Today was the 1st of December and I know that you know what I'm going to say but please indulge me - I can't believe it's already the beginning of Advent. I'm nowhere near ready for Christmas which is completely normal but I'm also not ready for Advent.
We haven't made our Mary's Star Path to start her journey yet (sorry Mary), but Dave is out Friday night and we've planned a night of me and the kids making Mary's Star Path, reading the Christmas Story and painting our lanterns ready for the lantern parade on Saturday. It will all happen somehow as that is the magic of Christmas.
There is no doubt that the build up has started. We have already attended the school Christmas Fayre which is always our first visit to see Santa. I have to admit, it's our favourite. We first went to the school fayre over ten years ago when Danny was three years old. At that time, Rebecca was just a one month old baby. Then Caitlyn and Isabelle came along and we had a few years with all four of the kids seeing Santa together. Since last year Danny has opted out as he's growing up but I have still have all the memories of his big wide eyes twinkling as he spoke to Santa and seeing him grow up into a young man reassuring his younger sisters as they nervously met "the big man in the red suit" for the first time.
To #vlogmas or not to #vlogmas
I was planning to take part in #vlogmas this year as I want to create more videos. However, seeing how unorganised I am, I've decided, rightly or wrongly, to cut out any corners where I can and #vlogmas made the cut (I don't think anyone will miss me!). I will still be sharing our Christmas through video of course but there will just be the odd (we can't help that!) video now and then of our festive days and tutorials instead of daily "Day in the Life" vlogs.
The First Days of Advent
I admit that we haven't even put our activity advent calendar up yet (it's still up the attic) but the kids already know the score. As mentioned above, we have tomorrow planned and the kids know that come Saturday we're writing our letters to Santa and then taking part in the Lantern Parade. On Sunday, we are making a Christingle, growing crystals and decorating our Christmas Tree. Our gorgeous 6ft Nordmann Fir has arrived from Pines and Needles we just need to get the decs down from the attic! On Monday, the middle girls have their Brownie's Christmas Party but the rest of us will make the snowflakes and put them on the windows and on a garland. On Tuesday we're writing our Christmas cards and I'll post again before we get to Wednesday!
Relax: Feel Excitement not Worry
I feel that excitement and worry often coincide, for me I can find it hard to distinguish between the two, especially during "back to school" and the Christmas period. This year, I'm trying to turn the worry into productiveness (I will declutter the living areas before the end of the year!) and just feel the happy excitement.
Please remember that if you're worried about money, don't! Doing things with the family is the best bit and doesn't have to cost lots- make paper chains and snowflakes out of any spare paper you have about. If you don't have books, you can retell the Christmas stories of St Nicholas, of Christmas and of your old Christmas traditions. Set yourself the challenge of making presents but if that's not possible it doesn't matter. Real friends and family don't want your presents, they'd much prefer your presence.
Worrying About "Doing It All"
Again, please remember that you can only do what you can do. Enjoy and take pride in what you do manage to do rather than what you don't. No one can do it all. We all have different customs and traditions at this time of year. I never make mince pies, Christmas Cake or Christmas pudding, we do what works for our family.
Activity Advent Calendar Week 1 Ideas
Just in case you need ideas for what activities to put in your Advent Calendar for week 1, here are 7 ideas:
1. Make Mary's Star Path.
2. Write a letter to Santa.
3. Decorate the Christmas Tree.
4. Make a Christingle.
5. Make paper snowflakes to decorate window or make a garland.
6. Make a Christmas lantern.
7. Write Christmas cards to your friends.
I wish you all a happy and peaceful Advent!