december

December is here!

Welcome to December, and the start of 2018 advent calendars!

Love Santa December count down

This year, we are effectively doing four calendars each day!

What? Why? you ask… let me answer!

So we are doing the Lego City calendar and Friends Lego Advent calendars again because my kids love them and I appreciate getting a quality item each day rather than chocolate or rubbishy toys.

On top of that, we are doing an ornament advent calendar and a Christmas book calendar.

Each day we will share what we find inside the three calendars and which book we will read.

Ornament Calendar Day One & a Christmas read

The ornament calendar actually includes a lovely story inside it so we read it tonight instead of an actual book!

The calendar is a set of cardboard ornaments that you create after popping them out of the booklet. Once you pop out the ornament pieces, you can see a picture behind it so there are two surprises each day!

press out pieces all in place at the star of teh advent calendar count down

Our first ornament is a bauble, based on two pieces. The pieces are thick and sturdy, and can be placed back into the booklet if you wanted to store them for next year. Fitting them together is fairly easy, but the slots are shaped to give a firm fit that stays together.

Press out advent calendar - day one star in a tree

It’s worth noting that the ornaments have a little hole for threading something through to enable hanging, but you have to find the something yourself. I used green sewing thread so it is close to invisible when we hung the ornament, but there was a bit of scrambling for something as I hadn’t thought ahead for it!

So then we read the story, Wrapping up for Christmas. With my daughter’s love of babies satisfied and seeing Santa take presents in his sleigh, we enjoyed seeing how an elf and Santa dealt with a simple mistake in a positive way – a great start to our Christmas reading!

Lego City Day One

It’s not a very Christmassy start, but the City calendar had a spaceship behind the first flap. A spaceship or rocket was also in the 2015 (a spacecraft) and 2015 (two rockets) Lego City advent calendars.

Lego spaceship on a red background

Lego Friends Day One

Lego advent calendar red heart

And my daughter was surprised to find a large red love heart as her first advent calendar item this year. It is red, true, and Christmas is a time for showing love but it really felt like this was better suited for Valentines Day than 1 December… But it is cute and has a star so we’re happy with the start of our advent calendars.

 

It’s the first of December…

First of December and that means it’s time to start opening advent calendars and counting down to Christmas!

Lego Advent calendars

Like last year, we have Lego City and Lego Friends calendars this year and will share the calendars as we work through December…

Two Lego advent calendars ready to open...

Two Lego advent calendars ready to open…

So today we opened up the day one flaps…

opening day one flaps in 2016 Lego advent calendars

Opening the first flaps for 2016!

Lego City had two snowmen – a dad and his son apparently! – with red scarves.

collage of Lego snowmen from advent calendar

And the Lego Friends flap revealed Emma.

packet and result of Lego Emma in advent calendar

What sort of advent calendar did you start today?

 

Final Santa letter orders for 2011

One week until Santa arrives which means there is little time left to get a personalised letter from Santa this year.

Unlike on Christmas Eve, Santa relies on Australia Post to deliver his letters so final delivery times vary depending on where you live so the Posties have time to get your letter to you. Here are the deadlines…Love Santa personalised letter sample

Melbourne                                             midnight Tuesday 20 December

Victoria and other capital cities      midnight Monday 19 December

other states                                            midnight Sunday 18 December

However, the sooner you order the better chance it will arrive before Santa – the Posties do get very very busy this week! And it’s good to let the kids use the activity ideas included with each letter, too.

 

Reduce stress…

This isn’t directly Christmassy, but the lead up to Christmas can be very stressful for some people – the end of year tasks, school holdiays starting, more social engagements, Christmas shopping and so on all add up.

Santa is all about sharing happiness, so here are some great ways to reduce your stress this December…

  • let go of your stressors on some beautiful leaves (better in Autumn, but it’s a lovely thought and maybe some bark would be a good alternative.) Thanks to Jennifer for this lovely idea and inspiration
  • take some water therapy – minimising your water use of course!
  • take time to appreciate life and forget your worries for a moment
  • read some positive thoughts -and share your own – in teh well of positivity and help brest cancer research at the same time
  • decorate a Christmas tree or your house
  • wrap a gift for someome less fortunate
  • look through photos of Christmas past and enjoy some memories
  • watch children sit on Santa’s lap a the shops, etc – their delight is fun to see
  • do some yoga, tai chi or other relaxing movements
  • join a laughing group/club – at least try it once!
  • tell someone what makes them beautiful – and automatically help women with cancer
  • watch the sun rsie or set – better, watchboth in the same day
  • give a hug
  • smile!
  • turn off your mobile phone and emails at least one night a week

And share your ideas on ways to relax this December…

Christmas shopping…

How is your Christmas shopping going? The more you can do before 1 December, the better. Why?

  • it avoids the need to go to the shops during those crazy, busy December days (and nights)
  • it spreads out the expense of Christmas
  • you can save money if you buy things on special rather than the day before you need them
  • you have more time to realise you forgot something and grab it before you actually need it!

Other than perishable foods, do you try to get everything bought before December?

What is Boxing Day?

The 26th of December is known in many countries as Boxing Day, in particular, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada.

Some say it originated as the day when Christmas was packed up – things put away, boxes thrown out, etc.

In England, it was tradition that on Boxing Day gifts were given to employees and the poor. The theory being that staff would work hard to give you a nice Christmas Day so on Boxing Day you thanked them with a gift.

It is a public holiday in Australia* so most of us don’t work unless we are in essential services or retail…

How do you celebrate (or not) Boxing Day? What does the term ‘Boxing Day’ mean to you?

* In South Australia, they have a Proclamation Day holiday instead of Boxing Day but it’s still the 26th of December.

Birthday close to Christmas

Today is my son’s 4th birthday.

We went to the shopping centre to get some last minute things for his party, and we thought we’d stop in on Santa too. When we first arrived, Santa was having lunch, so we had a chat to his helper who takes the photos. DS happily told him it was his birthday today and showed him one of the trains he’d got as a present. We decided to come back after shopping.

When we returned, Santa was there and wished DS a very Happy Birthday, even giving him a birthday present of a bouncy ball with a Santa face in it. As usual this year, he informed Santa that he wants a turntable for Christmas, and that’s it! DS was delighted with this visit to Santa and Santa remembering his birthday too and chatted about Santa the whole way home.

DS was also pleased to tell his big brother about it – cos big brother’s birthday is in January & there’s no Santas in the shopping centres to visit then!

Love Santa letter winners!

It took a bit of time yesterday to read all the stories again and decide on a winner. Actually, it was two winners as we chose one form November and one from December 🙂 Each winner recevies one personalised letter from Love Santa for an Australian child they love.

So the November winner is Precious Water for the funny and sweet story of his daughter ‘s fear when he was being Santa.

And the December winner is Donna-Marie for her reminiscences about European-style Christmases as a child in Australia.

Congratulations to both of you and we hope the special little children in your life delight you with many smiles 🙂

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