5 Christmas Traditions you need to start now

5 Christmas Traditions you need to start now 8

I am a BIG fan of Christmas traditions.  I have been wittering on about therem here for the last seven years.  I believe that you shouldn’t feel that you HAVE to keep up with traditions, but that when they work for your family they are a great way of anchoring memories for years to come.  So in collaboration with Littlewoods and their #MakeTheirChristmas campaign I want to share with you five Christmas traditions that you need to start now.

Winter Snowflake Jar Luminary

Winter Snowflake Jar Luminary 12

If you have been following our blog for any length of time then you will know that we LOVE recycling glass jars and turning them into tealight holders.  I love being able to bring them out each season and use them to decorate our home and the boys love giving them as gifts.  Now that Halloween is over and we haven’t yet decorated for Christmas we had a need for something to fill the gap and we came up with a winter snowflake jar luminary.

10 Fun Kids Christmas party games 9

On Christmas Eve we have my best friend and family over for a get together, between us we have six boys between eleven and four, so we make sure that we have lots of fun kids party games prepped and I wanted to share them with you in case you are having a festive gathering and want to grab the kids attention away from Electronics.  This selection of ten fun kids christmas party games that are simple to plan and prepare and are perfect for kids of all ages and adults too.

Fun Kids Christmas party games

Homemade gift wrap 18

We love giving gifts and every year we make our own homemade gift wrap.  We often use kraft paper or the big rolls of paper that you can get from Ikea.  However this time we decided to use a large roll of black paper we had and that our homemade gift wrap would be gold stars and trees potato printed on to it.

Homemade gift wrap

Ultimate advent activities

Ultimate advent activity list 2015 16

Christmas, we love it.  But as much as I love Christmas and the build up to it, it is important to me to focus on my family and not just on the commercial aspect of just Christmas Day.  Part of the way we do this is by having advent activities that we do.  It helps me to focus on my family each day in this busy busy period of the year.   So here is our ultimate advent activity list for 2015.

The UK’s Best Festive Cake – Christmas Tree Cupcakes 16

I love baking and cooking with the boys.  It is something I did with my Mum and I am sure that she did with hers too.  I have had them in the kitchen with me since they could sit in a high chair and we always have lots of fun baking.  I especially love baking and making with them at Christmas.  Just take a look at these fabulous Christmas tree cupcakes that Mini made and decorated.  Another one of our annual traditions is making our not to gingery gingerbread, which we use to make Gingerbread houses and reindeer cookies.

Christmas Tree Cupcake

Christmas 2015 Collage 2

Christmas 2015 11

Part of the reason I blog is to record the moments, to be able to look back on them and to cherish every single moment. This Christmas has been a quiet one for The Mad House, but wonderful and very family centric. The older I get the more I realise that the joy I experience is really bound to the boys having fun and my family unit and dear friends that I hold dear.

Christmas, it is all about the presence not the presents 1

The older I get the more I realise that Christmas is not all about what you give or get, but about being there with your family. This was compounded with a health scare and even more when my mum died at Christmas four years ago.  So now MadDad and I focus on our presence rather than the presents. Growing up my dad always told us the following rules and this is something we have tried to instill in our children.

three of five toys to local childrens

corn flour dough tea light holders

Cornflour dough tealight holders for Solstice 3

We live in Northern England and during this time of year it is dark and we love to light up our home with candles and decided to make some cornflour dough tealight holders for Solstice.  Maxi decided to make them in the shape of the sun to celebrate the shortest day and welcome the lengthening of the hours of sun we would receive. We used our white clay recipe, which is really easy to make, so much so that Maxi made it himself and once the dough had cooled down we used cookie cutters to shape our tealight holders.

White clay dough. Corn Flour dough, a fab alternative to salt dough 3

We have made corn flour dough before, but using salt, however, I was keen to find a different recipe with more of a smooth texture that was a bit more malleable for the boys to use. We have tried Nurturestore’s 2 ingredient white dough  and love it, but we also tried the following white clay recipe and the boys decided that this is their favorite go to salt dough replacement. How to make white clay:

white dough

gingerbread house making

Be inspired to cook with your kids and win an eBay voucher 4

I hope that my previous post about crafting with your kids this Christmas inspired you to get creative with your kids.  Now for part two! So what else I am inspired by at this time of year, well if you are a regular reader then it will come as no surprise to you that it is getting kids in to the kitchen and creating with them, baking making and having fun. Creativity is part of my make up.  It runs through my veins and has since I had the boys.  One of the biggest things I want my kids to remember is having fun making things.  I also want to to have more »