1. Elf on the shelf^
2. Setting up the Christmas tree
In the past we have had a tiny tree that sat upon a our side board. This was so that Elliot couldn’t reach it. This year, he’s keen on the tree and a couple of weeks ago I picked up a 186cm plastic tree from an opshop for $5. I’m so looking forward to having it set up, we’ve got the perfect spot, and I can’t wait to sit and watch the Christmas lights flicker.
3. Christmas lights
When we were kids we used to drive around in our pyjamas, wrapped in blankets and look at the Christmas lights. I can’t wait to do that this year with Elliot.
4. Counting down with our advent calendar
My mum made us an advent calendar when we were kids. Each date had a little pocket that’d have 3 lollies in each one. Every night throughout December we’d get to nibble on one of those delicious treats. Here’s some fun advent calendar’s I found on Pinterest.
one || two || three
5. Short bread
I know I can bake shortbread at any time of the year but for some reason I never think of it until December 1st.
6. Making Christmas pudding
A few years ago I went rock climbing for the week before Christmas. I was to meet everyone at my Grandparents a couple of days before the big day. We finished climbing a few days early and I headed to Grandma’s where she proceeded to teach me how to cook her Christmas Pudding Recipe. She hasn’t cooked it since. I now do it every Christmas Eve.
7. Reading Christmas stories
This is the first year that Elliot has been really into the idea of Christmas. And rummaging around I found some picture story books from when I was young. I’m really looking forward to reading them to him.
8. This year I’m going to attempt a gingerbread house
I’ve never made one before, can you believe it? I certainly can’t! I’m probably going to attempt something simple, but how beautiful are these!
9. Decorating gingerbread biscuits with Elliot
And if the gingerbread house doesn’t come to fruition (which is highly likely) we might just baked up some ginger bread biscuits and decorate those. We may do this in addition to the house.
10. Christmas movies!
Love Actually, Home Alone, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Santa Clause, I love them all. Leave a comment with your favourite Christmas movie.
Another of those “could cook year round but don’t” things. This is so delicious, easy and makes a great gift. Just make sure to use Aldi butter, for some reason Woolworths butter doesn’t work.
12. Giving really good gifts – Four Gift Rule
I’ve talked about how we’re not big gift buyers in our house, but I do love giving the perfect gift. I recently hear the ‘Four Gift Rule’ where you buy something to wear, something to read, something they want and something they need.
I love this so much for many reasons. I think Christmas can become a commercial nightmare, and giving just a few gifts shifts the focus to food and family.
We have decided to give Elliot the Smash Bento 4 piece Lunch Kit^ as his ‘something they need’. This will be perfect for playgroup and occasional care next year. And the dinosaur sandwich cutter is the cutest. They can be purchased at Big W.
13. Summer fruits
I hadn’t realised how much I had missed juicy summer fruit until we were snacking on a watermelon. I’m excited for cherries, melons, mangos and stone fruit.
Not exactly Christmas related but it is seasonal. Jay gets time off over Christmas and New Years and I’m really looking forward to some slow days of reconnecting as a family. Lazy days out in the sun, trips to the beach and even working on some things around the house.
I know it should really have been first on the list, and now I’ll point out that this list is in no particular order. I love spending the time with our family. There’s nowhere else we have to be, there’s nothing else we have to do, just enjoy each others company and feast on Christmas food.
The past few years I’ve made fruit mince pies and they are delicious. But as I’m working on distressing and reducing all the things that I think that I have to do, I’m probably going to buy some this year. Having said that, I’ll probably get the baking bug a week before Christmas and have another go.
17. Eggnog Cinnamon Scrolls
I made these a few years ago and they were divine, I’m going to have another crack at them this year.
18. Christmas Crafts
Elliot is at such a good age to be doing some gorgeous basic crafts. To be honest we don’t do a lot of crafts at home, we save that for occasional care and play group but I might have to pull some of these ones out over the next month.
Jay is going to be away for the two weeks leading right up until Christmas, so we’ve been chatting about all things Christmas presents, Santa, etc now to make sure that we’re on the same page. Last night we very seriously discussed (with giggling) what food we should leave out for Santa, where he might put his presents and explaining all the this to Elliot. Oh My Gosh how excitement!
20. Christmas Carols
Of course we’ll be listening to them at home, but we’ll also be attending the local Christmas Carols by the beach here at home. We went last year but Elliot was just a little young to get into the action.
I wasn’t going to bake Christmas Cakes this year. I was just going to buy a couple of Lions Cakes, but at the last minute I decided Christmas wouldn’t be the same.
22. The Magic
Jay and I have had so much fun over the last few days welcoming Figgy, our Elf on The Shelf into our home. The magic he brings is such a beautiful way to introduce Christmas. We got chatting the other night about how there’s something about that sheer faith, and believing in the magic that you just can’t get as adults, but oh how I love watching Elliot’s face light up as each new magic aspect of Christmas unfolds.
23. Santa’s Magical Kingdom^
We’d never been before and I had no idea what to expect, but what a magical night it was. Elliot and I drove up to Melbourne and stepped into winter wonderland. The rides were wonderfully kid friendly, there was an opportunity to meet Mrs Claus, have a photo with Santa, decorate a ginger bread man and watch a awe-inspiring circus (seriously, Elliot sat on my knee for 45 minutes with his mouth open). It truly was a wonderful evening.
24. Christmas Eve
I love the anticipation, the excitement, the pre-Christmas rush. I spend the day baking the Christmas Pudding, listening to Christmas carols, and energy building for the big day.