Christmas- What we have been up to over November and December

Hi there,

It feels like ages since I last wrote a blog post. School finished up over the second week of December and prior to, there was a few end of term events and things happening in both of my children’s classrooms that I volunteered to help with (including making mango smoothies). November tends to be a busy time for kids Birthdays parties. We are not able to go to every party we get invited to, but try to get to at least a few of each of my children’s friends parties.

Other than the usual in and out of school events and work, we have also been busy painting (fences and gates), building furniture (benches and garden boxes), building a retaining wall in our backyard to clear up an area that we considered to be a bit dangerous for our kids to play, plus it was attracting highly venomous snakes. We may still have plenty more work to do around the house, but we are in no major rush. We are just doing everything that needs to be done broken down into more manageable stages.

In regards to activities- this year I sat down with my children to make a list of things they would like to do over the Christmas school holiday break (six week break).

The list so far;

  1. Baking
  2. Swim
  3. Christmas craft
  4. Put up Christmas tree and decorate it
  5. Go to the cinemas and watch Christmas movies at home
  6. Playground/park play and picnic
  7. Learn to ride a bike (MR 5)
  8. Play board games and card games
  9. Visit friends and have friends over to our house.

What we did in November:

  • Baking– we spent half of one Sunday baking a whole pile of gingerbread men and shortbread as a Teachers (x2) gift.

    Teacher's gifts- home baked cookies.jpg
    These are the tins we used to put our home made cookies in. I have a few more photos on my @plantbasedwithkids Instagram account you can see HERE.
  • Swim– we were invited to a children’s Birthday party at one of those public pools that has several water play areas, including slides. We spend a couple of hours there. Both of my children had a great time. We also went to a free outdoor water swim play area one Friday night in December which was all lit up with Christmas lights.
  • Christmas Pajamas, placemats and plates. Over the first weekend in November we brought out the annual Christmas pjs, our Christmas cork placemats and bento style kids plates to be used each day until our Christmas celebrations are over (until New Years).
  • Christmas craft– both of my children brought home some hand-made Christmas tree ornaments from school and we also decorated some ones made from clay, cardboard and wood at a children’s free community craft morning. At home rather than doing specific craft this year, I put out our Christmas stamps we use each year as well as our paints and drawing materials for free art.
  • Christmas tree. We usually put up our Christmas tree over the first weekend in December but as my husband had to go overseas for work, we decided to put up the tree early. Each year we also go over to my children’s Grandma’s house and put up her tree for her.

    Child decorated Christmas tree
    Very much a child-decorated Christmas tree which I just love!
  • Christmas lights and fake snow. This year for the first time we put up a simple string of Christmas lights around our house and used some stencils and fake snow to create some Christmas pictures on one of our large glass sliding doors.
  • Charity– there is a few things we did this year;
Oliver Jeffers- Here We Are
Smith Family Christmas book appeal. We chose to give this book.
Share the Dignity- It's in the Bag
Share the Dignity– It’s in the Bag. See more HERE. I used two handbags donated by a friend, which I was only just able to get these items into. Next year, we will aim for a bigger bag like I did last year.
Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal
Kmart Tree Appeal– my children each chose/purchased a gift for a child around their age and using paper tape, placed the gift tag onto the preset and then put it under the Christmas tree in Kmart.

We also collected a bag of canned foods to put into a Christmas collection bin.

What we have done in December so far:

  • Cinemas– I took my children on one of those discount days to see ‘Playing With Fire‘. They loved it. We have also watched a few Christmas movies at home that were mostly on Netflix;- Christmas Chronicles (both of my children loved), Princess Switch (Miss 7 loved), A knight Before Christmas (Miss 7 liked), Jingle All the Way (Both of my children didn’t really like). We watched Elf and The Grinch last year and several parts both of my children didn’t like and thought was a bit scary.
  • Gingerbread house– we found a gingerbread house making kit that contained no egg or gelatine. We have never bought nor made a gingerbread house before. None of us have a sweet tooth except my youngest.

    Vegan Gingerbread House.jpg
    My children loved the gingerbread but didn’t want to eat any of the lollies.
  • Advent– We were gifted an online Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar which you can view HERE. My children have loved this so far. We also were gifted a Lego Advent Calendar to open each day which is a bit of a novelty. Lucky them. Lego AventLego City Advent
  • Christmas Carols– in the past, each year we have gone and listened to some local community Christmas carols, but this year we have decided to just watch it on TV and set up a platter of food to share on Christmas Eve.

There is now only a few days until Christmas. We will spend Christmas day with my side of the family (for a plant-based lunch) and the day after Boxing day for an early dinner at our places with my husband’s side of the family (for a BBQ). My husband’s side all eat meat- so there will likely be some BBQ meat and the rest all plant based foods including salads, roast and steamed vegetables, snacks and dessert.

Merry Christmas Everyone and a Happy New Year!

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