The Little Lilypad Blog is mostly written by a mum to two beautiful ( and very entertaining) daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or my gorgeous sister in law as part of our baby blog and occasionally we accept guest posts. There is frequently talk of shoes (we love fashion), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) and baby swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.
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Posted on 9:52am Wednesday 4th Dec 2013
..... a brilliant guest post from Mary Key (I love how these surnames rhyme).
I hadn't heard of this wonderful Christmas tradition until about 3 years ago, and I regret that I never had the chance to do with my children when they were little, so you lot have to do it for me and spread the love and joy that little ones have on the "Night before Christmas!"
Everyone leaves a glass of something for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph, but what about the others? They get left out and that's just not fair!
So a nice quick and easy craft project if you like, or a treat left by your Elf on the Shelf if you have, is to make reindeer food!
A simple combination of bird seed or porridge oats and glitter or confetti mixed together will make your Christmas eve sparkle.
If you are concerned about wildlife eating the glitter you can use the biodegradable stuff or even coloured sugar (which is easy to do in an old jam jar add a couple of drops of food colouring to half a jar of white sugar and shake hard for a few minutes. - leave over night for the sugar to absorb all the colour and then mix with your food/oats)
And then before they go to bed on Christmas eve they can go out in the garden and scatter the food with a poem.....
Sprinkle on the lawn tonight
The moon will make it sparkle bright
As Santas reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home
And if you're lucky enough to have snow - the sparkle and the magic is even better!
Merry Christmas everyone and a safe and happy new year
From the Keynko collective x x x x
Posted on 7:37am Tuesday 3rd Dec 2013
.... a guest post from the very lovely Emma Bradley.
This week I am really pleased to be guest posting on the beautiful blog that is the Little Lilypad Co. I love Christmas and everything about it. One of my parental aims is always to ensure that my children think of others less fortunate than themselves at this time of year.
As most of my readers over at www.emmaand3.com know my children often send me near the edge with too many hospital trips. One of those hospital trips a few years ago saw Dylan being admitted on Christmas Eve. We spent the next four days on Children’s Ward whilst he was on IV antibiotics. The nurses were lovely to the children waking up in a hospital bed instead of their own. There was a present from Santa on the end of the bed and after breakfast he did ward rounds bringing more treats. I was really humbled by other people’s generosity, we had a pretty awful Christmas that year but those small touches were remembered.
Since then we have always donated presents to the ward for the children and parents waking up there. One year Chloe collected old mobile phones and had them turned into toys. She collected over £150 worth which we happily took up to the ward. At this time of year we always have a big sort out too. We recycle our own belongings by taking things we no longer use to the charity shop. Again we always use the charity shop that helps fund Sue Ryder as they looked after my nan in her final hours.
At Church on Christmas Eve the children each take a gift that is then passed onto a local women’s rufuge. The presents are used when new families arrive that might have had to leave everything behind or for birthday gifts during the year.
I want to teach the children that Christmas is a time of giving in addition to receiving. Giving doesn’t have to cost money either. Giving time is perfect – is there a relative or friend that finds Christmas hard and could do with the gift of time and a visit this season? Is there a neighbour who would treasure a hard made card from the children?
What will you be giving this Christmas?
Posted on 7:45am Monday 2nd Dec 2013
...... not turtle doves but outfits for girls I love (it kind of rhymes).
When we were asked to review the F&F Christmas range, we jumped (or is it leapt like the lords?) at the chance, we love clothes and we love Christmas, so it was a match made in heaven.
Typically, my eldest daughter had to make her own choices ....... she is 8 after all! (what am I going to do when she is 18???) but I was pleasantly surprised at her request!
Both dresses have roses in the design, a flower that is very personal to us as a family, but each design is very different. As a mom, it's good to know that they are machine washable because my children are like magnets for dirt ... no matter how careful they are!
The quality is amazing for the price and it just goes to show that supermarket style can rival the high street any day of the week .... usually saving enough money to buy the matching shoes too! This works for me on lots of levels, saving money and having some spare for shoes!
If I am honest, F&F is not somewhere that would immediately spring to mind if I was thinking about party dresses but they have a fabulous range of Christmas attire for all ages, including jumpers and some brilliant nativity costumes too!
So on the second day of Christmas, I will happily pass on the turtle doves and have two fabulous party dresses for my gorgeous girls instead. It doesn't rhyme but it works for me!
Posted on 10:00am Sunday 1st Dec 2013
.... a gorgeous guest post from Maggy Woodley
Oh my, how I LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year. And I don’t just love Christmas and the “big day” itself, but all the things around it that lead up to Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I too am shocked and disgruntled by the commercial aspect of Christmas, but this is why our family Advent traditions are so important to me. I want to make Christmas not about the gifts, but about the MAGIC.
So, there are a number of things that I love to do with my kids at this time of year….
These are the things I like to do. Every family is different and of course have their own traditions!
We like to bake. In Austria it is tradition to bake 8 or different Christmas cookies in the run up to and during Advent. I like to make up small bags full of different cookies and give them as gifts to neighbours, friends and family! Our favourite are:
Well we all know about advent calendars, such a lovely way to count down to the big day. I used to love opening all the little windows and visually seeing how close Christmas was getting. I love making our own Advent Calendar and have stacks of ideas for you over on Red Ted Art. But I think the best thing is to keep it simple and do little things like “let’s eat popcorn” or “let’s read our favourite Christmas picture book”.
Advent Wreath and Candles
We have an Advent Wreath or 4 Church Candles. I can’t always get hold of a wreath and yes, I know that I should make one… but there are so many other things to make, that I don’t mind it too much if we have 4 nice candles with pine cones and dried orange slices lined up on the mantle piece.
Then on the 1st Advent, we assemble. We light the candle. We listen to Christmas songs and we start munching on the first set of Christmas cookies! If there is time a board game is played too! On the 2nd of Advent, we repeat the process, but light 2 candles – the 1st one and a new one and so one. This means the 1st candle will be a little smaller as the rest at Christmas and has that special “advent feel”.
And that is the basis of our “advent”.
Back to my point at the beginning of the post about the “commercial-ness” of Christmas. I would love to leave you with an alternative Christmas Gift idea – The Gift of Creativity! The idea is to create “Basic” and “Jazzed up” Craft Kits that you can put together yourself – and then, if you wish, add a copy of Red Ted Art the book and you will have a fabulously creative gift – both original and different! What do you think? You don’t need much in a basic craft kit, especially if you add recycled materials and finds from nature…. I love to add pinecones, stones and recycled fabric to our basic craft kit to get the kids think creatively about things they can find and reuse.
About the Author: Maggy Woodley, a mum of two and prolific blogger. She loves everything about crafts and loves nothing better to recycle and forage for craft materials –making crafts economical and fun. Maggy also writes at Life at The Zoo about cooking with kids, gardening and sciency “stuff” and Theatre Books and Movies for well, theatre, book and movies! Red Ted Art, is also now being translated into German, Spanish and Russian for more people to enjoy!