Sharing the crochet love. And some robots.

Posts tagged ‘christmas’

Time to shine, for all of us

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It may be a little quiet here over the next few days, so I will take this opportunity to say happy Christmas to all of you, or just have a really great day if you don’t do the Christmas thing. So many of you have shared some really kind words and wonderful comments, all of which have meant so much to me.

Sharing a picture of our tree angel today, she is a bit special to me because I made her a few years ago as an experiment with fabric stiffener and lace, using a pattern from Crochet World magazine.She turned out ok, but has warped a little from lying on the shelf ever since – I was living with my parents, having fled an abusive partner, and didn’t have a tree to put her on! 

This year a lot has changed for us. I have my own place again, close enough to my parents for the kids to have plenty of time with them, and wonderful support for me too. We even have our own tree now, decorated with ornaments donated by friends and family, so covered in lovely little reminders of their love for us. And on top of the tree, finally in use, my angel. So much symbolism in there, so many emotions, but all good, finally. All good. 

Festive Friday in miniature

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I have been blessed with two children who don’t just love each other, but also like each other, in spite of being very different at times. Could it be their differences that keep them together?

Look how they chose to dress up today for Festive Friday at their school; my boy, who is still only 4, went all-out with a bright red Santa hat and wore it with pride, the bobble swinging behind him as he ran in to the classroom.

My daughter,who is 9, was less comfortable with the thought of dressing up. Their school has a uniform, and she is happier blending into the crowd just now. I made her a tiny little Santa hat, and attached it to a hairband to sit on top of her head, it was very cute, and it solved her problem; she got to join in with the others but on her own terms.

My girl has been through a lot but I can still see her sunny little personality glimmering away deep inside, like a coin at the bottom of a fountain. At school, her brother seeks her out to make sure that she is ok. At home, she plays games with him, and helps him to read his favourite books. They are a perfect fit – and I am so grateful for them both.

Smells like Christmas

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I love logging on here and reading all of the ways that people are getting ready for Christmas, all over the world; or for the winter holiday, if Christmas isn’t your thing. 

It very much is our thing in this family, the children are already barely able to sleep with the excitement, (which means they are barely able to get up for school in the mornings!) and the house is being cleaned and tidied ready for the celebrations.

As yet we have no tree up, no decorations either, apart from the advent calendars pinned to the wall. I am trying, as much as possible, to keep many of the preparations spiritual in nature, so that the children can think about the true meaning of Christmas – then I will let them go crazy for the last few days so that they can enjoy the present-wrapping, sweetie-eating, and Elf-watching too. (You need to have a little balance, I think!)

 

The kids have written their Santa letters, of course, and they know that new toys will be arriving in the middle of the night, but they are also saying prayers at night for “anyone who is lonely at Christmas,” and “for the baby Jesus to have a happy birthday,” both of which brought tears to my eyes. 

One of the ways we have been preparing for Christmas has been to make some Christmas fudge, as presents for the childrens’ teachers and teaching assistants. Who knew that fudge would be so easy to make? Probably not the most traditional recipe, but it was just a matter of opening a tin of condensed milk (I love!) and adding some melted chocolate, then heating in a saucepan, and stirring in the “extra” of your choice, such as crushed up Oreo cookies. It didn’t take too long, and apart from the hot saucepan it was a great make for the kids to join in with – they especially love the crushing of the biscuits and the eating of the other ingredients! 

The floor may be a little sticky in places now but it is starting to feel very Christmassy, and I think we will be making some more batches of lovely fudge for sharing out when we put the tree up, on Sunday. In fact, I think this is one recipe that will be re-used and repeated many, many times in this house! 

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and is having a lovely Monday. 🙂

“..And You Will Have Fun, Whether You Like It Or Not!”

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Yep, I have actually said that, to my kids. And today I think it is time I took my own advice.

I will admit, when I first shouted this at the children, I knew what I was saying, and it was an attempt at getting my daughter in particular to stop being so negative about things. We were in the car on our way to a nearby forest, to get out and enjoy a bit of fresh air between rain showers. I do remember “fresh air” being massively over rated when I was a child, and I remember the annoyance of being dragged away from a good book and forced to tramp through some boggy field or up a hill, to satisfy my parents’ desires to see us all leave the house at least once a day.

My parents were right, of course. Children do need to be blasted with air and surrounded by nature. It is calming, soothing, and good for the spirits. Although I always protested, I did enjoy the mud, the wind, the ocean waves. So I torture my own children with forced outings, knowing that they will not fully appreciate them until they have kids of their own. Some days they do hop into the car without a fuss, and get excited about our trips. Other days, there is a lot of whining from the back seat of the car.

I usually do the parental deafness trick, whereby I can zone out the whining while still enjoying the radio or humming to myself, but if the kids are particularly cranky I will try to make a joke out of it, pretending to get angry and snapping at them to

        “Get out and start having some fun, right now! Go on, enjoy yourselves. I am not seeing smiling. I am not hearing laughter. If I have to come over there and make you happy, so help me…”

The kids are old enough to understand that I can’t force them to be happy, they get the joke.(Otherwise that looks like some kind of dreadful psychological abuse! That is not me, I promise.) There is the occasional chase, possible tickling, a scream or two, but it usually has the desired effect, and nobody ever comes home in the same scratchy mood they went out in. Good times.

So, today? Today I take my own advice, finally. This feeling of unease that is hanging over me the last few days about our current situation, the money worries over Christmas, the feeling that I should be studying a little more often than I am doing, the constant desire to over-eat, the loneliness that visits every now and then (which is my own fault, as I have kept my friends at arms length lately due to the emotional drama going on in our house,) just how are those feelings doing anything to help me? They are not, they just linger around like a big black cloud and prevent me from getting the most out of my life.

So what if things are difficult? There are a lot of good things in my life that I am not fully enjoying because I am sitting around waiting for a better day. Well, today can be that day. I am off out for a walk in the fresh air, and I am going to enjoy it, whether I like it or not!

Oh yes, and some pictures of crocheted hats that I just felt like sharing.

Children are the Real Teachers

 

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Not a crochet post today, although I have been plenty busy with the yarn. 

I wanted to share this, not so that I can brag about how wonderful my kids are or to fret about how on earth Santa is going to grant this particular Christmas wish. I wanted to share it because it helped me so much this morning when things were looking very grim indeed.

 

Money is tight in our house. It is tight all year, and worse at Christmas, like so many families. This year I was upset because I don’t know where the money is going to come from to sort the kids out with toys, new clothes, and a good dinner. 

 

The kids wrote their letters to Santa last night. I have always told them to ask for three things, and three things only. Anything extra will come as a nice surprise – and it means much less stress for Santa! They take a lot of time and care choosing their three things, so the letter writing often takes a long time.

Then, this morning, mid-worry session, I read over my daughters letter and saw that one of her three wishes was that other children would have enough to eat on Christmas Day. I burst into tears! I am not much of a crier, but that really got me, because it made me ashamed that I had been worrying so much when there are children out there who will have a miserable Christmas, and a miserable life. 

 

So, my mission now, is to find a way to help my kids’ wish come true, at least in some small way. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get the kids involved in giving to others this year? Any help at all would be much appreciated. (I know we could just put some money in a charity collection box, but I would love for the kids to be able to feel as though they are actively doing something real to help!)

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