Gift ideas for preschoolers from The Works

Talitha and Ophelia’s stocking fillers “from Santa Claus” are all sorted now. It’s good to get that out of the way. I have an idea of what to get them from us but haven’t settled that yet. I know, time is a-ticking. I always find that I lose inspiration when under pressure, especially in I’m buying gifts for children who aren’t the same age as my own. So I’ve put together a brief list of gift ideas from The Works for anyone buying something for a preschooler. 1. Bead Set These are melty beads in the style of Hama beads.…

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Decorating a Christmas tree – the real life version

In a perfect world, the Christmas tree would have arrived. Ophelia would have slept or otherwise happily entertained herself. I would have tangibly demonstrated “you don’t need a man to do it” by putting the tree up myself. We would have spent an easy afternoon decorating the tree. I would have taken the photos and this would have been a post about the bliss of establishing a Christmas tradition for our little family. And I would have surprised the heck out of Laurence when he got home. Instead, our tree was delivered by Pines and Needles on Tuesday. Ophelia was…

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Skating into the Christmas spirit

This time last year, the tree was up, the Advent calendar had been homemade way in advance, the carols had been playing for a while, festive activities planned for each day and I was some version of Father Christmas gone bridezilla. It was all had to be merry or else – got it?! But I am just not feeling it yet. Yesterday morning, Talitha asked for “Jingle Bells” so I put it on. Our tree is arriving today. She opened the first window of her Advent calendar yesterday. The markings of Christmas coming are there, even if part of me…

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I’m not going to try so hard this Christmas

I may have over-extended myself a bit last year. I planned 25 activities for us to do with 2.5-year-old Talitha every day of Advent to Christmas Day. And good golly, somehow we managed it all. We even did lots extra that wasn’t on the list, like making gluten-free, dairy-free mince pies – and failing miserably, I might add. I think it must have been some pregnant, hormonal thing where I felt so strongly that I wanted to build our holiday traditions as we were growing our family. I also wanted to make the most of this special time where Talitha…

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31 Weeks Pregnant – On growing a baby over Christmas

I printed off a free 2014 calendar the other day and wrote in the pregnancy weeks as I keep finding myself making plans for next year and struggling to figure out how pregnant I’ll be by then. Then I worked out that by the time I’m in a place to focus on getting things ready for the new baby (or rather, before the new baby, since she herself doesn’t need much) I’ll be 34 weeks pregnant. I’m almost expecting to go to 42 weeks so that makes it 8 weeks from then, less than 11 weeks from now. I’m really…

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Make a Christmas Wreath from Natural Objects

Sadly, I didn’t have my camera with me when we made this. Alas! We were at my in-laws for the weekend and we swapped this craft into Talitha’s Advent Calendar activity for the day for convenience. I’m so in love with it, though, I need to share it. We started off with a metal hanger and stretched the body of it into an “O”. The hook broke off, otherwise that would have been useful to leave for hanging. The neck of the hook has been useful in its stead though. We’d collected holly, ivy and some other fun bits of…

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Peter Spier’s Christmas!

My mother-in-law unpacked her Christmas decorations this weekend, much to Talitha’s delight. As expected, since she’s a bookbinder, many beautiful and interesting things emerged from the boxes. I was quite taken by a book of illustrations, Peter Spier’s Christmas! Talitha and I flipped through together, pointing out to each other the many details on each page, both of us caught up in this wordless story of family Christmases in Britain gone by. The pictures are just so intricate. There’s lots for both of us to focus on. As an adult, I’d happily sit and examine each frame on my own.…

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