I’ve already shared the contents of Florence’s First Christmas Stocking so I thought I would share some of the other things we’ve… ahem… Santa… has bought her for Christmas this year. We’ve quite a big family and it’s likely Florence is going to be showered […]
There’s nothing quite like a sending and receiving a homemade gift at Christmas. There’s something so special about knowing you’ve worked to create something special for a loved one. Today I wanted to show you one of the homemade Christmas gifts that I made for […]
One of the many things I love about Christmas is that so many of our family traditions centre around this time of year. I have so many wonderful memories of Christmas’s as I grew up and I know my Mum worked so hard to make them as magical as possible for us. The magic of Santa lasted well into my teenage years as despite inevitably knowing the truth behind the legend, from about the age of 11 I was able to live the awe and wonder of the season through my sister who’s 10 years younger than I am. I got to revel in her excitement, often taking on the role of the big man himself on Christmas Eve – drinking the drink, eating the treats and putting out the presents that had been hidden on top of my Mums wardrobe for weeks. It’s fair to say that for me, the magic of a childhood Christmas lasted a lot longer than it probably did for many others. In fact, last year was our first truly ‘grown up’ Christmas. Sean and I had moved out, I had an 18 week Florrie bump and the wool could be pulled over my sisters eyes no more. She was too cool to pretend to believe. Don’t get me wrong, we still did
This year we are celebrating Florence’s first Christmas, our first Christmas as a family and first of all, I feel so lucky to be back in the centre of the magic. Granted, The whole thing is likely going to go over Florence’s almost 7 month old head, but we will be putting the foundations in place for many Christmas’s to come with a combination of passed down family traditions and some lovely new additions of our own.
The Decoration Shop
Every year for as long as I can remember, a couple of days before our tree goes up we head to Matalan and pick out a special Christmas Decoration. They always have such lovely bits & bobs in their Christmas range.
Out of any other time of the year, Christmas morning has to be my favourite. Until this year, I’ve always, always spent Christmas morning at my Mum’s house. Even last year when we were in our own home I excitedly woke Sean up at the crack of dawn and around we walked in our PJ’s, arms laden with presents ready to sit around the tree in her living room in our own little spots (me & my sister on the floor like we used to when we were kids and Mum & Sean on each sofa) ready to open our presents one by one. We go around the room each taking a present at a time and showing off what we got. To be honest, it’s not just all about the presents, it’s that feeling of us being together in one room and being grateful to have one another. Once we’ve made our way through the mountain of gifts, we have a big cooked breakfast and my sister & I arrange our presents ready for our obligatory present photograph. This year Christmas morning is going to be a bit different. We always said we wanted Florence’s First Christmas morning to be at home and so instead of going there, we have invited them and Sean’s parents and brothers over for a big breakfast and to watch her open the first of her presents. Then we are heading back to mums to carry out the usual routine slightly later.
Father Christmas Presents
In our house Father Christmas always delivered our presents from him in special wrapping paper that he knew we would like so that we could tell the difference between those from him & everyone else. The bulk of our gifts on Christmas morning would be from him and her generally cover all the ten things we put on our list. He’s not a bad old stick. This is definitely something we will carry on for Florence and I’ve even done it this year despite her not having a clue what’s going on!
Tea time presents
In lieu of a stocking, we had tea time presents which were always from My mum. They were things like make up wipes, chocolates & little bits. For years, my sister told everyone that all our mum had gotten her was a toothbrush and some smellies! Only last year did the penny drop. I really like the idea of carrying on this tradition and will likely keep a few of the smaller bits we buy Florence each year for tea time.
Christmas Eve Boxes
These weren’t really a thing when we were growing up but I really love the idea of them and last year I put together a ‘Grown Up’ Christmas Eve box filled with lovely things for Sean and I and along with something similar this year, Florence will have her very own one too. They’re not as elaborate as some I’ve seen, just very simple with some lovely little bits and bobs. I have two posts coming up on what I’ve put in each of them in the next week or so.
Sean might be reluctant but I am determined to get us all matching Christmas Pj’s for Christmas Eve & Christmas morning. It’s cheesy as hell and not something we have done before but I love it!
Dinner with my mum
I’m not sure I can imagine Christmas dinner without my Mum, and sister for that matter. For so long it was just us three that to be honest, anyone else just fits in as a guest around our Christmas table. Whether it’s at ours, at Mum’s house or away somewhere, Christmas lunch just wouldn’t be the same without them. We are going there this year and Florence has a reserved spot at the head of the table.
I absolutely LOVE a good Christmas market. Since I met Sean, it’s been a bit of a tradition that we pay a visit to a local one each year. Our favourite has to be Rochester Dickens Christmas market, but we try to go to at least two or three a year. I love looking through all the little stalls and supporting all of the fab small businesses that turn out to sell their wares.
Christmas Photo Shoot
I adored putting together Florence’s First Christmas Photo Shoot earlier in the month and it’s something I’d like to do every year to document each of her Christmas’s and how much she grows between them.
It’s that time of year where we are all colating wishlists for Santa, and while my real life Christmas list has become all about clocks, hoovers & other very boring Mum requests it’s still fun to fantasise about all of those things money (lots of […]
The decorations are up, the cards are made and now it’s time to think about the presents! I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m too excited for Florence’s First Christmas or that I am just better prepared this year, but believe it or not I’ve […]
As well as some fab toy reviews, I’m going to be sharing a few festive baby play ideas here over the next few weeks. Today I thought I would tell you about our Christmas Discovery Basket which is suitable for around 6 months and above.
The basket itself is from Tiger. I use these all over the house as they’re useful and look cute too, and at only a fiver who could complain? It is made from textured weaved plastic, which in itself provides no end of entertainment for Florence as her latest favourite thing to do is flex her fingers and scratch away at any surface she can!
Inside we’ve placed a whole host of Christmassy items ready to get her senses working. Firstly, while it might be banned in my Christmas decor, I have bought a length of tinsel for her discovery box. She loves the way it sparkles under light and tickles her fingers when she plays. She has, however become quite taken with pulling the strands out and trying to eat them, so if I’m not able to supervise play for even a second or am out of reach I do take this away to avoid any choking hazard.
Next in the box I put two silicone baking moulds. They’re in the shape of a snowman and a penguin and are smooth and squishy and seem to work really well as teethers. Plus they’re super easy to clean at the end of the day as I just pop them in the dishwasher and give them back the next morning.
No Christmas is complete without a little sparkle & these glittery baubles are the perfect addition! I taken off the clips & tops to remove any risk of them coming off and Flo choking on them. I’ve also added a red and white stripe knitted bauble. As there’s no plastic topper or small parts this is a lovely baby safe Christmas decoration that can be used in lots of ways. We play a game where I roll it to her and she picks it up, places it back on the floor ready for me to take it and roll it back. It’s the perfect size for her little hands to pass from one to another too.
I made this super easy Christmas discovery ‘bottle’ by filling it with some cute Santa pegs and a couple of jingle bells I bought from Poundland. It makes a great shaker and a brilliant visual stimulant.
Our Hape Penguin wobbler has become our most played with toy of the moment so we could hardly leave him out! He makes a lovely jingle jangle sound and is fab for teaching baby cause & effect. And for a cuddly contrast, our Christmas bear is just perfect.
I’ve included a couple of plastic Star cookie cutters as they’re the perfect play thing for little fingers. And of course, our star night light too. These are great props for a rendition of twinkle twinkle and have encouraged me to start practicing the sign for star with Florence too.
All of these items offer plenty of play opportunities individually and it’s been fascinating to watch Florence become familiar with each thing and then begin to play with them together. Though I think her favourite way to play is to one by one take every item out of the box and try her best to get in it! Haha.
Have you made a discovery box for your baby this Christmas? I would love to see what you’ve put in yours!
So, the other day I shared some of the photographs I shot of Florence during our DIY Baby’s First Christmas photo shoot and mentioned that I was keen to use them in a few different ways. Well, the first of three ways I’ve used them […]
While Florence is a little young to really understand what on earth is going on this Christmas, I have made these cute little Reindeer Food Bags for the older children in our family and I thought I would share a little tutorial on how you […]