Thursday, 29 December 2011

Christmas Parties ... rash promises

I love parties. I really, really love parties but perhaps I should stop going to them as I seem to have developed this strangely rash habit of saying I will do or not do things in front of lots of people.

At the beginning of December I stupidly bet a friend that we wouldn't turn the heating on (at that point we hadn't succumbed). Why? I have no idea. Luckily, as I had stubbornly taken to wearing gloves in bed Ed put us all out of our misery and put the heating on ... so I didn't technically lose because I didn't flick the switch!

Then at a party this week I agreed to not buy any new clothes for a whole year. I was drinking lemonade for goodness sake (lovely pink lemonade by the way) so can't even put it down to alcohol.

I could/should have just kept quiet about it and hoped that the other two people who agreed would forget (they weren't drinking pink lemonade so have an excuse) but then I thought it might be interesting to see if I can do it.

So I hereby declare that from 27th December 2011* until 27th December 2012 I will try not to buy any new clothes. Accessories/shoes are OK and I can buy second-hand clothes.

What have I let myself in for .... ? I'll keep you posted as to whether I "fall off the wagon". At the moment I'm thinking to myself if I don't actually go shopping how tricky can it be?

* I thought I would do it from 1st Jan but thinking ahead it might be good to be able to buy a new outfit for New Years Eve next year.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 24

Hang up your stocking.

You may remember me mentioning that I went into school to help the children make Christmas stockings, well here are some of them. I apologise for the revolting curtains {why do ALL schools have these yukky curtains?}. I think they did really well though and I loved them all.

Here is Archie's stocking.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 23

Watch a Christmas dvd.

If it is cold and dark outside then it has to be one of the best bits of Christmas holidays that you can snuggle up on the sofa in front of the fire and watch a Christmas film. Even better if you can get your duvet and have some hot chocolate too.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 22

Make some popcorn.

We love popcorn and use these very nifty microwave packs.

The only problem is that it's just too easy. In fact it is so easy to make (even Oscar can manage it) and you can easily make more .... and more .... and more ....

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 21

Make some mince pies.

Yes don't they look delicious. Did you make them yourself you ask.

Sorry I didn't quite catch that? Were you asking if I made them? ... What me? ... Myself?

Ummmmm no I didn't.

These are just one of the batches that have found there way from my Mum's kitchen to our house. We are very appreciative.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 20

Sing or listen to some carols.

We have been singing carols a lot this week. Although singing is probably stretching the description a bit far and actually even with Granny here the other day there was still quite a lot of "la la la la" when we forgot the words!
We also went to the village Christmas service on Sunday when my boys totally humiliated me by singing the wrong words to "We Three Kings".

This was the only carol they sang loudly.
This was the only carol they sang with joy.
This was the only carol they did not fidget or squirm through.

[Added 21/12/11] For those of you who don't know the words .... We Three Kings of Orient are, One in a taxi one in a car, one on a scooter picking his hooter smoking a fat cigar, Oooooo star of wonder star of light sit in a box of dynamite, light the fuse and off we go all the way to Mexico.

I sometimes ask myself what I did to deserve two boys ;-) I suspect their father was encouraging them, I also suspect that the people behind them wondered if they could be hearing correctly.

To finish on something good though here is a random but rather lovely photo taken from my bedroom window that Archie took yesterday morning ....

Monday, 19 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 19

Draw a picture of a Christmas Tree.

We found this picture recently. It had an accompanying message:

"To Fath Chritmas

Thankyou for the presents you have given me.

Please can your elf make me a wee and the new John Deere and a trailer and a red speed carbon wee game.

From Oscar

PS I believe in you Fath Chritmas. I believe your elf can make enething. Your randereera can go ene were. Fath Chritma you are wond ful."

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 18

Take a Christmas photo.

Archie appeared in his school production this week. Slightly poignant as this might be the last primary school Christmas play I go to. 

Some of my favourite memories are from school shows. I only have to say to one sister about a giant star and she will be back at my eldest nephew's school many years ago watching a play that featured a child as a giant star that couldn't quite walk in a straight line. And my mum (and a lot of friends/teachers) are guaranteed to have the fit of giggles at the thought of Oscar a few years ago doing a a Scottish dance in a kilt that kept falling down. I've loved every single one so I'll just have to go over to Australia to see the two youngest members of the family in a play to get my primary school fix.

Archie and his class gave us a very professional performance and it was great. We will have fond memories of A Christmas Carol aka Humbug forever!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 17

Go to the pantomime.

The Young Farmers panto is unlike any other! The very few "proper professional" pantos I have been to in the past I hated and funnily enough so did the boys. I can't bear the innuendo and girly nature of them.

Thankfully a few years ago the young farmers put on a panto to raise funds and it was such a resounding success that they continue to do them every year. The boys love it.

We went last night with Granny and my sister & brother-in-law Christy and Charlie and had the most fantastic time. Archie has worked out that if you go up on stage you get sweets for suffering a few moments of public humiliation and heh it works.

It made us all feel very Christmassy so I think later today we should definitely go to The Christmas Tree Farm to get a tree before they sell out.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 16

Draw a picture of a star.

Not exactly a drawing of a star but I made this star decoration for our local village news so I thought I'd share it here too.

OK it is more a flower but it is supposed to be Christmassy so just go with it.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 15

Play charades.

Playing charades is easy now because you can get an app for everything these days! Soon the youth of today won't have to think about anything - they will just download an app for whatever they need to do.

This app though is brilliant and saves having to think about book and film titles AND it keeps score AND it times you .... amazing .... I am easily pleased.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 14

Make paperchains.

Another satisfyingly therapeutic activity. I've been rushing around like a wild thing and it was so relaxing to sit down and make paper chains with Archie. We've decided that as we enjoyed it so much we are going to make some more tomorrow!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 13

Wrap some presents.

When I did some posts recently about ideas for wrapping Christmas presents I had some "comments" ;-) that I was only showing an easy to wrap plain box. So to prove that I can wrap awkward shapes too here are some more ideas. 

Monday, 12 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 12

Draw a picture of a snowman.

After my last attempt to get the boys to draw pictures for me, I've decided not to do that again and just go back to the archives for some!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 11

Put up a wreath.

My wreath has actually been hanging on the door since last Tuesday because I made it myself! Well I say made it myself, I actually had a lot of help from the lovely Sam Cotterrell of 
Violets and Velvet because Sam had a bit of a masterclass.

It was really good fun and Sam is such a wonderful teacher. It is always surprising how you all start with the same things and everyone produces something different and unique.

This is Sam's example

and this is how they all turned out. 

Aren't they fantastic? I had such a lovely evening with amongst others Kate Fletcher who has also blogged about the wreath making course here.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 10

Buy or pick some holly or ivy.

We don't have to walk far to pick some holly, so it was easy to go out and get some. Makes the house start to look quite Christmassy in a laid back old-fashioned kind of a way. Maybe one year I won't put up any garish decorations just have natural holly, ivy and mistletoe. One year perhaps but not this year!

Next time I go to
Great Slamseys Christmas Tree Farm I shall get some mistletoe, if they have any left but .... shhhh .... if they don't have any it doesn't matter because I've got a fake bunch.

Mistletoe at Great Slamseys

Friday, 9 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 9

Make Christmas Biscuits.

Archie and I loved doing this. I've got a set of biscuits cutters (bought in a Cox & Cox sale a couple of years ago) shaped like stars in all different sizes so that you can create a star tree. It is fantastic. Of course there is always a fight over who gets the top and the bottom!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 8

Read a Christmas story.

We will read Father Christmas's Last Present because
 the story and the illustrations are just wonderful and I even love the feel of the book (it's printed on really good quality paper). This is a story I've read to the boys since they started to have "doubts" about Father Christmas and as the "doubts" are getting more like "we knows" I think this story will be even better this year.

I will also read A Christmas Carol to the boys because it is such a wonderful story to read aloud. Archie knows the story because he's covered this in class as part of their Victorian Christmas and he really loves it so I'm hoping that Oscar will love it too.

I suspect some people may consider it a bit odd that my boys (aged 10 and 12) still have a story read to them at night but quite frankly we don't give a fig ... we love it :-)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 7

Write a letter to Father Christmas.

The boys have already done this. Archie's is pretty much all the lego in the world, all the army stuff in the world and a scooter. Oscar's is a bit more selective but can also be summed up as things for his bike.

So here is my wish list to Father Christmas, but I'm not sure if I have been good enough? I did get an email from a sister {hint hint other sisters and husband} yesterday asking what I would like for Christmas so perhaps this will help her ....

Not Another Bill subscription.

Necklace and bracelet from Rose & Aster.

Elegance Necklace 

Daisy by Marc Jacobs

Daisy Eau So Fresh

Ipad (OK this is very unlikely but it is supposed to be a Christmas Wish List)

Books, any books.

Ring from Lazy Giraffe Jewellery

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Day 6

Make a Christmas Card.

Mum always makes her Christmas cards and she has a lot of friends and acquaintances that she sends them to. She spends evenings getting them ready and lovingly preparing them. Here are some of my favourites from past years.

Ed and I did once spend a long time making our Christmas cards. This was in that time called 'before children'.

I am going to make my Christmas cards this year and I
 plan to send them postcard style so that I don't have to write a thing. Lazy - yes; missing the Christmas spirit - probably; saving me time - priceless.