For preschoolers, you will need to help with the cutting but otherwise kids can pretty much do this themselves.
Have you ever seen the Christmas lights in Thompson St?
While not as extensive as Ivanhoe’s Boulevard (3km of lights is pretty hard to beat!), there apparently are a lot of lights there – over 50,000 LEDS between just three houses according to one report! And residents think their display is better so it could be worth a look if you’re in Melbourne during December.
Personally I love the story of the Francis family at number 49 – they decorate the house for the Hindu Diwali festival of lights and add to it for Christmas. Mixing religions and celebrations, to me, is a great way of building peace and showing Melbourne is a multi-cultural place.
What do you think – could a small collection of lights be better than Ivanhoe’s huge display? Have you seen both and have a preference?
It’s fun to share what we got and it’s good to see what others got (just for fun and for inspiration!) so I’d love you to answer the following questions in the comments section…
Whatever you got, I hope you had a Merry Christmas and are spending Boxing Day relaxing, reflecting on the Christmas that was and enjoying yourself.
What do you do on Boxing Day?
Between the cricket text at the MCG, Boxing Day Sales and extended family celebrations, many people have a set activity each year while others have a quiet day resting from the excitement of Christmas Day.
Does Boxing Day have any special meaning or memories for you?
It is now Christmas morning, kids across Australia are waking up to find their Santa stocking and check out what is under the tree so it’s time for everyone at Love Santa to wish you a…
Have a great day with lots of laughs and love!
We saw some amazing lights last night in Forest – 3 Tennyson Court. You actually walk under a canopy of lights that is just beautiful.
Gotta love living in Australia to spend warm evenings strolling amongst lights like this.
Oh, I found a video of these lights, too, so you can get a glimpse of it.
With only days to go, do you feel ready for Christmas?
Some tasks have to be left to this week (cooking the roast in November or making a cheesecake two weeks ago may spread the workload but I don’t think the results would be quite so good!) but hopefully you feel everything is under control.
For many Australians, today or tomorrow is the last working day of the year so finishing work tasks can overshadow Christmas preparations – which makes for a very busy weekend and Christmas Eve unless you were organised in advance.
Many state school children are only just finishing up the year, too, so it’s a busy week with final reports, clean ups and school concerts, etc.
Obviously, planning ahead is the best tip but it is easier said than done much of the time so if you are running out of days for the mountain of tasks ahead, here are just a couple of ideas I hope will help you (and me to be honest!)
book some time (even if it is only in your diary or mind!) for important traditions. For instance, no matter how busy I get I will spend time on Christmas Eve cooking with my children so they can leave out a snack for Santa. If that means I set the table after guests arrive or don’t get to sweep the front verandah, it’s okay as the cooking is once-a-year-special and will be done.
What other tips have you got for these last few days before Christmas?
How do you manage? I think the ideal is to get things done alongside relaxing and enjoying Christmas and family/friends. But would love some tips on how to fit all that in…
* Images courtesy of kozzi (get 10 credits when you register via this link)
We went to Ferndale Road last night and saw Christmas lights and Santa.
30 Ferndale Rd, Glen Iris has quite a lot of lights in the front yard and over the house – and they are synchronised to music! The music was a bit quiet to hear it in the park over the road where we sat, but the lights were still pretty.
24 Ferndale Rd, Glen Iris has a few lights on the fence and candy canes along the path and a HUGE Santa in a chair on the upstairs balcony.
What was cool was sitting on a park bench and being able to admire both houses while we had a picnic tea
This is not about one fantastic house of lights, or a couple of hours near each other. It is a street full of lights with a few houses nearby!
One option is to drive along the Boulevard, entering from Lower Heidelberg Rd. The street is officially blocked to incoming traffic at Burke Rd during December and early January so the street is one way.
A lot of cars travel down the road in peak times (ie in the first couple of hours after sunset) but they move at a crawl so there is time to watch the lights and decorations as you pass. It is probably the rare event of crawling traffic that no one minds being stuck in!
It is about 3km from start to finish for the lights. True not every house is decorated, but more than 95% are so there is a LO T to see!
Your other option is to walk along the road – we walked most of it last night (the kids got tired so we skipped the last stretch).
As the traffic is flowing one way, very slowly in one lane, it is safe enough to walk along the street , and occasionally step back to see things from a bigger perspective.
One advantage to walking is that you can see more than the main strip. A couple of courts and streets off The Boulevard are also well-lit and it’s easy to divert and see them when you are walking – the cars miss these side streets.
Walking also means coming through other side streets to reach the Boulevard from wherever you manage to park.
We loved the classy decorations on the corner of Warncliffe Rd and Wallis Ave – it’s a gorgeous house with a large front lawn decorated with a Christmas tree covered in lights plus some large characters (Santa included).
There is no way I can describe every house for you!
Although the street is united in decorating their houses, there is no consensus on how to decorate so there is an incredible array of Christmas lights and decorations.
Some houses have a few subtle lights, some are ablaze with light; some have many large inflatable or plastic ornaments, others have only lights; some are themed or use a single colour, others are full of colour.
A few have a nativity scene (and one is basically only a huge nativity setting), many have Santa and one house has Santa on the veranda serenading all who pass!
Have you been to the Boulevard?
Can you remember any specific parts that you loved – or didn’t love?
I love Christmas lights – they are beautiful and magical. So it’s very exciting to see more and more set up in our area each year.
High St Rd, between Winbirra Pde and Vannam Dve in Ashwood – lights on the south side with candy canes featured.
Turn into Vannam Drive then left into Ashwood Drive, seeing some small collections along the way. Park next to the playground (you’ll see why – the house opposite is AMAZING!)
Walk past the playground , across the bridge and turn right to see Santa on the roof as well as a train and Santa’s car. Wonder along Ashwood Dve a bit to see some other small sets of lights.
Back in your car, turn around to go into Baryn St and right into Vannam Dve to see a blue light display.
Turn again and then right into Arthur St.
On the left, past the kinder and shops, is a HUGE Santa and lots of pretty lights.
That’s it in Ashwood (for what I know – let me know if you spot more goods near by!) but if you turn from Arthur St into Huntingdale Rd and head to Burwood Hwy (via Highbury and Station St) there is an awesome display near Benwerrin Reserve - they have lights, a massive Santa display AND visits from Santa and his elves.
Have a Merry Christmas and say hi if you see me along the way!!!
It may seem like an obvious or irrelevant question, but who decorates your Christmas tree?
I discussed this with some Mums at kinder yesterday as we watched the kids decorate their kinder tree – a real Christmas tree sits in their group area with baskets of tinsel and ornaments so they can decorate and redecorate it as they wish. It’s a simple and fun activity for them.
One Mum doesn’t let her kids near the tree and decorates it all herself so it is done properly and looks perfect. And Dhrynio commented last week that her mother-in-law had always decorated their tree so Dhrynio’s husband didn’t know how to do it!
A blog post I read recently mixed both these traditions (I can’t remember where I read it – I’ll add the link when I find it!). She let the kids go wild and decorate the tree in the evening. Once they had gone to bed, she pulled everything off the tree and started again, doing it her ‘control freak’ way! She gave the kids the fun of decorating and herself the reward of having a perfect tree she could enjoy. I’m just not sure how the kids would feel when seeing their creativity was replaced by Mum’s perfection.
Most of us keep certain ornaments – fragile and particularly sentimental ones - out of the kids’ reach and put them on the tree ourselves.
One Mum said she kept nothing from her daughter to provide the lesson of caring for things and being careful. I love that principle and her courage (she even lets her touch glass balls imported from Europe!), but I just don’t want to risk some of my more precious decorations to a curious and lively two-year old!
Many of my more precious ornaments are actually precious because they were made by my daughters when younger – they are fragile at the joins, etc rather than because they are glass, and precious because they are not replaceable.
Can you have it both ways – let everyone put decorations on the tree for fun and have a tree that is stylish and perhaps artistic?
It may be a bit hard to manage both on one tree (although I have this image in my head now of a tree done perfectly on one side and chaotically on the other, and just rotating it as suits the time or audience!)
To me, a solution is to have two trees or two rooms/areas and treat each differently.
For example, have a stylish tree in a formal lounge room and let the kids be creative with the family room tree.
Or maybe it can be a time share thing – let the kids decorate the tree on 1 December but redecorate it on the 19th or so so it is ‘perfect’ for Christmas Day photos and any gatherings you have in the house in the last few days.
So who decorates your Christmas tree?
Did you set your own decorating tradition or have you copied what you did as a child?