Lawdy. What a weekend it was! In fact, what a week, last week was. It has been non-stop, and had left me feeling all tapped out. But good tapped out. Like, I smile everytime I think about it. Like, time well spent. Although, given yesterday and the day before, maybe it has all been too much for me, since I literally couldn’t lift my head up. But today is better. And tomorrow will be even better. And thereafter, it’ll just keep getting more amazing. Long may that trend continue…With all the parties and celebrations that lay ahead to send this year off with a bang, I have no doubt it will.
Being the one that’s usually all over a reason to throw a party and then take it to the moon – no matter how small it is – I found myself wondering if I really should throw our North Pole party this year. I mean, I still have an ity-bity-baby on the boob, I just made my return to work, Im still getting up once a night to feed said-ity-bity-baby, and getting done at five in the morning. So the sleep and energy tanks are not exactly peaking right now. I hemmed and ha’ed about it.
Then Morgy, for the first time displayed a slight blank spot for our North Pole parties of the past. Which never happens! I mean, that kid could recall the first time she was on a plan as a one year old, and could certainly relay the excitement she had for reindeer food and crafts of our previous parties only just last february. But suddenly not now. And I was genuinely going to use that as my sign that, yup, maybe we can pause on the North Pole this year – even though I know it would totally suck inside me if we did skip it. But then, Parker-Grace piped up, “But I love north pole mommy! The reindeer food part is my favourite!..how many more sleeps till North Pole?!”….and inside of me, angels sang and my heart melted into a puddle.
How could I forget that it’s not just my eldest that has high stakes in making and taking of joy in this season. My little Parker-Grace, whilst much quieter in the way that she shows her excitement for certain things (and much louder in other things), has as much swing and pull in the decision to have these celebrations. It is after all for them. Our children. All of them. Well, for me too. It make me so gosh-darn-happy. But mostly it’s for them. Because it’s their excitement and delight in it, that gives me the happies, really.
Well, Parker’s excitement was enough to ignite Morgan-Lee’s (not that it takes much), and all of a sudden her memories of our previous parties came flooding in. So it was on, like Donkey Kong! And now she wanted to invite the world. Like her whole class, and all the friends ever. And I nearly fell for it, but I pulled myself towards myself. All of myself. Including the logical, wise old Tracey that sat there breastfeeding her baby and begged the question from over-eager, lets-do-this,it’ll-all-be-fine, glint-in-her-eye Tracey, “excuse, but wtf do you think youre doing?!” To which even she couldn’t answer.
So we decided to keep it small. Good thing too, as it was way too short notice to get anyone on board at that time of the year, or for me to get my act together in time. So we decided to keep it small. And only invited like a week before. (Yikes!) So not even the usuals could make it due to conflicting schedules. Mike felt this was perfect – he felt that we needed something small too. The man is wise. Much like wise old Tracey, just really handsome. And on the night,I agreed with Mike, yes, this is perfect, for I haven’t had my brother and his fam over for such an intimate affair in a while.
Not that their three kids plus our three kids makes for anything really quiet, but it was good. And genuinely, nice and cosy with just us. Having grown up in a big family, Ive grown used to always being in a crowd. But now, these smaller gatherings have me seeing that it’s just lovely. And cosy, cosy. Have I said, “cosy” enough yet?
There was no rush throughout the day. I didn’t even prep the night before. Well, we were at uncle Willy’s Christmas party the night before (did you see my recent post on it – it’s so charming!), so we had a unsaid agreement that it would be a slow morning to follow. And slow it was. We stayed in our jammies till late.
Yes, yes, I helped with measuring, making sure it’s accurate and with the mixing, so that no fingers were lost to the electric mixer. (Also, why has it taken me 37 years to realise cookies are much easier to make in the electric mixer than by hand and wooden spoon!?Am I the only one!?) But everything else they did.
Such intimate affairs with your bro and fam also means that it’s totally ok if you didn’t get to really tidy your house up like you normally would. And blind eyes could be thrown around wrecklessly that night. 🙂
But messy house aside, the fun was still had!
Also, I’ve figured out how to keep the Christmas village out of the reach of little inquisitive hands: Just put a barrier of north pole goodies in between children and said village.
And of course this year’s craft was a hit! Much like last year’s craft, but better, we made snow globe ornaments for the Christmas tree.
You see, the thing is, I was inspired by the creatives on Pinterest last year, and when I accidently spotted these craft ornaments at MerryPak last November, I grabbed them with North Pole in mind. But of course, by the time December rolled in, I couldn’t remember where I stored them (story of my life), so we changed the craft last year. But then, wouldn’t you know it, I found them this year. And all the craft goodies that my sister had sent me last year, which only eventually came this year January could finally be put to use! (Yoh, I think I’ve used my full year’s quota of the use of the word “year”)
All you need:
-Snow globe ornament (I got mine at MerryPak – be quick, they sell out quick!)
-Some batting (any material store should have it), broken up into little pieces
-Fake trees (I prefer the bottle brush trees for this craft, but they are few and far between here in SA and expensive – whereas I only paid $6 for a big pack in the US. So I got these plastic ones at MerryPak)
-Tiny figurine – a Santa, a reindeer or penguin or snow fox or something similar – just think North Pole-esque.
-White wood glue
-Optional- hot glue gun
-Festive string (also MerryPak from years ago)
1. Close your ornament and tie string through
2. Hot glue your figurine down, leaving space for your tree
3. Hot glue your tree down next to it
4. Stuff in some fake snow (batting), all around the tree and figurines
5. Drizzle a little bit of wood glue ontop. Hint: it helps to use your fingers to spread it, so that its not too much and too thick that it takes too long to dry and get messed up in between.
6. Drizzle snow glitter over it and let dry
Caution: Hot glue works best for keeping your figurines and trees in place but I would advise normal wood glue for small fingers. No one needs to run to an ER for burn wounds this time of the year.
Once more, our craft station is set up so that anyone can work at it, without me there having to guide them. The instructions are set up along with all the tools you’d need.
The girls loved this one. All I would recommend is to add a cute little red and white gingham bow to the top of the ornament, and that would pull it all together.
The Reindeer food bar, as always was a winner. (Nina, my darling niece, you’re all grown up now. But my thanks to you will never be outlived for showing me the magic and fun of Reindeer food all those years ago when YOU were only five years old. It has stuck with me. Clearly!)
What was the real show stopper for me this year, was that my nephew joined in this year. Normally too busy spinning and running around, he never joins in. But this year,he found the reindeer table. His mom engaged him, and the little guy took to it beautifully. So much focus. Clearly this activity was a win for him.
And then of course, everyone’s favourite – like seriously, the kids beg me till the cows come home for this – Santa’s Scavenger hunt! Its in the dark you see. And they all get torches. And they find quirky things like Santa’s Sleigh keys, his cocoa mug, and even an elf’s hat.
Of course, much like all our other scavenger hunts we do, it would have been perfect outdoors. But each year the south easter comes to visit us around this time, and blows us out. Like literally blows vases and whole table clothes off of our tables and photos off from shelves, every time we open the front door. Westcoast living near the beach can be rough sometimes. So we once more kept it indoors. Despite the fact that just yesterday and the day before we were family timing it up outdoors till 10pm in the balmy weather of our recent heat wave.
And of course Santa had left some gifts under the tree, while everyone was hunting in the dark. Not suprisingly this didn’t go as smoothly. Because not only could I not remember where the hell I had put the gifts for the kids I bought for just the day before, but I now could also not remember where the hell I had put EVERYONE’s gifts that were only just given to me, not even two hours before! Yes, ALL the kids gifts were just gone. Not a flippin clue where I had hid them…guys, my exhaustion is real.And so was my embarrassment and panic. Im still glad I at least can remember my own name. Although sometimes even that gets hard. But ya, eventually, after ransacking my own house, I uncovered the goods, and not so sneakily, snuck them under the tree.
So yes, things didn’t go as smoothly that night as I’d have loved it to have, but thanks to the children’s spirit of wonder, and their sheer desire and expectation of magic, the finer details of my fails and flops all fade into the back, and only the excitement and joy remain. Blazened into their minds, Im sure. Always choosing to find magic and seeing it all through glittering eyes…
“…For those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
Kids know what’s up, man.
Just look at them…visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads…
This world has enough non-sparkly and trying times, and no doubt our children will be faced with their own share of it too. So Im taking it as my personal mission to fill them up with enough magic and light in their hearts to carry them through those times. In fact, it is them, my children, that help remind me to search for my own bliss, to stay focussed and meditate on that which brings joy…and only then can I spread it.
Only 10 days till Christmas folks! Hope you’re getting your fair share of magic and tossing it around like confetti….
(To see all other North Pole Parties go here.)
Also, I haven’t started shopping yet….as always. I’m feeling a bit under the weather this week, so I intend starting on Saturday…the last week before Christmas.Clearly, this was not Wise Tracey’s idea…. May the shopping gods be with me…
Happy Friday! Also, I go on vacay as of today, so hell yeah, it’s a HAPPY FRIDAY! X