‘Twas the night (or at least the month) before Christmas…….

It is now Christmas Eve and a very excited little 3 year old is in bed. Her little brother doesn’t really know what the fuss is about (although he is fascinated by the shiny baubles and big stack of paper covered objects under the tree that holds the shiny baubles).

Our Christmas preparations started a month out from Christmas, in the last week of November, when we realised we hadn’t yet made our pudding or cakes. We had a big weekend cook up, and just happened to pick the 39 degree day, which was fairly poor planning on our behalf. We made the steamed cherry pudding for Christmas Dessert, the stout and dark chocolate cakes, and the cherry and smoked almond panforte (which were gifts) and some candy cane chocolate truffles.  Astrid loves to bake and was definitely involved in all our Christmas baking efforts.

After our massive initial cooking effort, Astrid also helped me with shortbread, rocky road and speculaas (Dutch spiced biscuits) which all became gifts……….. and a few ended up as our morning tea!  I didn’t get photos of the finished biscuits and rocky road but hopefully their recipients enjoyed them. Astrid certainly enjoyed making them…..

Of course we had to put up the Christmas tree….. Astrid had been asking for weeks to have the tree up. I held her off until December, and then we got side-tracked by a few busy days and a non-sleeping baby brother. By the end of the first week of December it was up (with help from Granny) but lots of the decorating was done by Astrid. She had practiced on a friend’s tree, at their annual Christmas tree party. Maybe next year she can do it by herself?  This years theme is red and gold and the tree came out pretty well, and looks pretty at night too….

The stockings were also up and the presents laid out. Astrid and  Søren have their own special baubles with their names on them and Astrid put her own on this year. Søren looked perplexed at the whole process, and maybe a little distracted by the shiny baubles.

For the first time ever, we decided to take the kids to see the Christmas lights.  Going out at night with kidlets whose normal bedtime is 6.30pm is always fraught with danger.  After a day of birthday parties and enforced late afternoon naps, we decided to give it a go.  Of course it was Summer solstice so it didn’t get dark until really late.  Astrid had a ball though, what could be more fun than running around way past bedtime, in your PJs, looking at sparkly lights and getting given lollipops are every house.  Søren wasn’t at all sure about the whole process. He loved the lights but was a little confused as to why he had escaped bed.  Next year he will be all over it (and the lollipops too I imagine).

For the record, despite being out until after 9pm, they were both up at 6am the next morning!

Aside from baking, tree decorating and lots of Christmas parties. there was lots of Christmas spirit from both kids.  Astrid has been doing Christmas crafts with her Grandma including making the place cards for our Christmas table. Her favourite activity so far though has been growing snow.  You buy it in a small packet from kikki.k, add water, and voila, snow!  It has to be watered every day, which is a fun toddler activity, and we now have a big container of snow. I’m not sure what we are doing with the snow, but it is very cool.

 Søren was just content being a reindeer….. He constantly brings his reindeer antlers over for me to put on him. Those antlers are great, and even more fun now that he can walk/run everywhere! My cute little prancing reindeer…….

Hopefully my little reindeer and budding chef will have a big sleep tonight and a day of fun and excitement tomorrow!

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