Christmas traditions


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 »


Pine cone door decoration 7

Mary I’ve packed the oil And I’ve packed the grain, The water is ready Now listen again – Here are the blankets and covers And your mattress there, So please, my sweet friend, Keep warm and take care Today I have a very easy Pine Cone decoration, which I totally pinched from Sweet Paul. It is very easy for an older child to do on their own, MaxiMad and I did this together.  We also made one for my mum with red ribbon and golden sprayed cones, but forgot to take any photo’s of it before we gave it to her yesterday. I couldn’t find my glue gun (my mother had more »


A Pause in Advent – Priorities 7

“The Messiah shall come to Bethlehem – That prophecy soon will come true For Joseph is going to take me there And I know that my baby is due”. Today we will light the second candle on our advent wreath and discuss the shepherds and their sheep with the children.  I will be making cotton wool sheep with the minimads and we will have a quiet (we as quiet as possible with a 3 and 4 year old) family day. Christmas is creeping up on us this week and I have done my best not to feel overwhelmed by the things that often need to be completed before Christmas day.  I have more »


Christmas Decorations in TheMadHouse 8

Who am I? I’m Caesar Augustus! I live far away in Rome And I want to count all my subjects So, Mary and Joseph, GO HOME! Please let me take you on a tour of TheMadHouse dressed for Christmas…… First my wreath as you come to the front door Then the advent stockings hung over the fire Meet Rudolf one and Rudolf two the very annoying jungle bell rock singing and ear flapping reindeer that the minimads adore given to them my Grandma. My Plastic 1960’s Santa, which is older than me and pinched off my mum, which guards the dinning room door. More signing and dancing scary  soft toys, purchased more »


Egg Box Jingle Bells and Advent Poem 5

“Mary, I too saw an angel, And now we can marry with joy, I’ll care for you both, just as he said, And together we’ll bring up God’s boy”. The boys task for last night was anther craft, which I have seen out on the blog circuit, but can not for the life of me remember where, so I am sorry for not linking to it.  This is another really easy and inexpensive craft. Materials Egg Box paint Glitter String or ribbon Little bells (I bought a wreath full of the from Poundland) I cut up the egg cartons and the boys the little sections and then covered them in glitter. more »


Day 3 and Pipe Cleaner Crystal Decorations 9

We have seen Borax decoration all over the internet and wanted to try them, but with Borax banned in the UK, we had to use a borax substitute to make our pipe cleaner cystal decorations.  These are super easy to make and the kids can manipulate the pipe cleaners all by themselves.


Second day of Advent and Letters to Father Christmas 4

An angel came to Nazareth A long time ago With a message from God in Heaven above To Mary on earth below “God sent me here to tell you” Said the glorious one “That you will bear a boy child And that child will be his son” The first task on the advent calender was to write a letter to Father Christmas.  Both boys took this very seriously, but only want the same things.  A box of Maltesers and a marble run!! MaxiMad decided to draw what he wanted I wrote MiniMads letter for him – he basically dictated it to me and then he put lots of stickers on it. more »


Spiritual Sunday 11

Advent for a Reluctant Worshiper Yep that is me, I dont really fit in to a box when it comes to religion, I was raised C of E, in a church school.  I went to Sunday school, my younger brother was a choir boy, who became a Mormon.  I married an Atheist (in a church) and when my dad died, I became much more agnostic. When MaxiMad was born, I went back to church, we went to a church toddlers group and also a children in church group.  Then I fell pregnant with MiniMad and visiting a church with two babies, well that wasn’t going to happen. As the boys have more »


Rules for a Perfect Family Christmas 8

John Lewis is asking parent bloggers to share their ‘Rules for a Perfect Family Christmas’, so not to feel left out, I though I would add my rules too. Children Christmas is a time for children.  So we make it as magical as we can for them. We dress them up to take lots of Photographs (that is MaxiMad above) We make reindeer food and sprinkle it outside. A Carrot, mince pie and milk (no drinking and driving) are all left out for Father Christmas We hand a special key so Father Christmas can get in as we have no chimney The Christmas Elves leave new night wear for everyone on Christmas more »


Crafting with Children – Make your own wrapping paper 3

This is another really simple, but fun childrens craft, which will save you some pennies over the Christmas period and also over the year to come. Materials Paper – we have a roll of white paper from Ikea £2.99 Washable paints Paper plates Washing up bowl filled with soapy water Towel Now I am not going to pretend this is a clean craft, no sir, it is a messey, fun and wonderful craft and if you are feeling up to it then why not join in too.  If you have a fine day then you can always go outside for this one. Now I do not have images of this work more »


Spiritual Sunday 3

Today is traditionally also know as “Stir it up” Sunday Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; That they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. So as you stir three times each (east to west to represent the three wise men) say the prayer and make a wish. My Christmas Pudding recipe can be found here