun to visit the Myer windows and my kids and I enjoyed seeing Alice. I have to admit that basing it on Dautreme’s illustrations made it less special for me as it moves away from my imagined Alice in a blue dress and an orange Cheshire cat, and I have heard others say the same thing. But the creation of the windows, the movement of Alice and others, and the attention to detail in the settings still made this a wonderful outing and a beautiful display.

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