So many people consider Christmas to be all about December 25th, and for some, one day is enough! Is this right though? When does Christmas start? I think it seems like such an anti-climax when the enormous build-up is over in twenty-four hours, and particularly for children, it seems a shame to try to keep Slade and company from entering the house until Christmas Eve!
So in my house, we like to start early and drag the festive season out for as long as possible – what else is winter good for other than indulging in everything Christmassy?
Think ‘Christmas Time’ rather than ‘Christmas Day’. That way, children learn to appreciate the atmosphere and spirit of the season as a whole, rather than just the presents on the ‘big day’.
When does Christmas start? The season begins with the arrival of the advent calendars and candles, and soon after comes the tree and the decorating, with the obligatory trip to the garden centre to see the various displays and maybe come away with one or two new baubles!
Christmas fairs in our village start in the first week of December, and are the perfect place to buy little gifts and decorations, as well as usually being the first chance we get to taste the mulled wine and mince pies! Then there is the school nativity, carol concert and end of term Christmas party. And all this by around December 16th!
Then we like to make something of Christmas Eve other than a last minute rush to the finish that leaves us all exhausted for the next morning.
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I am totally excited to pick out an advent calendar this year. My daughter is two and Christmas 2011 is going to be a party! Now that my sweet one is able to get hyped about tinsel and trees, a big ol’ traditional Family Christmas is on the cards.
Now I prefer a more unconventional advent calendar – I’m thinking handmade, wooden, with little drawers.
But Amelia’s grannies and grandpas will have other ideas in mind; FotoInsight’s personalised advent calendars are a perfect gift for gooey eyed family members.
FotoInsight offers the opportunity to design an Advent calendar with your own, carefully selected photos, which will be printed onto a chocolate filled advent calendar. The Advent calendar starts on the first of December and its 24 little doors conceal tasty milk chocolate balls in festive wrapping.
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I want to tell you about a lovely new family cook book by Aggie MacKenzie. Aggie is better known for her ‘How Clean Is Your House?’ TV show, but here she demonstrates she is more than competent in the kitchen too.
The new family cook book has some inspiring (and delicious!) recipes for all the family to enjoy. Got fussy eating kids? Bet they wolf down the Creamy Chicken & Mushroom pie – with extra ingredients including leeks, carrot, celery, potatoes and handful of button mushrooms!
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing empty plates and this family cook book will deliver just that. The recipes are easy to follow, so why not get the kids involved in creating a dish everyone will enjoy. In my experience, if the children are involved in the prep they are more likely to enjoy the food – and it can be fun for everyone too.
You can buy Aggie MacKenzie’s Family Cook Book at amazon from December 2nd, just click on the link.
Aggie Mackenzie’s family cook book is a wonderful addition to any kitchen and would make a lovely Christmas gift too. As a teaser, we have listed two recipes below (including that Creamy Chicken & Mushroom pie).
My mum’s award-winning shortbread – Recipe taken from Aggie’s Family Cook book by Aggie MacKenzie, published by Pavilion. Recipe images © Chris Terry.
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