The meaning of Christmas

Had such a wonderful few days with our girls. Father Christmas experience at The Eden Project, which was magical, Ice skating, local Panto, the little one had to leave though as she was too scared.

Tonight I read the Nativity Story as a bedtime read, the little one asks so many questions, tonight’s was why is this story all about Jesus? as I explained we touched on Easter as well, her little mind I could tell was working ten to the dozen, working it all out. Her latest phrase is ” what does that mean” she says it with such passion and will question your answers, she really does want to know. Sometimes I think she seems older than her years, but then she said this! I explained how we celebrate the birth of Christ with giving gifts; ” But” said the wise Bluebell girl ” its not all about presents, its also about love” ” No its not,” yelled the little one ” Its about eating as many Charlie and Lola biscuits as you can, that’s the meaning of Christmas.” The difference in age, the difference in personality. I loved both answers for totally different reasons.

Our little seaside town is filling up again with visitors, people wandering about clutching pasties and tons of shopping bags. I miss my beach, I pass it everyday and our house over looks the pretty harbour, but I feel I haven’t been on it much lately. This Christmas holiday we will go, back to our little beach hut, now shut for the season. This beach will be near on empty, not many venture here out of season, we will bundle up and play and go for a hot chocolate somewhere. Our Christmas craft sessions are nearly over, there’s not much more we can make, so we must venture out again and enjoy our little seaside town.

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The Winter Woods

Its become a Christmas family tradition to visit the Rogue Theatre http://www.theroguetheatre.org/‎ Winter Wood in Cornwall , every Christmas time. Outside theatre in a local wood, amazingly atmospheric, very creative and artistic and the children love it. Running through the trees adorned with crocheted stars , hanging lampshades and baubles to find Old Man WInter. Tying ribbon to a tree instructed by a fairy, making willow decorations. The whole experience  has a wonderful pagan feel to it.

The little one tearing through the woods as dusk was just about to fall, delighted yells of ” I have found one! found a fairy! here she is!” the older one running faster and faster with children she has never met before, delighted in the adventure. We came upon a man juggling fire, ” Wow he’s so brave” breathed the little one. Mesmerised she watched him, I felt she could have stayed there forever.

I love different experiences, I love seeing the girls delight in something out of the ordinary. I have always been a great believer that children need to appreciate the arts and I love the theatre myself. This is different this is slightly out of the box, and its a must! 

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We have had a busy but such a special day today. The little one had her Montessori Nursery Christmas show. She delighted us with her continued bouncing with joy throughout the whole performance. We didn’t get the best seats in the house, but could see her little head bobbing up and down and every now and then she would peer around a child to give her sister first, and then us, the thumbs up. She was so pleased with herself and afterwards she came over and said ” I hope everybody enjoyed it” I love her with every inch of my heart, she is so crazy and yet so thoughtful all in one.

The Bluebell girl came runner up in the Arts Society Christmas Card Competition. She went to an award ceremony after the show, there were carols and wine and food. She felt so important and grown up. For a child that has often said she will be an artist one day, this was really important to her. To be fair, this was not her best work, it was a bit rushed as the deadline for completion approached, so I was thrilled for her.  It was so wonderful to celebrate their achievements together on the same day. They both felt so wonderful, for different reasons tonight and we as parents clapped and cheered the afternoon away.

This is what being a Mum is all about for me, sharing things as a family, doing things together and enjoying each others successes. Tomorrow we are off to see the ‘real’ FC, they have just sussed that some are dressed up, there have been so many this year, every play group we go to one appears. I have had to admit that some are just fancy dress for fun, otherwise it doesn’t ring true. I cant let the belief go yet, I have too much fun to have with them!

Still a week to go and many more things to do!

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Christmas past and present

I just love this time of year, I totally embrace it and leave myself at the end totally exhausted but so very happy.

It starts with my Mums birthday, a flurry of cakes and gifts, this year my oldest child  found her own gift for her and was insistent I got it for her Granny, so I did. She was so proud and excited and I must say the gift was tasteful and very appropriate, I was pleased.

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Then the Christmas madness sets in, we go to school fetes ( ours and friends schools too)  and craft fairs in private stately homes , we ride on carousels, we bake for the school, for friends and anyone else we can palm our wears onto. We attend church services and sing carols. We do lots but love every moment of it.

We are still two weeks away and there is so much more planned, the closer we get to Christmas the more exciting the things become, I will blog about them if I get time.

Cornwall weather is so mild at the moment, our walk down the harbour front at the weekend was Autumnal not Wintry at all. We went to our beautiful local woods with our friends and the kids waded through streams and climbed trees ( the wonders of spending the day with 7 year old boys) and no one even got cold. The Bluebell girl was in her element and the gorgeous boys we were with brought out her adventurous side we don’t always see, it was such a pleasure to watch. She loved every moment and was beaming with joy, even when she fell into the water! 

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The little one has embraced the arts and crafts of play group life ( with a little persuasion) and this year I have devised a kids table for their Christmas crafts. They are proud of their work and I have framed past Christmas cards photos of them to add to the history. I have dug out paper Angels from Reception and year one days and have sadly realised that at six years old the Christmas Crafts at school have dried up! I am so sad, but realise we will just do even more making at home. I cant let go of childhood making that quickly.

We attended church last night for the Christingle, and it was the first year I didn’t walk with her to collect her lit candle. She still freaked out after about ten minutes of holding it, so shes not all grown up yet, but however I felt the shift of change this year. I sat while the younger children ran riot and didn’t have to run down the aisles to drag mine back. 

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Today was the older ones school Nativity. The head teacher pointed out that each parent only gets to watch about six in their child’s school life and we are now half way through them. She was the brightest star this year, the last two years being angels, this was the role she has always wanted. I am sure its all about the “twirling” She has been thrilled ever since the parts were announced. Her shy little face on that stage, she had to stand in the centre for so long, it took a lot for her to do this, I know. But she did, and I knew deep down she was buzzing. The little one was so well behaved, I was proud of her too. Half way through she whispered in my ear ” what’s the planet nearest to the sun? ” I got it wrong, she asked me again, then I got it right. ” well done” she whispered. Her passion for Space has not dwindled and she studies her book on the solar system often. I confess, aged just four she knows more than me! 

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Due to a new boiler system our loft has been emptied. My Grandmothers old tea set has been brought down. As a small child I was fascinated by this elaborate set encased in its glass show case and my Grandmother always said it would be mine one day. When she passed away it was dutifully handed over. It was packed away due to my small rented flat ,at the time in London and not unpacked until this afternoon, 15 years later! 

The emotion ran high as I unravelled the newspaper, we were shocked at the house prices, and felt sad when we found a gift tag that said ‘to mum’ written by my Aunt, who is nearly 80 herself now. As I gently washed up the set the memories came back. As a treat she would get out her special teaset and make a proper high tea. I felt honoured as a child to be allowed to dine off such splendour! On the bottom of one of the tea plates was a smear of cake, left from all those years ago, from a old English high tea. The result of bad washing up ( maybe by me?) A cake my Grandmother would have baked, there were no shop brought goodies in her kitchen! I decided at that point to surprise my own Mum, we shall have a high tea on that long forgotten tea set, and my girls will be allowed to hold and use the fine bone china from long ago. My dear Nan will be smiling down on us I am sure and my scones will never match hers. She was a true English lady and did things just right, her baking perfect. If you are reading this, shhhhhhh, dont tell my Mum she doesn’t know yet!

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