|Not many decorations at toddler level this year!|
Over the years we have been parents (fourteen now) we have worked hard to build a secure family basis for our children, we aim to create a place where they feel loved and accepted and a valued part of the nuclear family group. We are in such a privileged position to be surrounded by not only a wonderful extended family but also a very supportive church family.
|The advent countdown made when my oldest was tiny.|
It has been so helpful to watch others who are further on in the parenting journey and take note of the wonderful ways so many parents are working to build a strong and secure family unit. Many things have been helpful to us including parenting books, a positive parenting course and a marriage course . We have seen the value and importance of creating family traditions; these have evolved from our own childhood ways of doing things, using ideas from other families as well as repeating things which have been fun.
Christmas is a time for creating and enjoying many traditions, our children know all these and insist we do them all every year! Some of ours include:
* writing a Christmas Eve letter to Santa and leaving out a carrot for Rudolf, a beer and a mince pie for the man himself
* He always replies in very shaky handwriting, one of our children has pointed out the similarites to the tooth fairy letters, we have no idea what she means!
* He always leaves a footprint and the reindeer leave some poo (looking very like raisins!)
* Watching a Christmas film a day in the run up to the big day
* Having a yummy Christmas (Just us) breakfast using the special plates which come out for birthdays and special days
* Using the same decorations every year, keeping as many as possible made while they were small
* Having Christmas Eve tea in front of the fire watching The Polar Express in pyjamas and eating lots of festive cake and chocolate.
* Stockings in the morning on our bed which always include an orange and chocolate coins amid the rest of the presents.
* Letting them open one present before church but making them wait until after lunch for most of them!
* Always encouraging the children to be as creative as possible in their understanding and interpretation of the Christmas story *