children

Kids love Santa letters

An article in The Australian newspaper today reported that despite messages to Santa being available via email, sms, etc, children still prefer to send Santa an old fashioned snailmail letter like we all remember doing.

Apparently, 6 million letters were sent to Santa in 2006 (glad the postal workers have been counting as Santa and th elves were too busy reading to count!) and that is likely to be less than this year’s total.

The Universal Postal Union represents 191 countries and has over 5 million people helping deliver letters and cards to and from Santa each year!

Dear Santa, Love Mum

I just had to share this one… I especially like the very last line.

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a good mum all year. I’ve fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor’s office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of choc.bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son’s red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I’ll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I’d like a pair of legs that don’t ache (in any colour, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don’t hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the lolly aisle in the grocery store.

I’d also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you’re hauling big ticket items this year I’d like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn’t broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, ‘Yes, Mummy’ to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don’t fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting ‘Don’t eat in the living room’ and ‘Take your hands off your brother,’ because my voice seems to be just out of my children’s hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it’s too late to find any of these products, I’d settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don’t mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare tomato sauce a  vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment
as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don’t catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don’t eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,

MUM!

P.S. One more thing…you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children happy, healthy and always believing.

Through the eyes of children

When I was little my sisters and I would LOVE Christmas Eve. My step-father and his family were from Europe and so we celebrated the festive season on Christmas Eve at either my grandparent’s home or my Aunt’s home. Either way, it was special.

Grandpa would have lovingly put up the Christmas tree weeks before – a Christmas tree that stretched up to the ceiling and spread out across the room. We would feast on a range of Australian and European foods, including some specialities that Grandma would only make at this time of year, and there were never enough of those! But there was always MORE THAN ENOUGH food to feed us well for a week and then some!

After dinner we would open presents… piles and piles of gifts, carefully wrapped and decorated. But the present-opening wasn’t a frenzied free for all. We would hand out the gifts one at a time – that was always done by the kids – and then everyone would watch as the recipient opened their present, then we could hand out another.

The night continued with a myriad of Christmas music, dancing and performances by my sisters, cousin and myself, and perhaps some Christmas movies thrown in too.  And there were always on-going discussions throughout the night as to who was going to Midnight Mass and who was staying home. Grandma always chose Mass and at least one other adult would have to accompany her.

Somewhere between 1am and 2am we would be fighting to keep our eyes open and would eventually fall asleep in some corner of the loungeroom (or on an adult lap), only to be carried, still sleeping, to the car and then into bed (still fully dressed) when we arrived back home at around 3-4am.

We still celebrate on Christmas Eve but now that I’m grown up the tree doesn’t seem quite so big. And being allowed to stay up practically all night for one night of the year isn’t as big a deal as it was back then, yet the magic is still there. Instead, the magic now comes from watching the excitement in the eyes of the current generation of littlies – my son, nieces and nephew. As I watch their sparkling faces I fully understand their awe at the size of the Christmas tree and their excitement at being able to stay up waaaaay past bedtime.

Merry Christmas to all…

Christmas Decorations

Christmas tree with golden decorationsChristmas decorations have been in the shops for ages, but many traditions say they the tree and decorations shouldn’t be out until December.

Putting up decorations too early takes away some of the magic of Christmas, I feel. They are there so long they have less impact when Santa arrives – they become part of the backgorund.

I also think it is confusing for young children – they see decorations and trees and Santas so assume it is Christmas tomorrow – how hard it is to explain “no, Santa isn’t coming for another 2 or 3 months yet”. Frustrating for parents, too.

When do you put up a tree at home? Do you decorate the rest of the house as well?

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