So here's the thing. It's hard to be all glamour at Christmas time with a two year old because it's really just a fight to keep him from kicking the tree baubles around the house every time I turn my back. So in an effort to keep him entertained and do something a little crafty (and by little, I mean not too much effort or expense on my part) I did a little searching on Pinterest and came across this nifty little crafty idea to keep the kids entertained. I first came across this idea on Sol and Rachel Do a Blog but there are heaps of different versions on Pinterest and now here is mine!

This felt Christmas Tree can be decorated over and over by the kids (felt sticks to felt - so there is no mess) and packed up and brought back out the following year.

I headed down to Spotlight for the materials and all up it cost about $11.  I purchased 1 metre of green felt for the tree and five squares of different coloured felt for the materials.

Here are my tips for making the experience as pain free as possible.

Fold the tree green felt in half. Pin the two sides together and draw your tree design on one side and then cut through both sides at the same time following the lines you have just drawn. If you try and draw the whole tree onto felt to cut out you will never be able to get it symmetrical on both sides!!

Draw templates for your Christmas decorations like the bows, balls and candy canes onto paper once and then reuse the templates by sticky taping them onto the felt and then cutting them out. You can cut through the tape and carefully peal it off the felt when your decorations are cut out.

I outlined a glass onto paper to create my template for the balls. But you could use a range of different circles like  a roll of tape or egg cups to create different size balls, which means the kids can overlay them on top of each other or put them up separately.

I stuck my tree to the wall using bluetac and the felt "sticks" to itself - so you can hang the decorations again and again and again.
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How could you not LOVE this idea!? Look at that happy little face!

I am going to be taking a bloggy break from my usual posting schedule over the school holiday period so that I can spend some time with and on my ferals... I mean children and the rest of my family. I will be doing more the occassional post rather than my usual schedule of posts over this time.

As I will probably be knee deep in kiddy activity stuff up until Christmas and beyond- I would like to take a moment to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas period and a safe and healthy start to 2013. See you in the New Year.

Merry Christmas,

Lee
 
 
Here's the thing, being a stay at home mum is one of the most underrated and demanding jobs you can do, there are no financial rewards but on the upside you do get paid in kisses and hugs.. which most people would not want from their bosses anyway (yep, I know you just thought about a boss paying you in hugs and kisses .. now get that visual image out of your head) and aside from the lack of monetary gain there are also no special lunches for peoples birthdays, no after work drinks (drinking on your own doesn't count) and no Christmas party.

So imagine how pleased I was to have the chance to frock on up and go along to my hubbies work Christmas party and it was nice. Nobody tried to hit on anyone else's wife and nobody tried to photocopy their butt. Probably the fact that it was not held in the office assisted with the last activity failing to occur. This year the party was held at Melbourne Aquarium (oooh fancy) and it was a really nice event. Waiters meet us at the door with glasses of champagne and moved around the crowd with trays of delicious morsels.  There were actually a number of work dos being held there at the same time - so we didn't actually know everyone but it made for some interesting people watching. Unfortunately I don't have pic's of the  best and worst dressed which is disappointing as there was someone there who would have given Lady Ga Ga a run for her money but I still have a few pic's of the night.
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My hubby and I getting out feral free for a nice night out.
Here's hoping that you have gotten out to enjoy at least one Christmas party or drinks this festive season. I do have one or two more smaller events to go, including drinks out with friends from the gym... but I am thinking that's the type of event where someone may just end up photocopying their butt ... I'll keep you posted.

What event are you looking forward to most in the lead up to Christmas?
 
 
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Alright, I admit it I have been a slack arse with my usual tightly scheduled posts. But in my defence I was out experiencing life and didn't want to dull the experiences at the time by stopping to write about them... (that's my story and that's what I'm going with).

So what have I been doing? Well a bit here and there with the kids, sorting out and wrapping all the Christmas presents to make sure I hadn't accidently missed anyone - which I had, so good thing I'm on the ball with the wrapping and what not.

We decided to get the Christmas tree out this year but with a two and a half year old I feel it is still fraught with danger. We didn't get it out last year because I was worried he would pull it over on himself but I really don't know if this year will be much different. We didn't even put decorations on the lower branches because, seriously, that's just asking for trouble. Regardless, he still keeps gravitating back to it like a moth to a flame - just looking for trouble. My kids and the kids from next door decorated it. It actually looks like they all just stood back and threw stuff at it but it's all good. That's what Christmas is about, sharing time with family and friends. It shouldn't have to be perfect, we don't live in a department store.

My husband doesn't go with that theory, he likes everything to be evenly spaced and colour co-ordinated - he doesn't actually do it, he just likes it to be that way. Well, I'm sorry but life is too short for that crap. He walked into the room to inspect the carnage.... I mean decorations, took a deep breath and said "So, you're happy with that?" to which I replied "Yep" and he said "You're happy with the spacing of everything and how it all looks?" again I go with  "Yep" and he walks away shaking his head.

I have a friend who used to work as a visual merchandiser at a department store and his tree always looked worthy of a Christmas catalogue with a perfectly dressed (and clean) little family sitting beneath it.  In fact the first year he was married, his wife and he set up their Christmas tree and she told me she had never known there were so many rules involved in tree decorating and she was certainly not aware that all the presents had to be colour co-ordinated as well! I might add that this was when their family was smaller, just the two of them. They have recently had a small, demanding, noisy little person come to live with them and I am keen to see if Christmas tree perfection is still on the top of their list of priorities.

Christmas decorations have been out now in full force since July (oh, OK I am exaggerating - but it's only a matter of time before that happens) but I refuse to put anything up in the house until the first of December so that we are at least on the downhill slide to the season of celebration and it feels more Christmassy. So we have a select few pieces out this year and depending on how successful this is we may put more out next year when grabby hands are not so, well, grabby.

Have you set your tree up yet? Are the kids involved in the process or are you like my friend and will only except Christmas tree perfection? I might also add in parting that it wasn't until I had children of my own that I understood why people put those ugly little handmade things on the tree and now that I have my own, they seem beautiful to me. Weird how being a parent changes your perspective so much.

Have you set up the decorations yet? How was your experience? Let me know, I promise I won't judge either way.... well only if you're really anal about it all and everything has to be perfect and then I may judge just a little.

Cheers,

Lee

 
 
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I just had a message posted on my Facebook wall - 19 weeks until Christmas. Yep, that's right you heard it here. It's seems you never have enough time to get everything done and yet Christmas keeps barrelling on down on us.

Any minute now we will be complaining about Christmas Decorations up in stores and seriously why shouldn't we? December is the month of Christmas, so that logically is the month that decorations should actually go up. You can't tell me that if you started putting up Christmas decorations at your place in the first week of September, you're friends wouldn't start regarding you as a little quirky (at the very least). 

The thing is, I understand the importance of being prepared. I am not one of those people who find's joy in racing around in the days just before Christmas madly trying to purchase gifts. I get in early and by early I mean January  (if I spot something special I think someone will like) and I put it away in my present cupboard. This cupboard also stores birthday presents, mothers and fathers days presents .... you get the idea. So, the thing is I get in early. I like early because I like to be prepared. What I don't like is having Christmas rammed down my throat when we should be celebrating other events, milestones and occasions in our lives. Not suffering from a false sense that the year is almost over again... come on, we still have more than a few months left in this one!

Funnily enough, the thing that got me started on this theme was not Christmas decorations and the lunacy of when they go up but rather what to buy the kids for Christmas. I know that this has not been apparent so far in this post before this moment but stay with me and it will become clear.

So what in 2012, do you buy for kids? I came across another post on Facebook the other day where a mother asked whether she should purchase an ipad for her 2 year old. My response was of course, are you kidding me? I haven't even been able to justify the expense of purchasing one for myself - why would I purchase something so expensive for someone who can't even put their own pants on by themselves? (Pull them off yes - but that's a story for another day). I know for a fact my 2 year old doesn't care what is left at the end of his bed, in fact he would be ecstatic with a box. (ahhh, the simplicity of life when you can get excited over a box).

Now, my 9 year old is a different story altogether. He wants what every other 9 year old wants, the "latest thing". This year it's an ipod touch, Bionicles and Skylanders (if you have never heard of Skylanders, you are obviously not hanging with any boys between 5 and 10 - otherwise you'd be drowning in them). Funnily enough, "old school" items are also having a resurgence, such as skateboards and Lego (which has been made over for the 21st Century - read: boxed up, given a theme and is ridiculously expensive).

Now obviously he's not getting everything on his list but how do you choose which is the most appropriate item? Should you make purchases based on how educational the gift is, how much fun it is or do you just get them what they want most (that week) - how do you make your choice?? 

I think at the end of the day, I am most motivated by things which come in one or two large pieces. I am sick of picking small pieces of crap up from yesterdays "must have" disgarded toys so that I can vacuum the carpet.  Which is why it always amuses (no, irritates) me when that ad for Kmart toys comes on and the mum gleefully exclaims over a $25 toy "wow, look at all the pieces!" - are you kidding me? She should be getting excited about it coming in one full piece because it will be less to pick up when the kids are over it and keep leaving it laying around the house!

In fact I find Christmas decorations going up early less annoying than all the toys which come with a multitude of optional pieces (yeah - tech decks, I'm talking about you!) but only just.

So, how about you? Are you an early Christmas shopper or do you save it all to the last moment? What do you look for in a gift for kids? What do your kids just have to have this year? Good luck, give it a month

Cheers,

Lee