I was listening to a segment on the radio in early October where listeners were asked to call in if they already had their Christmas tree up. In October!!! I couldn’t believe how many called in! I can’t help feeling like it takes a little bit of the magic out of it. Where is the excitement on Christmas Day when it feels like we’ve been seeing Santa and Christmas advertisements everywhere for months?? I know so many people love it, I guess I’m just a bit of a grinch!
In true grinch style, we’re boycotting Christmas this year and skipping town on December 13th. Although it seems my efforts to escape all the fuss have only moved Christmas 2 weeks earlier for our family. So despite my loathing of all things jolly before the 1st of December, I had to get cracking a little earlier this year.
Our December Box.
I think most people usually do a Christmas Eve Box, but if I’m going to spend money on Christmas pyjamas you can bet I’m making the boys wear them for more than just one night! So now that Flynn is old enough to enjoy the lead up to Christmas, I’ve decided to start the tradition of a December Box. I’d love to have a special engraved one, but this year I settled for a DIY – a cardboard box, some gold paint and scrapbooking materials.
I got the boys each a pair of these cute dinosaur Christmas Pyjamas from Cotton On to pop in the box.
Every year we’ll add a new Christmas Ornament each to the box and in keeping with the dinosaur theme, we opted for dino ornaments this year. I found these ones on Etsy.
I made the boys each an Advent Calendar that we’ll be able to reuse each year. I wanted to be able to personalise their little surprises. All the materials used to make this one are from Spotlight. I had grand plans for filling them with special things, but to be honest I’ve totally run out of time so I’ve just filled them with little animals, dinosaurs and a few chocolates – which I know the boys will love just as much!
I always get excited finding Flynn and Archer’s Christmas Outfits – so excited that I usually forget to buy myself a dress!! I generally opt for something a little less traditional, especially given it’s often 40 degrees on Christmas Day! These Australian botanical themed shirts from Lullaby Riot are just perfect, although given we’ll be camping on the beach somewhere by Christmas Day, I imagine the boys will be spending most of the day in their birthday suits instead!!
I saw this gorgeous Christmas snap game from Forever Toys and just had to add it to our box. You can use our code LWLO10 for 10% off.
The final items in our December box are some Christmas books that we can read together at bedtime each night.
It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to gift buying at Christmas time. We like to stick to the Want, Need, Wear, Read poem to avoid blowing the festive budget! I couldn’t resist these super cute gift tags from Name It Custom Decor.
I have always loved wrapping Christmas gifts. From choosing a theme, to picking out paper and carefully wrapping each gift – it’s probably the thing I get most excited for this time of year! You should see me snap “NO” every time someone asks “Do you want that gift wrapped?” I just love seeing all the gifts matchy matchy sitting under the tree waiting to be opened on Christmas morning.
I’ve been wanting to try botanical dyeing for ages, so this year all our gifts are wrapped in calico, which has been dyed pink using avocado. The colour came out perfectly.
Click here if you’d like to see how we did it.We used some flowers that we pressed during Spring to make gift tags and tied it all together with twine and some dried blue gum for a little touch of Australiana.
As well as dyeing our wrapping fabric and making our pressed flower gift tags, we’ve been busy filling the house with homemade Chrissy decorations.
Stick trees and stars. My boys are forever collecting sticks on our walks so I thought we’d find a use for them other than whacking each other over the head. I secured them together in the shape of Christmas trees and stars and then let Flynn go nuts wrapping coloured wool around them. They’re a super cute addition to our seasonal table.
Salt dough ornaments. This is becoming a yearly tradition for us and I love that I’ll have all these tiny hand and foot prints to look back on in years to come, when the magic of Christmas is long since lost on two teenage boys!
We used this salt dough recipe put changed up the designs a little.
Scents of Christmas. Cinnamon sticks and dehydrated oranges have our whole house smelling festive AF! To dehydrate oranges, slice them to about 5-7mm thick, pop them on a lined baking tray and into the oven at approx 100c for a few hours. I keep checking them and until they feel like all the moisture is gone, turning them occasionally – the time needed seems to vary each time we do this.
Reindeer food. Flynn keeps eating all the carrots, so we had to come up with another idea for the reindeers’ midnight snacks – oats, bio glitter, and some items foraged on our walk. As it turns out, Flynn had a pretty good munch on that too!
These are some of my favourite things to do with the kids around Melbourne during December. We do our best to tick them all off as early as possible – before school holidays start!!
Santa’s Magical Kingdom at Caulfield Racecourse was a HUGE hit with my boys. Part North Pole. Part circus. Part carnival. We played in the snow, met Santa (no one cried – win!!), made (and ate) our own gingerbread men and went on ALL the rides.
I rarely venture into the city these days. There’s too much concrete and not enough ocean, plus it’s far too busy for me on even a regular day. But for some crazy reason I pick the busiest time of the year to make my annual trip into the CBD with two young children! I have to admit, there’s something magical about the city this time of year. Rather than my usual annoyance at all the people, I find the busyness exciting! These are some of my favourite Christmas themed activities in Melbourne’s CBD.
Myer Windows. I would venture in for this alone. I LOVE the little scenes set up in these windows each year. There is so much detail that even Flynn stands still to admire them. This year’s theme is May Gibbs’ Gumnut Babies and I could not be more excited about that! Its like the love child of two of my favourite things – Christmas and Australian Flora!!
Gingerbread village. I first discovered Epicure’s incredible gingerbread village when I was volunteering for the Make-A-Wish foundation. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s Melbourne cleverly recreated out of gingerbread – the MCG, Luna Park, Flinders Street station and more. Each year they add a new landmark. Did I mention they have gingerbread flavoured ice cream? Yum!! Entry is by gold coin donation which goes to the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Federation Square. Did someone say giant Christmas tree?? We love to wander through Fed Square at Christmas time and hopefully even see Santa if it’s not too busy.
Carols by Candlelight. Is there a more magical way to spend Christmas Eve in Melbourne than at Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight? We are really still in town by Christmas Eve (this year we’ll be half way to WA!) but if we are in Melbourne, this is where you’ll find us – dancing around to Hi-5 on the hills of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl!
Christmas Lights. My fave spot to check out the lights is The Boulevarde, Ivanhoe. Be warned – it’s busy AF and parking is a nightmare. Worth it though!
But where da tree at?
Now I know what you’re all thinking. Where is the tree?? How can she write a Christmas blog without a Christmas tree (not including the gigantic Fed Square one of course!)? We made the decision this year to skip the tree!!! With Archer and I at sleep school until Dec 3rd and us all leaving town on the 13th it hardly seemed worth the effort. So we’ve set up little Christmas table instead with all our gifts and Christmas crafts.I can’t wait to see how it evolves over the next few weeks as we add more little crafted pieces.
Outfits of Christmas past.
I’d love to hear your family’s favourite Christmas traditions. Feel free to comment below! Merry Christmas from my little family to yours xx