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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Category: Christmas

  1. On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ....

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    On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a brilliant guest post from Alice who blogs over at http://mylifemysonmyway.blogspot.com/ 

    A Very Merry Bonkers Christmas To You!

    Cracker Joke:

    What do you get when you put 7 siblings with partners and children in a house over Christmas?

    Answer:

    A Very Merry Bonkers Christmas!

     

    In our family, Christmas used to be a time where we all came together, ate, sung and played stupid games. 

    Sounds normal right?

    WELL...

    Our family is far from normal; in fact we are positively bonkers... but as Alice in Wonderland’s daddy say’s ‘All the best people are’

    Annnd there are thousands of us! **Slight exaggeration**

    My mum is the eldest of 9 babies... sadly her twin died at birth and my aunt who moved to Canada died when I was very young, so only 7 of the siblings are here on earth.

    This is the current number of people in my mum’s side of the family:

    Mummy Dearest: 1 (ex) husband, 3 children (inc me!), 1 son in law (Hoff), 2 grandchildren (Kyd & Rocky)

    Uncle 1: 1 wife, 2 children

    Uncle 2: 1 (ex) wife, 3 children, 1 daughter in law, 3 grandchildren

    Sister 1: 1 husband, 2 children

    Sister 2 (deceased): 1 husband, 2 children, 1 son in law, 3 grandchildren (in Canada)

    Twin 1: 1 (ex) husband, 1 partner, 4 children (inc step child), 1 son in law.

    Twin 2: 1 (ex) husband, 2 children, 1 French daughter in law.

    Sister 3: 1 husband, 2 children (inc step child), 1 son in law.

    TOTAL: Too Many!! (60)

    So it was grandchild & in law free back then but this is still, a lot of people!

    You see at Christmas we all liked to get together at someone’s house in Reading, usually the sibling with the biggest house at the time (usually Twin 1 or Twin 2). The Canadians obviously couldn’t make it but we always made the 246.3 mile journey on the train from Filey, N Yorkshire to Reading, Berkshire in the cold, wet, winter month of December. My mum would always have a stupid amount of baggage and it was always overly stressful but the excitement of Christmas was always in the air! I now understand why she had so many bags.... she was helping Santa deliver our presents! (Makes so much more sense now)

    When we got there we were all squeezed into Twin 1’s house and we basically had a week long sleep over. It was so much fun until we started getting too big to all fit in. I miss those times, so uncomplicated and mad (for us).

    We had specific traditions, such as, putting our stocking (which were in fact pillow cases) by the fire place.

    Watching ET, Home Alone and most importantly The Muppets Christmas Carol & Santa Claus the Movie!

    We had to ‘Hibernate’ upstairs until Twin 1 had tidied, cleaned and prepped for the big day... we later found out it was just a way to keep us out of the way in general!... cheeky!...

    We went to midnight mass on Christmas Eve as we got a bit older and loved seeing the drunks walking the streets and singing carols... later we became the drunks walking the streets singing the carols...

    We weren’t allowed to open any of our ‘people’ presents until AFTER dinner when everybody was there. We were however allowed to open our Santa presents at whatever time we woke up.... this started at 5am when we were tiny.... and when we got older it got later and later, 6am to 7am to 8am to 9am and so on, much to our parent’s delight. 

    When it came to Christmas dinner it was like The Mad Hatters Tea Party, constant movement, noise and a little spillage of gravy, beer, wine and coke thrown in. The Cat, who didn’t even live there, would be in the kitchen eating the leftover turkey and at least 1 uncle would be asleep on the sofa before the Queen’s speech. 

    This one year, before my Nan passed away and there were fewer children, I remember that Uncle 2 fell asleep on the sofa and my Nan told my sister to put bubbles on his nose to wake him up.... It did not go down well! There was shouting, tears and tantrums.... and that was just from the adults! It was all a bit bonkers and all I remember was that we couldn’t hear the TV properly! Lol. 

    It was never a dull moment at the D family Christmas. Smiles, bad singing, doors slamming, boys and girls farting and blaming each other, arguments, Presents getting mixed up and confused and there were tears of joy and rage, as one cousin got what the other wanted and more....

    But if you asked each of us now, we’d never have changed it for the world! We all miss it....

    I don’t think the adults do though, so much work involved and what’s the betting they’d make us kids, now adults, cook the dinner....

    And what’s the betting we’d end up with a Chinese Take Away if we did?! 

    If I could go back, scoop it all up to rein act it now.... I would keep all the bonkers right in there because that’s what makes our family, our family. If only we could get everybody in one place at the same time with The Muppets on in the background and everybody singing ‘There goes Mr Humbug, there goes Mr Grim’... not that I know all the words or anything?! **dips head** 

    Never going to happen, we are all so busy doing other stuff and living in other places, such a shame.

    I’ve kept the traditions alive with my kids though, minus the excess of people, and no matter where we are based for Christmas we still try and do what we did back then, stockings by the fire, no presents until after dinner and watching the old movies that have become classics on the sofa together. I hope my kids and their grandchildren follow in our footsteps too, it is, after all, what makes Christmas, Christmas.

    I hope we aren’t on our own with our bonkersness, I hope you all have similar stories to tell. I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to laugh at the stories we tell them about when we grew up but at the moment I just get looked at like I’m mad.... Which I am.... but is there any wonder why?

    Have A Very Merry Bonkers Christmas One and All

  2. On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me .....

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    On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me .... another great guest post, this time from Emma who blogs over at Science Sparks.

    Hello, I'm Emma from Science Sparks and I'm really pleased to be guest posting on Little Lily Pad today. I posted recently about investigating shiny and dull surfaces, so thought I'd extend that a little bit for you here.

    DSC_0137

    For this you will need:

    Lots of Christmas decorations, for example:

    • tinsel
    • foil wrapping paper
    • ornaments
    • metallic ribbon
    • bells
    • metallic Christmas cards
    • glittery items.
    • felt Christmas stocking
    • flat toned wrapping paper
    • miniature Christmas wreath
    • candle
    • ornaments made of fabric
    • ribbon
    DSC_0149

    Look at ways you can group them.
     
    Big/small
     
    Shiny/dull
     
    Smooth/prickly
     
    Colour.
     
    Can you count them?
     
    How many do you have of each colour? and in each group?
     
    Don't forget to check out Science Sparks for lots more fun Science activity ideas.
     

    DSC_0150

  3. On the sixth day of Christmas ....

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    On the sixth day of Christmas we bring you a guest post from Wendy McDonald who writes at In the Wendy House.

    "One of the things that I love most about Christmas is resurrecting our family's Christmas traditions.  With my eldest child being 24, I have had plenty of time to come up with tried and tested things to do that keep the family happy over the festive season.  Continuing these traditions over the years has given me such joy.  This year, my youngest son Freddy is 3 and ready to embrace everything that the festive season has to offer.  Doing it all again, and seeing it through his eyes will be completely magical.
     
    One of the things we love to do in the run up to the big day is lots of baking and crafting.  It's great fun to get on our Christmas aprons and get messy!  Gingerbread is always a favourite to make.  Festive gingerbread shapes are easy and fun to make.  This year I've bought a silicone mould from Lakeland, to make the parts for a gingerbread house which will be quite an ambitious project.  This will be our first time and I hope it will herald the start of a whole new tradition!  
     
    I love making personalised home-made presents for our family with the children.  Using poster paints and their handprints, we have made reindeer and angel pictures which we have mounted onto cardboard.  Adding a small printed calendar to the bottom, makes a present that will be enjoyed all year.  You can buy plain white T-shirts for a couple of quid.  Getting the kids to draw a self-portrait onto them using fabric paints makes a gift that will be much loved.  It also provides a fantastic record of your child's artwork from year to year.  Another thing we do is make a video featuring the kids singing carols, reading poems and playing musical instruments in front of the Christmas tree.  We burn the film onto DVD and the children make a personalised cover.  It is a lovely way to bring Christmas with the children to those who we won't be able to see over the festive period.  We pop them in with the Christmas cards.  My kids love watching them back every year too to see how much they have grown and changed.
     
    One Christmas Eve tradition is the annual preparation of the Christmas dinner.  Over the years I have learned that there is nothing worse than being stuck in the kitchen on my own preparing food while the rest of the family is having fun in another room.  So, instead on the afternoon of Christmas Eve we all don our Santa hats and take to the kitchen together.  We put on our festive tunes and work in a production line prepping sprouts, carrots, spuds, parsnips etc and sealing them into plastic bags ready to be cooked next day.  Making this chore a fun family activity that is filled with fun, music and laughter, lightens the load giving me more precious time with the kids on Christmas morning.
     
    Before bed time, the children all receive a new pair of Christmas pyjamas so they can wake up on Christmas morning wearing festive pj's!  Freddy will be in charge of getting a snack ready for Santa and the reindeer and we will sprinkle reindeer dust (porridge oats, sugar and food colouring - which is a bird friendly recipe) over the lawn.  Once everyone is tucked up in bed, my husband and I bring down all the children's presents and put them under the tree and add extra decorations to create a real winter wonderland.  Then we get a big roll of wrapping paper and tape up a length to completely cover the opening of the door.  In the morning, the paper cover hides everything from the children, raising the excitement levels and building their anticipation.  On the count of three, the children burst through the paper!  It signals the start of Christmas Day and all its magic.
     
    I can't wait to celebrate Christmas with my husband and five children.  We'll be enjoying our old traditions and hopefully discovering some new ones along the way!"
     
    Love,
     
  4. On the fifth day of Christmas ....

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    Today's blog post is written by Liz Weston aka @TheLizWeston on twitter. By day she's the Founder of Weston Communications - a social media and PR agency. By night, she writes at CambridgeMummy.co.uk 

    Five gooooooold rings - here's five things that I want this Christmas, to make the last weeks of 2012 go out on a high.
     
    1. My family around me.
    It's hard work having your family around. I'm hard work, they are hard work - it's hard work. But to know that my mum and dad, brother, husband and boys are with me, is getting more and more important, the older I get. Seeing my mum and dad's faces watching the boys playing and messing about makes me realise how much they and I miss out on because they live so far away from us. 
     
    2. To not over buy food
    I feel like we waste so much food. I'm going to menu plan. I know that sounds a bit Martha Stewart. But I hate it when we're overwhelmed by volumes of food and throw it away. I'd rather budget and try this year, to make a donation to a food shelter so they can help others. I don't mean this in a Mother Theresa way - I just feel like I want us to set the boys an example that we don't have to over induldge - it's enough to just have us all together. 
     
    3. To be more of a help at home
    My husband works so hard to keep us going, let alone doing all the prep for our having a house full at Christmas. So I need to step up to the plate and do more - I've actually started already - it's not enough to say that I work full time and can't do any more, because he is constantly on the go. The bloke deserves a break. So I've got to do more - it will help me burn calories and stop me eating!! 
     
    4. To get out in the fresh air with my family 
    We live in a beautiful place and I actually quite like being outdoorsy, but it's like the phrase about running - it's getting the shoes on and the first step out of the door that's most difficult !!! I get stressed getting the boys in their kit and I'm sweating by the time I go to put my own on, which isn't a great start. But I want to remember outdoors stuff. I want the boys to remember it. 
     
    5. To do less work than I did last year! 
    Last Christmas and New Year, I did quite a bit of work. This Christmas, I'm buying myself some great books to read, so that I'm distracted enough to not want to check in on things, and to only work at fixed times. I think that I'll be better at the work I do, if I take some more time off. 
     
    I know that this is quite serious, for the type of blog I usually write, so if you're disappointed, I'm sorry! I promise there's very little sincerity on cambridgemummy.co.uk - it's much more about the trials of wiping little people's bottoms and taking a sideways look at the world and life in general. 
     
    Here's to a brilliant Christmas for everyone and a fabulous 2013! xx