My Vintage Childhood

My Vintage Childhood: December 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Here's to 2015, May There Be Sparks of Amazing in 2016.....

Well we are now in the afternoon countdown to New Years!

We had a lovely morning out walking, scooting and playing along the Southport Broadwater, having icy cold treats and visiting my favourite second hand book shop and gaining some credit to spend in store and we've also run a bunch of errands.

We haven't treated today any different because it's the last day of the year and tonight we are staying in and we will go with the flow as to how we see the new year in, there are bubbles in the fridge and tunes at the ready, but if we feel like heading to bed early we will. Either way we are perfectly content however our evening goes.

One of my plans this week though has been to write a post about New Years and to take look back on 2015. I have tried several times this week and have a couple of different drafts I have started, but have found it difficult to finish them. I think the reason for this is that, it has been a busy year with lots of changes for me (and the family).  The answer I think is to spend more time settling back in after this cycle of change before stopping to put it into words.

Nonetheless change is good and I have grown and expanded in numerous ways this year. I'm looking forward  to 2016 and seeing where it leads me and I hope the New Year ahead has you heading on wonderful paths with sparks of amazing along the way.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has continued to pop in and share this space with me. I know my posting on the blog has not been as consistent as it has been in previous years this year, and it's simply been due to the juggle. I thank you all for your continued support and friendship through the changes and challenges we have had.

Many more changes are in store for 2016 and I'm excited to see how next year shapes itself. Anything is possible and I'm excited by that thought and possibilities.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

'Tis the season to take some time......

It tends to be a time of year where many people get busy and overwhelmed with Christmas and all the preparations, which sometimes can be a tad more tricky to juggle if you've got young children home twenty-four seven.

However in the last few years I have found it a time of the year to "take some time"

The school year has ended and Cohen is home for six weeks, Sarah has finished up kindy and is home for six weeks as well, she'll be school kid in the new year and a wee little preppie. Just shy of two years ago before Cohen started Prep, it really dawned on me over the Christmas holidays how much I would miss him when he started school.

I just realised that a five day school week from nine until three each day was such a huge chunk of time to not be spending without my boy and me being the one seeing all the things he was learning for the first time. I've been a stay at home mum for all three of my children and still am and to suddenly realise that I would become a second string viewer to what he was learning, doing and achieving both sadden me whilst excited me to know he would be growing and learning.

So when Christmas holidays hit now, it's seems just a natural time to take some time away from things. I've been taking stepping away from being online these last few weeks, to enjoy being the one who gets to see the changes first that so quickly happen over summer holidays. When school goes back I know I won't be the only one saying wow the kids have grown and changed so much in just six weeks.

Our days are currently being filled with all the childlike moments, whimsy and fun we can manage.

When Sarah says I can't wait to sleep under the Christmas tree and watching the lights, we make it happen.

We sneak out and have babycinos, smiles with mustaches.

We play together and make up stories and draw cities and let our play lead us to wherever it takes us.

We build cubby houses and nap in them and leave them up for days and relax whole there are yucky summer head colds annoying us.

We go out and we look out at the world and ask questions and come up with great big plans and ideas for other holiday adventures.

It's a time for enjoying and making magic happen, creating memories and building on old traditions and maybe making new ones too.

Between now and the New Year, I will continue to be a little less active on the blog and social media, for no other reason than to enjoy this special time. I hope you are all enjoying the season thus far and that you are slowing down to just take some time. What matters most are the ones closest to us.

From me to you, Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 11, 2015

'Tis Christmas and halls are decked....

Ahhh Christmas, the season, the decorating, the spirit, the feeling, I love it. I love it more now than I ever did as a kid and I love it even more so since having children. It's the joy of sharing traditions and memories with our children and the belief in magic and fantasy.

There's nothing wrong with a healthy, heartfelt dose and escape with fantasy and magic. I love the whimsy and magic that is created with Christmas decorating and putting up a Christmas tree with twinkling lights and watching my children lay on the floor before slumber, watching flickering lights in relaxed contemplation. 

Our festive decorating and preparations for the coming season and celebrations are full of tradition, whimsy, childhood memories, love and connections.

The deep questions are asked at night as the kids lay and relax watching the lights.

Stockings are hung and ready with invisible thread, the kids had to investigate closely when I told them so. Our clocks show the times for Australia (QLD), London and New York, we have family spread out across the seas. A thrifed Santa helps light our lounge room nights.

Our tree holds memories and honours of our girls Elle and Meg. A crystal ornament that found it's way to me and my heart, on a chance and amazing op shop visit. It spoke to my heart and filled me with instant emotion. We have waited for this, waited for the right time and the right keepsake. It's found us and helps complete our Christmas.

Knock on the door and come on in and straight away you will be greeted with whimsy, kitsch and crocheted carolers. All gifted, thrifted and found. 

The kids tree a place of fun, family, whimsy and children's decorations.

A tree decorated by the children with their handmade decorations over the years.

Kitschy fun, my Christmas Lamb, how I love your weirdness.

Pretty glasses and Christmas records at the ready.

Feel the love, feel the spirit.

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Creative Writing Prompts for Letters to Santa.....

The Christmas tree went up earlier this week and this weekend we will be making some time to write our letters to Santa. The kids are eager to let Santa know what they want for Christmas, but when it comes to writing a letter they need a little assistance in various areas.

As many of you know earlier this year I shared with you that Cohen is on the autism spectrum and whether you are aware of what some of the challenges can be like with autism the thing you need to know  most is, the challenges are different for each child.

We have spent much of this year working on social and emotional therapies with Cohen focusing on specific areas and he has come on in leaps and bounds. So to assist him with keeping on the task of completing his letter to Santa and to assist him with emotional concerns, I have created a Letter to Santa: Creative Writing Prompts Worksheet.

The worksheet will allow him to:
  • Plan what he would like to say to Santa with use and assistance of prompts.
  • Assist him in understanding the social courtesies and expectations in writing a letter.
  • Helps him to focus emotionally on his his strengths and good qualities. 
The three points above are issues that can be significantly reduced with some thoughtful pre-planning and breaking the task down to more manageable bite size pieces. 

Both Cohen and Sarah will be using these, they are great prompts for any child who needs a little assistance in composing a letter to Santa. If you're little ones are needing some assistance in starting or finishing their letter to Santa I've created a PDF that you can download and use. Just click on the box with arrow in the top right hand corner of the image to download.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Your best Christmas memories?

My favourite memories of Christmas when I think about it, are really about how mum and dad made the effort for it to be about us kids, even though we didn't have much and we often struggled.

There was that one year I was obsessed with making paper chains. I was unstoppable and the longer I made a paper chain the longer the next one would be. Mum would lovingly tape them up all through the house, the ceilings were are canopy of paper chains and they hung and dangled down curtain rods and weighed the Christmas tree down, they were everywhere!

Christmas has always been a pretty simple affair in my family, mum and dad did the best with what they had and there were plenty of times when Christmas featured secondhand and handmade or homemade gifts. Like the year that my brother and I both got new to us bikes, in fact it was the first time we ever got proper big kid bikes. 

My parents had bought them second hand and my dad being a handy dad, gave everything a good going over and spruced them up to be in the best and newest looking shape he could get them. I remember that year getting up in the wee hours of Christmas morning and the first bits of light were creeping in through the curtain gaps and I could see the glimmer of metal in the living room. I couldn't help but investigate, and found our bikes resting on their foot stands in the lounge room.

It was only when I was eighteen years old after Christmas lunch that year through fits of laughter I told my parents that the year that we got the bikes, I had actually hopped on mine in the wee hours and tried to ride it around the lounge room quietly. They say they never knew I did that, I say they probably had an idea and don't want to shatter my Christmas memory.

Oh and there is always the one year when I was six years old and my brother was four and he went "missing". All was quiet in the house and he was found under his bed scoffing as many lollies and treats from his Christmas stocking in his mouth as he could manage. He was dragged out from under his bed and was forced to surrender all his Christmas treats, let's just say my Christmas ended up being a very SWEET one!

Ok and finally there is that one time as a teen, when I went snooping for Christmas presents in all mums hiding places and it turned up nothing but lay-by dockets. Upon investigation of the lay-by dockets it was clear that someone (my brother or I) were getting a small TV and the other was getting a small CD player. I convinced myself that as I was the eldest and I was getting a the TV. I lived in secret excitement for weeks leading up to Christmas Day and on the day unwrapped a brand spanking new CD PLAYER. What a blow, I really set myself up to learn one hell of a Christmas lesson that year. But when I look back, it's one hell of a Christmas memory and one that I have also admitted to my parents and had a good laugh with them about.

As I said earlier Christmas really has always been a simple affair in my family growing up. Bar a few items I've mentioned I can't remember the gifts we received, I can only remember it being a day about us kids to enjoy what we did get and to be together as a family. Some Christmas Day's ended in big water fights with water balloons and mum and dad launching them off the veranda at my brother and I, in a wet and slippery game akin to dodge ball.

Christmas! What is it for you? What are your best Christmas memories? Presents or moments? 

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