fbpx

Welcome to the Love Santa Blog

A spoonful of happiness!

Walking through our local park recently, I spotted a new addition – Spoonville.

I have no idea who put this into our park, but am very grateful to them – I know that it turned my day around and gave me a huge smile when I first discovered it. And I have seen so many other people stop, smile and admire the growing Spoonville village.

Like the teddy bears and rainbows we shared earlier in the year, Spoonville is a very simple idea that many people can participate with to build community and create smiles in the challenging times that 2020 and COVID-19 have brought us. Adding a face and decorations to a spoon is all it takes to participate – and I love that the town sign states “All spoons welcome”.

And our local Spoonville does keep on  growing…

Have you seen anything like Spoonville?

Just today, I noticed that a local kinder also has some spoons in their front garden and  my daughter’s school sent out a notice that they have added a Spoonville village in their garden, too.

Set of colourful spoon people in a kinder garden bed

Kinder Spoonville

There is actually a website celebrating Spoony villages and Spoon people around the world! It is lovely to see a group of ‘people’ who can happily be close together without worrying about social distancing or spreading a virus!

If you start a Spoonville of your own, or participate in an existing one, let us know in the comments and maybe share a photo or two!

A Bellbird in a Flame Tree – Christmas book review

A Bellbird in a flame tree Book cover of a bellbird in a flame tree

by Kilmeny Niland
Cornstalk Publishing, Sydney, 1994

Age group: 3 and above

Format: hardcover, 32 pages

An Aussie version of the twelve days of Christmas, illustrator Kilmeny Niland includes not one partridge in sight!

The story

On the twelfth day of Christmas, a Christmas true love sends a bellbird in an Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius). This is followed by koalas, dingoes, quokkas, numbats and other Australian creatures over the course of twelve days leading up to Christmas.

My review

While the tune and concept are well known, it is nice to have 12 days of Christmas show Australian animals and trees rather than English ones. And Aussie children certainly know more about koalas and wallabies than leaping lords and turtle doves!

Laughing koalas around a Christmas treeNiland has chosen animals well known but also fitting to the original tune. His illustrations show a true knowledge of the animals, but with a cheeky twist with grinning dingoes and koalas! Great for Aussie kids to feel it’s real and for non Aussies to learn about our native animals.

There’s not much to say about the plot, but each page has a Christmas element to the images, such as lorikeets carrying a paper chain, crocodiles singing carols by candlelight and numbats knitting stockings for a mantlepiece.

Whilst the CD is missing from my version, the song is well known enough to sing without the CD, or use any other version of the song if needed. Alternatively, play the music yourself as a score (as arranged by Elizabeth Hemphill) is included at the back of the book.

Would I recommend it? Yes, I do recommend it as simple story well suited to Aussie kids. The illustrations are bright and cheerful, and you have the choice to read or sing this book!

A mouse marching with a candy cane in a book

Santa’s Christmas charm – Christmas book review

Santa’s Christmas charm

text &  by Diane O’Hanesian
illustrations by Lee Krutop
Ice Water Press, Australia, 01 October 2012

Age group: 3 to 8 years old

Format: 24 page hardcover picture book

This is another op shop purchase I made leading up to last Christmas.

The story

Santa has lost his lucky charm and it’s Christmas Eve – how will he make all those deliveries without it?

My review

This is a cute little story about Santa leaving for this big Christmas Eve trip. Elf is trying to get Santa to hurry but Santa is distracted by wondering where he left his good luck charm that he carries every Christmas Eve.

I like that Santa is positive about each alternative thing he finds (for example making friends with a mouse instead of being disappointed it isn’t his charm!) And I think it not only makes Santa approachable by his forgetfulness but will also be something younger can relate to, having lost precious things of their own while a parent is trying to get out the door in a hurry!

The flaps on the pages are quite subtle and obviously work well with the story as children get to discover what Santa finds each time. They are just paper flaps though, so some care may be required for the littlest of readers.

A charm actually comes with the book although it was missing from our copy (hopefully the previous owner thoroughly enjoyed the charm, and may has it still as a Christmas tree decoration.)

Krutop’s illustrations match the story perfectly and include some nice details – I love Santa’s woollen coat and the expressions on Elf’s face!

Would I recommend it? This is a happy little book with flaps for interactivity and lovely illustrations. Children will love the idea of a charm so yes, I’d say it is a nice Christmas book to have.

 

Rainbows make the world smile

We’ve had teddy bears and friends in windows and on lawns, and now we are finding rainbows popping up to cheer us all on during these unusual times.

Where have you seen rainbows in your area?

I have seen rainbows in chalk on the footpath, on paper stuck to windows and fences, flags hanging in windows and over verandas, colourful paper chains, and even rainbow dream catchers in windows.

Collage of rainbows in windows

Footpath artwork can raise the spirits of everyone walking past! And I love the colouring of the services pit cover, too.

 

Sharing some teddy happiness

We are in the  midst of a global pandemic which brings with it sadness, worry, new rules and tensions. It is a tough time.

However, there are lots of positive signs, too. People are connecting around the world as we all watch and experience the Corona virus. By staying apart, we are staying together is the new slogan – social distancing and reducing gatherings is a way we can protect each other and especially the most vulnerable in our communities. Our frontline responders are standing up and doing what must be done, and people are finding ways to show our gratitude.

And teddy bears are helping put smiles on our faces!

In case you haven’t caught up on this movement, many people are placing a teddy bear or similar toy in a window or other visible spot so that local children can see them. This means that a daily walk can be fun and positive as youngsters (and those young at heart of course!) can search for teddies and see how many they can find. It’s very simple and very effective.

One on my neighbours has been putting her teddies in different themed settings each day and some families are walking past daily to see what she has come up with!

Have you been spotting teddy bears and friends in your local area? Have you put any soft friends on display?

Collage of teddy bears in windows and trees

Christmas Elf Aussie Scrabble!

Tinkles, our Christmas elf, was playing Aussie Scrabble this morning!

So yesterday, my son’s Christmas present from Sunday was put to use by Tinkles  and Ginger. Now, today my daughter’s present is in use – cheeky elves must think the presents were for them!

Aussie Scrabble is just like normal scrabble in that you have seven tiles to place as words on the board, but there are some extra cards to add an Aussie flavour. That’s as specific as I can explain as we haven’t yet played a game of it, and Tinkles hasn’t told me any additional details or rules!

Christmas elf and Lego dragon playing Aussie Scrabble

Tinkles playing Aussie Scrabble with the Lego Dragon she rode last year!

A closer look at the board, shows some words appropriate for Christmas elves and for being Christmas Eve! If you can’t read them, they have made ‘Lovesanta’, ‘Tinkles’, ‘reindeer’, ‘elf’ and ‘Christmas’.

Lego Dragon and Christmas elf made Christmas words on the scrabble board

As long as Dragon knows how to spell Ginger, he can get a decent score on his next go in the game!

Elf snack time!

After a busy weekend and the fruit last Thursday, Tinkles must have felt she was allowed something a bit sweeter today… Or maybe she just needed to replace some energy after her big trip yesterday and car racing this morning!

Tinkles and Baby Elf having some morning tea

 

I like how Tinkles had spread out a Christmassy picnic rug (otherwise known as some Christmas fabric I had in the cupboard!) and used a high chair for Ginger the Baby Elf! Ginger had a big strawberry but Tinkles had a rather large slice of cake with her lemonade!

Christmas elves racing!

Amongst other things, Tinkles and Ginger watched everyone open presents yesterday which included my son opening a pair of remote control cars.

The kids had a lovely time racing the cars when we got home last night, and that must have appeared fun as we woke this morning to find three elves sitting on cars about to start a race!

three elves seated on remote control cars

At closer inspection, it turned out that Ginger was not alone on her car – Harry, Hermione and Ron (from the Harry Potter Lego advent calendar) were propped on the windscreen as well!

Ginger the baby Christmas elf sitting on a remote control car

There has already been lots of laughter at the elves racing around the house – I hope Tinkles and Ginger hold on tight!

Travelling elves!

Today, we are going to a family Christmas function – and we’re taking Tinkles and Ginger with us!

After checking the pantry and elves for where we last saw our Christmas elves, the kids ran around trying to find where they had moved to, and see what they may be up to!

Tinkles and Ginger in a container so they can be carried on an outing with us!

 

Tinkles' note says "I stuffed myself and baby in here so you can take me to see what happens at Mim's house this year!"

Tinkles’ note says “I stuffed myself and baby in here so you can take me to see what happens at Mim’s house this year!”

elves in a container with a pouring section of the lid open

Luckily Tinkles chose a container with a lid so the elves can breathe whilst in there all day!

 

Tinkles & Ginger hiding apart

It was Ginger, the newly named Baby Elf, that we spotted first today, sitting on top of some elves hanging on a window!

Tinkles took a little longer to find, but we found her cheeky face sticking out of a box of tacos! I hope she didn’t eat all the taco shells as I think that may be our dinner tonight now she’s put the idea into my head!

Naming a baby elf!

So for the first few days after the baby elf arrived, everyone was happy calling her Baby Elf 🙂

Then my daughter decided she should really have a name and began choosing names. After some thought, she asked Santa and Tinkles if she could help give the baby a name…

Tinkles responded with ‘Yes please”…

My children added a note into Tinkles’ letterbox with name suggestions…

The note to Santa reads “[She] wants Candy Cane and I want Ginger (short for Gingerbread)”

It took a day or so, but they received a response from Santa and Tinkles…

If you can’t read that, the note says “Dear kids, thank you so much for offering to help name Baby Elf! Tinkles and I, along with Mrs Claus, the other elves and even the reindeer, had been debating a name. We finally agreed to use your two suggestions, Candy Cane ad Ginger (short for gingerbread), and voted on it…

“So it is with great pleasure that Tinkles introduces you to Ginger!”

 

Tinkles merrily on high!

Ding dong merrily on high,
In heav’n the bells are ringing:
Ding dong! Tinkles the elfie
Is sit’n with faces grinning*

It was not until my son walked out the back door that anyone spotted Tinkles this morning!

Ding dong elf on high!

She is sitting on the roof of our two storey cubby! Goodness only knows how she got herself up there, but she is looking quite pleased with a bit of sunshine and a nice view.

Due to the slope of our land, the cubby roof and my eye height at the back door are fairly close so she is was fairly obvious once we went out the back door, but nobody had spotted her through the windows! My daughter had opened every drawer in the kitchen and looked under every bit of furniture in the family room trying to find her 🙂

Tinkles had probably watched us search for her as she has a great view into the family room windows today 🙂

In the meantime, Ginger the baby elf was back in her cradle with a new message for the kids…

Baby elf note "Last day of school - have fun!" Baby elf note "Last day of school - have fun!"

 

* Original lyrics of Ding Dong Merrily On High are by English composer George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848–1934), with a few personalisations by me to suit Tinkles’ latest escapade!

Love Santa - www.lovesanta.com.au

Order Cut Off Dates

Please note that letters need to be ordered before December 18 to be delivered before Christmas!

Order now to be sure of delivery before Christmas. Keep an eye on our blog for final ordering days as we get close to Christmas Eve.

Privacy Policy

Under no circumstances, not even under threat of having to fill in for Santa on Christmas Eve, will your details of any kind be given, sold or lent to any other party.