Friday, 19 December 2008

Gift Giving

On Christmas Eve we put all of our gifts under the tree, that way the children don't have to avoid the temptation of opening any. The children's presents - of which there are many, go into big Santa sacks, and the rest are piled up in front of the sacks. This is the first thing they see when they come downstairs on Christmas morning.

We then move everything to the centre of the living room and take turns to open our presents. As it's just us there is no awkward silence as you try to think of something nice to say about the present you have just unwrapped.

I dare say this year, as Rose is now 18 months, Chris and I will have a little extra help to open our presents. I'm determined that I will get to open at least one myself though.

What Music?

Day 13 - Christmas Music. This was a tough one for me as although we are surrounded no matter where we go with Festive tunes, I don't have a favourite. I'm not an all out hater of Christmas music, I just don't get why people get so excited about it. Maybe I'm more bah-humbug than I thought.

Chris has a million and one Christmas songs. Loves getting his CD's out and putting them in his car. I, on the other hand have never owned a piece of Christmas music. I'm currently listening to Madonna's Hard Candy. That's my Christmas music for this year.

Tales of Christmas Past

When I was a child we always had Christmas lunch at our house and my Nan and Grandad would come to us for lunch. We'd spend the morning dropping off presents before going to pick them up.

Grandad would always wear his paper hat and made sure we pulled our crackers. Christmas lunch became a quieter affair after he died. My Nan would come, but eventually she stopped having decided it was too much trouble. I miss them both very much so this page is dedicated to their memory.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

I've been playing catch up with my JYC, so better late than never here is day 11.

We have two Christmas trees. One is mine and the other is Chris'. We moved house in 2007 and our new house meant we had enough room to put up both trees. Mine takes over the living room and Chris' elegantly stands in the family room.

Each year I shop for new baubles to hang on my tree, but last year I had a whole tree to shop for as we now had both up. This tree has white decorations with a splash of silver, whereas my tree is a hotch potch of styles and colours. It's full of things that caught my eye and I can remember where I got most of them.

This year I'm not shopping for baubles as we have our new addition. A wooden snowman decorated by Jamie when he was at nursery last week.

So, a tale of our Christmas tree's is the focus of today's page, with photo's of some of my favourite baubles.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Its time to Wrap!

I love wrapping presents! Hunting out the perfect gift wrap is a mini hobby of mine. Once I have used a paper, I cannot re-use it. Left overs stay in their cardboard tubes, tucked away in the wardrobe where they safely stay. I'm more than happy for Chris to use these left overs on presents for me, but I can't use them for other peoples presents. It has to be a different paper each year and it has to be thick, good quality paper. Its my OCD. I just like to make presents look like they've had a little extra thought and care put into them.

I do have a small confession to make though. This years paper was last years purchase. The shame. I fell in love with the gold and burgundy flocked paper and picked up some rolls in the Christmas sales. The Santa and Reindeer paper is this years though, to wrap the children's presents with.

The journaling on this page is all done on the inside of the burgundy flocked tag and the reverse of the Santa tag.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Traditions, old & new.

When Chris and I got together we each had our own traditions. For me it was waiting until the Sunday before Christmas, even if that's Christmas Eve, to put up the tree.

For Chris it's spreading out the presents. That's not to say we lay them all out on the floor, but rather we exchange small presents on Christmas Eve and then save a main present for Christmas afternoon. The latter is opened after lunch when everything has been cleared away. Traditionally the time when in my childhood home the TV came on. With us, its more presents.
All these little traditions that we each have make our Christmas unique, and I love them all.

My journaling for this page is all on the back of the star, held in place by two photo turns. I wonder what new traditions we'll start this year to share next year.

Do you see what I see?

On Day Eight....I spy....
The first signs of Christmas in our house are small things as we don't normally put our decorations up this early in the month. This year we have changed that slightly as on Sunday we put up the "White Christmas Tree" in the family room. As a result the loft was emptied of its boxes of decorations and the Christmas garlands have been hung on the children's bedroom doors.

I've gone around the house spying small signs that Christmas is on it's way. Piles of presents waiting to be wrapped and hidden away from the children in a wardrobe. Bags full of rolls of wrapping paper waiting to be used. Garlands on doors and lights on the tree and a small golden box that Jamie made me at nursery. I'm under strict instructions not to open it until Christmas is here! There is so much more to come over the next two weeks in readiness for the big day.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

I'm a Listaholic!

Lists - I love them. I leave them everywhere and then need to make new ones. My life is full of lists. Jobs to do, shopping to get, chores to be undertaken. Yes - I do have a terrible memory for some things and it's an old work habit to write everything down. I gain a great deal of satisfaction by being able to tick off or strike out an item on my list.

My list for Christmas is surprisingly short so I was able to do this page with just one small one. That may change as the days go on and I realise that there is more to do than I thought at the time of writing this.
So, whats on the list?
  • Finish making cards
  • Wrap the kids presents
  • Buy Chris' presents (I do have some!)
  • Make mince pies
  • Put up the Christmas tree

Told you it was short and sweet. No doubt it will grow.


....Of Christmas Past.

This, for me, was the toughest prompt so far, but I decided to do one good memory and one not so good memory. The good memory takes centre stage at the top of the page and the reflection of a memory that is not so cherished, but clearly remembered is on the lower half of the page.

My good Christmas is the first Christmas that Chris and I were together. He introduced me to new traditions. Firstly a small present on Christmas Eve. Secondly, saving a main present until Christmas afternoon. I had a childhood where you got up, piled all your presents in front of you and opened them. You then spent the rest of the day playing with them or ignoring them. But that was it. It was over. Time for lunch, washing up, tea making and TV. No longer is that the case. This year we intend to bad TV on Boxing Day as well. You'll have to check back to see how a CBeebies free day goes!

My not so cherished memory is from last year. At the beginning of December I had a huge fight with my parents, and the damage still hasn't really been repaired. These things happen, but at the time it made the run up to Christmas very stressful, especially when the phone rang.

This Christmas will be very different to last year.

Counting down...

This year has a few Advent firsts for me. I'm taking part in the Advent Swap on UKS and this is my first Christmas Journal. Both of which are making me feel very festive. Each morning after sorting out the children's breakfast, I sneak off to print out that days prompt. Then I put the kettle to make a nice cup of hot chocolate while I go through my Advent Box to find that days present. Once my chocolate is made, I sit down, relax and read the prompt. Having read it and got my mind ticking over it, I open my present. So far I've had some lovely things, most of which have made an appearance in my journal. Today's page being no exception as it includes a photo of my golden box of goodies.

The other first this year is the children's Advent Calendar, also featured on the page. Aged 3 and 18 months, they are loving it. It's amazing how quickly Jamie remembers to remind me that he needs to open another box today. Rose is often in hot pursuit to help bring it to my attention.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Looking forward.

Welcome to Day 4 of my Christmas Journal.

Today's prompt, as I have interpreted it, is all about dreams of your perfect Christmas. Very little in a house with small children is perfect, as many of you will know, but this year I get the feeling it will be even better than last year. The children are a year older after all. Jamie is constantly asking when will Father Christmas be coming.

The background photo to this page is of my Christmas door wreath. Last year was the first time I've hung one out as I've never been able to find one I like and I'm far too lazy to make one. My perfect wreath then.

I've also taken an idea from Shimelle's prompt where she has written all her journaling on the reverse of her page. I had so much I wanted to say on this one, but wanted to use a really big photo and not have it too hidden, whereas I don't mind my journaling being hidden. I have left a small note to hint that turning over will reveal my inner most thoughts.
This hidden journaling talks about my wish for a Christmas where there are no tantrums, food stays on plates and not all over the floor and presents are loved. Where Santa brings the housework fairies with him and they stay to sort out the dishes and clear up the discarded wrapping paper making my house shine like a new pin. Whatever happens, and the latter is highly unlikely, I know I will just love my Christmas as I'll be with the people who matter most to me.
And now, I wish you sweet dreams about your perfect Christmas.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

The Postal Service...

Christmas Cards. Do you send them or don't you? More and more people give to charity rather than send Christmas cards. Me - I like to send Christmas cards and give to charity. Maybe it's because I like to get that personal note through the door that makes me feel someone is thinking about me. I still like to write letters to people for that same reason, although the reply is often via email.

My page today has a Christmas card on it that I made myself last night. I started off this year making more complex cards, but then I tried a simple design to see if I liked it. The result, I loved it. All the stamps used on this page are from the Paper Artsy Egg Nog range coloured with Derwent Inktense pencils and have been used on my cards.

Each year, for reasons known only to myself, I make a list of everyone who sent us a Christmas card. When I do that this year I will add the names to a tag and tuck it inside the envelope which is just behind the card.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The weather outside is...


We woke up to lots of snow this morning. I was really pleased when todays prompt was about the weather. After the little bit of snow we had yesterday it was lovely to open the curtains to a blanket of white over everything. There is just something special about the snow.
The photo's used in this LO were taken last week rather than today as we had some snow and the kids had a chance to play outside with Daddy.

When Jamie got up and saw the snow he declared he wanted to walk to nusery today as he wanted to see his footprints in the snow.
These are magical moments when you are three.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Starting today...1 December 2008

Today's page was to document why you have taken on this journal. For me, its to bring the Christmas spirit back into my life. The journal, for me, is the beginning of a new tradition, one of many I hope to start this year and that's what my page tells.

JYC 2008 Cover

Lets see if I have got the hang of this then... will there be pictures or not. I hope so. Those of you on UKS will have seen these pictures of the cover of my journal, but it is the reason why I have created this blog.

I'm mainly going to be using Basic Grey Figgy Pudding and have used it for the front cover along with some ribbon from an Angel Crafts kit.

Here is a close up of the Ali Edwards stamp and a Basic Grey rub-on used on the back cover.

And finally a shot of the inside cover.

New blogger on the block..

Eek, my first blog!

Why have I created it? Simple, to share my 2008 Journal Your Christmas project.

Please be patient with me while I find my way around. Who knows what will happen, but I hope that you will enjoy sharing my work with me.