Christmas traditions


Family hand print Christmas tree canvas 10

My friend Cass at Frugal Family made a hand print Christmas Tree a couple of years ago, which I have admired each year, but the thought of cutting out all those hand prints really put me off because I am far too lazy. So I put my thinking cap on and when I was in the bargain store the other day I saw an A2 sized canvass for less that £3 and had an epiphany and the above is what was made.

I used things that I had in, so tempura paint in green and then added a little blue to darken it. Paper plates to hold the paint and decided that we would all get involved, even MadDad.

We had a great time making it and started with the largest hands at the bottom and then did each line with smaller ones. Even the star at the top is the boys fingers. Once the tree was dry we added a fingerprint garland and I used brown paint to add the date as the trunk of the tree.


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 »


Reindeer Food, Hearts and Friends 14

I am a lucky lady you know.  I have made some wonderful friends over the internet.  I am blessed to have them and wanted to say thank you for all their support during this year. So, we make reindeer food as part of our annual christmas traditions, therefore, I made a little extra and have packaged it off to them and their little ones as a gesture of my feelings for them. Reindeer food I haven’t re-invented the wheel here, we basically use oats and glitter or coloured sugar. It is dead easy to colour sugar, pop it in a plastic bag, add food colour and shake!!  We use this as 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 »


Jelly Baby Jesus Cakes 12

  Ingredients Shredded wheat Golden Syrup Milk Chocolate Jelly Babys Royal Icing Cake Cases   Break up the chocolate in a bowl and microwave till melted, whilst scrunching up the shredded wheat. Add about a tablespoon of golden syrup to the melted chocolate (it keeps it melted longer, which is easier for the children) and then add the shredded wheat. Have a good lick at your spatula when you have finnshed mixing! Scoop out and place in to the cake cases, this is the chocolate straw. Add you Jelly Baby Jesus, very gently as not to wake him on to his bed of straw. Then cover him in a royal icing more »


Woops a Daisy Angel 12

MaxiMad’s Nativity play was held yesterday afternoon and MadDad made a mad dash down the A1M in order to get back for it. Now MaxiMads year (reception or FS2) is a very big year with excess of 70 children in it and 3 classes, so I can not imagine what work has gone in to this by teachers, Teaching Assistants and the children.  We were not asked to provide costumes, so I was very excited to arrive and see what was going to happen and what everyone was wearing. Maxi wouldnt tell me or MadDad anything about it at all, as it was a secret, he wouldnt even practice his words more »


Decorating on a Budget 2

I’m just a boy who helps around The workshop and I can be found Sawing for Joseph or shaping wood Helping a master who’s kind and good And now I’m here to wave goodbye To watch them go and know that I Am trusted to finish the table and stools And take proper care of the carpenters tools I have had a lot of of wonderful compliments on the Christmas Decorations here at TheMadHouse, so here are some tips for decorating on a budget. MadDad and I have been lucky enough to build up our collection since we were married nearly 14 years ago.  We decided pretty immediately that we wanted more »