Christmas traditions


The Importance of Christmas Traditions 1

The importance of Christmas traditions is a paid collaborative post with Christmas Tree World.  I am not going to lie, this year has been a challenging one in The Mad House, a person very close to us died and it has weighed heavy on my mind and in my heart since. They left behind a young family and that is what inspired this post and cemented my thinking about the importance of Christmas traditions.

The Importance of Christmas Traditions

5 Magical Elf on the Shelf Alternatives

Not a fan of Elf on the Shelf? Need an alternative way to countdown to Christmas? Then don’t worry we have you covered with these super fun Elf on the Shelf Alternatives. I love the anticipation of Christmas and the build-up to Christmas Day and it is something I really remember from my childhood and have always wanted to create for my family.   So we have some magical and creative ways to countdown to Christmas that are not Elf on the Shelf.


Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar Printables

It is hard to believe that we have been doing an acts of kindness advent calendar for four years.  It all started when I was concerned that the boys were becoming rather immersed in the commercialisation of Christmas and of advent. I wanted them to understand and learn about Christmas and advent being about giving, so came up with the idea of an alternative advent calendar.

4 fabulous sets of Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar Printables. Random acts of kindness perfect to print and use for an advent calendar or kindness jar

Wonderful Ways to Celebrate Advent 6

I love Christmas and the Advent.  I really want to celebrate advent and use the time to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and make it about giving and have a joy filled time with my family. I want advent to be about more than just opening a door on an advent calendar and getting a piece of chocolate, I want it to be a time where we cement our family traditions and give joy to other people.


Christmas traditions – Christmas Eve 10

I blogged last year about our Christmas traditions, about creating memories and making our own traditions as a family.  Including a little of mine and MadDads best Christmas’s and sprinkling some new things, some things that are unique to us and to our life.  I want these tradition to cement the boys memories of their Christmas’s past and lead them happily in to their Christmas’s of their future. We have our advent stocking activities each day, which is wonderful and we also make sure that we have done all the shopping, wrapping and running around by Christmas Eve and we make a big day of it.   The Christmas Eve Elves more »


Christmas Decoration Tour 2010 12

I adore Christmas and all that is brings, partly maybe due to being a Christmas baby (it is my birthday on 20 December).  So I love decorations and one of the great things about getting older is that I am no longer hung up on everything needing to be matching and co-ordinating.  In fact I am embracing my inner child and we have even gone for coloured lights on a white tree in the dinning room. I love the fact that we have been collecting decorations each year and adding to them, they carry so many memories, so much of our history as a family.  Yep I am a sentimental old more »


Why the boys nativities mean so much to me 7

Even though last week was snowed off for the school, the children and the teachers have worked really hard to ensure that the nativities took place this week. Maxi’s was first on Thursday and it was a Snowman at Sunset and yes, I cried.  Maxi doesn’t do dressing up, so as a narrator he only had to war his hat, scarf and gloves.  It was a wonderful show and I have to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when one of his little classmates did a solo at the end.   Friday saw Mini’s show, which was whoops a daisy angel, hats off to the teachers on this more »


Advent Crown 8

A large part of simplifying Christmas for me is making it all about homemade. Homemade decorations and homemade gifts I am a great believer in that the simpler things are, the more effective they are.

One of the main ways we start the festive season is by making our advent crown or wreath. This is one of the many things I remember doing as a child, however, I remember the Blue Peter version of wire coat hangers, tinsel and open flames!!


Social Club Childrens Party 7

I somethimes think that pictures can say things much better than words, but have to say a great big thank you to my wonderful sister in and law and the Ladies of Steel for putting on such a fantastic event yet again!! Cousins in the calm before the storm Kissin Cousins The Club looking all festive Best friends having a bop Mince pie number 5 Putting the world to rights! You can never have enough chocolate mum! Oh no, see the lip just starting to wobble Ending the night raving on the stage Big Fish, Little Fish, Cardboard Box The boys fell asleep in the car on the way home at more »


A Home Made Christmas 13

Pennies have been tight this year at TheMadHouse, so we have put our heads together and made as much as we can. Rice and Lavender hot pad with removable cover   Felt pocket tissue cover   Home made tea cup candles   Basic wrapping with brown paper, wool, string and ribbon  – I am of the opinion that good packaging detracts from the homemade feel   I tied home made gingham and mother of pearl hearts to the wrapping. We  had printed postcards of some photo’s we had taken over the year at Moo. I made pouches to hold them The minimads decorated 90p shoppings bags from Hobbycraft   I made more »


A Wonderful White Christmas 4

I do hope that everyone is having a great Christmastime.  We have been having a fantastic time here in TheMadHouse. Christmas Eve was spent wrapping, wrapping and more wrapping, as all the presents were hidden in the loft until last minute to make sure that we dont spoil it for the children. We also made sure that we ate the mince pie and carrot and also drank the drink left for Father Christmas.  The Mini’s managed till about 5.50am, but we didnt come downstairs until 6.30am.  The rule here is that stockings are opened straight away and that other gifts after breakfast and once we are all dressed.  Rhis was no more »


Christmas Eve Elves 9

We have a tradition here in the mad house which has evolved from when I was small.  I always got a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve to go to bed in. I dont know when I stopped thinking they were from the elves and know they were from my parents, but we have carried out this tradition throughout our grown up life too. We have also been keen to do this for the MiniMads and this year decided to expand it a little and leave a bag of goodies from the eveles on their door.  We have been lucky enough to receive a couple of DVD’s as gifts for more »


A Personal Panto 1

My Sister in Law and Brother usually substidise a trip for the children of members of the club to a local Pantomime each year, but his has been getting more and more expensive, so for the first time this year, a local company, The Beverly Artistes came and put on a panto for the children in the Club. What a sucess.  it was fantastic.  5 performers put on Cinderella.  The children loved it and all joined in.  The parents all joined in too and me and MadDad had a fantastic time. It was great that the children could really participate, move around pretty freely and just enjoy themselves in a safe more »


Christmas Cakes are done and dusted 5

I have made and decorated 4 large Christmas cakes this year with the help of my wonderful family (recipe can be found here) This one is for my in laws, My Father in law loves fruit cake and prefers square cakes!! I am a fan of retro and old fashions cake toppers of my youth, so have grabbed them off my Mum and MIL when ever I have had the chance. This one is for my mum This one is for my mums best friend, who always treats the boys like her own grandchildren and is a very speical lady. Finally ours, which has had to have a full re-ice after more »


A Pause in Advent – Joy 6

joy / joi/ • n. a feeling of great pleasure and happiness: tears of joy the joy of being alive. ∎  a thing that causes joy: the joys of Manhattan. • v. [intr.] poetic/lit. rejoice: I felt shame that I had ever joyed in his discomfiture or pain.  2009 has brought me lots of joy, I have shed the above tears and I have a family that brings me joy every day.  In the bible joy is more than an emotion it combines a sence of happiness with a state of blessedness.   For me this advent has been a time of biblical joy.  I have found the time to find more »


Family Treasures Old and New 3

I have been reminded this weekend of why I make thing with the boys and for the boys. We have been decorating gingerbread house’s at my mums with my niece and we put up the snowmen decorations I made when I was 8 so they are 28 years old and the minimads loved them. I have to say the houses which we from Ikea were a nightmare to fix together and eventually both collaspsed under the weight of three children and excess sweets I fear. But as you can see they had a fantastic time making them. We also dropped off the plate I had decorated for my Neice and the more »


No Cards, Just Cookies 12

I know that I am not alone in this as The Dotterel at Bringing Up Charlie blogged about it too.  I HATE CHRISTMAS CARDS. Yep, I shouted.  It possibly stems from the fact I am a Christmas baby and I would rather have my measly few birthday cards up instead of Christmas cards. This issue with cards has grown year on year, especially as I have to write most of them. It was fine when I worked, I would send out an e-mail saying Merry Christmas and that we wouldn’t be sending out cards, but donating to the NSPCC instead.  MadDad still does this with his work colleagues now. But it more »


A Pause in Advent 6

Well my pause for Advent this week has to be on the whole Nativity play in primary schools. MaxiMad is in Reception and his play Woops a Daisy Angel tool place on Wednesday and you can read all about it here.MiniMad is in Preschool (nursery), he is in the afternoon group, which are the youngest children in the school.  We went to his production on Friday afternoon and it was more than a joy to behold.  Unlike Maxi, he had been practicing his songs aloud for about 2 weeks and they were along a pretty traditional line, away in a manger, jingle bells etc. The most wonderful thing was that all more »