Every year I have a long list of things I am excited to do, in the lead-up to Christmas. I think it's fair to say I haven't even done half of what I had hoped to achieve this year. But, I do have a good excuse (see above!).
Ollie is a big distraction! One of the nicest kinds. We can't help but give him kisses...
Most of our time is spent doting on him...
... and for the girls, this means one of their favourite things ~ climbing into his cot to play;
As you can see, he loves all the attention!
The last couple of weeks have been a blur, with Livvie finishing school for the year and a million and one things to do. Add to that me being sick, and it has been pretty crazy.
Christmas has really snuck up on us this year, we can hardly believe Santa is coming tonight! Everyone is excited.
While I was just not organised enough to coordinate cards and candy-canes for Livvie to hand out to her school friends, we did all go to see her in her Christmas Concert the other night. All the kindy kids sang 'Little Donkey' while wearing the donkey masks they had made ~ it was just adorable!
This week, we also made a trip into town to see the windows at David Jones;
The last time we took the girls was in 2010 and although Elly was only 2 year old back then, she still remembers the scenes (those Christmas mice!) and was really excited to see the new puppets this year.
Livvie was more excited to see the hoopla surrounding the red carpet for the opening night of Les Miserables. Russel Crowe walked right past us!
Both girls were quite taken with the Nativity;
We have read many stories this year about the real meaning of Christmas. I feel the girls are at the perfect age to understand and appreciate it. We especially love this video, made by children in NZ.
Another tradition for us is going to see the Christmas lights. Streets and streets of houses lit up, definitely adds to the magic of Christmas!
It's also the one time of the year we see a Mr Whippy Van, so a Christmas ice-cream has become a bit of a tradition too!
It wouldn't be Christmas without Nanny's Christmas Cake...
This one is the best ever! We shared some with our neighbours yesterday over some Christmas drinks and will share some more with my family tomorrow. Lucky, because Nick and I have been eating slice after slice! It's good to share the joy (and share the calories too!).
I had done exactly zero Christmas baking, until today. Every time I bought groceries this week, I looked for a Gingerbread House Kit, the ready-made type that you just add icing and lollies to. I had no luck... until this morning when we were buying bread rolls and Nick said 'What is that?'. Can you see the green cylinder in the picture below?
It says 'Make and Bake Shortbread Cookie Dough!'.
Ready-made! Just cut out shapes and bake!
I am smiling because that little tub made all this fun possible. The girls LOVED making and decorating cookies today, (even though we are in the middle of a heatwave)... it's nice to have freshly baked cookies to leave for Santa tonight!
Speaking of Santa, we suddenly realised today that we had almost forgotten to take the children to visit him!
(If this is what he looks like at the beginning of the day, imagine what he looks like after 9 hours of this!). Let's take a closer look at Ollie, who seemed pretty worried about the whole thing;
If Oliver could talk, I think he would say, 'Seriously, who is this guy?'
One thing I did remember to do, back in June(!), was to buy the girls some 'Christmas' pyjamas. Every Christmas Eve they get new jammies to add to the excitement (and to ensure decent photos on Christmas morning!). I do realise that apples aren't traditionally very Christmassy, but I thought there was just enough red and green on these to justify the purchase;
Here, they were putting carrots out for Santa's reindeer.
Have you ever heard of a Christmas Unicorn?
No, neither had I.
But if you ever get a chance to see one, I can assure you, it is hilarious!
Apparently the carrots weren't enough, so the next thing to do was make Reindeer Food;
It's a delicate blend of oats and glitter.
It was sprinkled just before bedtime
... and now they lay asleep in their beds, while visions of sugar plums dance in their heads.
Which means I had better go now, because I have lots of wrapping (and assembling) to do...
Merry Christmas to you!