family

Christmas bon bon jokes

How many times did you pull on a bonbon this Christmas?

three Christmas bonbons with Santa and Rudolph faces

Santa and Rudolph bonbons

We had them at two family functions, and actually found different jokes in each set. Not that they are necessarily jokes we haven’t heard before, but at least there was variety!

So to add some post-Christmas cheer (or groans as you may be inclined!) here are some of the jokes I came across this year… and they are all family friendly, too!

Christmas and Santa jokes

What do you call a bankrupt Santa?

Saint nickel-less

What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?
Claustrophobic

Who delivers presents to baby sharks at Christmas?
Santa Jaws

What do you call a kid who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus?
A rebel without a Claus

Where does Santa go when he’s sick?
the elf centre

What did the sea say to Santa?
Nothing! But it did wave…

What do reindeer hang on their Christmas trees?
Hornaments

Boy in Christmas elf costume

Making someone smile makes you feel good too

What do you call a dog who works for Santa?
Santa paws

What do Santa’s little helpers learn at school?
The elf-abet

What do monkeys sing at Christmas?
Jungle Bells, Jungle Bells

What goes OH OH OH?
Santa walking backwards!

Why is it getting harders to buy advent calendars?
Because their days are numbered

Why does Santa love gardening?
Because he goes HO HO HO!

What is the best Christmas present in the world?
A broken drum – you just can’t beat it!

What nationality is Santa?
North Polish

What do you get when Santa stops moving?
Santa Pause

Why is it getting harder to buy Advent Calendars?
They’re days are numbered

Who is Santa’s favourite singer?
Elf-is Presley

Other jokes…

What is green and goes camping?
A Brussel Scout

What’s the difference between a boogie and a Brussel spout?
Kids don’t eat sprouts

There were lots of non-Christmas and non-Santa jokes in our 2014 bonbons if you want some more to read or share!

 

Merry Christmas!

It is now Christmas Day and we wish you a wonderful day filled with love, laughter and friendship.

If you’re in a heat wave like us, remember to drink plenty of water and stay cool.

Merry Christmas Australia!

 

two young girls in front of a Christmas tree

Enjoy your Christmas with the excitement of a child 🙂

Family time over Christmas

To me, one of the highlights of  Christmas is time spent with people you care about, whether they are family or friends, we all tend to make time to catch up with people during December.

But what sorts of things can you do with your immediate family as Christmas activities? Or with a group you are catching up with?

Thanks to Clair’s comment about finding some family activities for Christmas somewhat challenging, I got inspired and am trying to give everyone lots of celebratory ideas!

Simple activities at home

There are many things you can do, of course, but here are a few categories and specific ideas to get you thinking about how to entertain the kids and family at home in the lead up to Christmas…

boy and two women cooking Christmas treats in Santa hats

Family cooking together is a lovely preparation for Christmas

Outings and other activities

Sometimes you just need to get out of the house or you want the excitement of doing something different, so I’ve also listed some Christmas activities you can visit…

  • walk around your area and check out the decorations and Christmas lights – or visit another area and check out their lights!
  • visit your closest city and admire the displays and activities – for instance, the Myer windows in Melbourne are a popular outings for families. What can you find in your city?
  • take a break and visit another city and check out all their Christmas attractions – don’t forget regional cities can be fun, too, so you can fit a trip into a day or a weekend
  • have a picnic in a park as an informal Christmas party – invite all your friends and tell them to bring their friends
  • get a group of kids together so they can all write Santa letters and Christmas cards together
  • find out where Santa is visiting in your area and go visit him, maybe even get your photo taken with him or some of his elves
  • go for a walk in the bush and see which trees would be good to decorate – or not!
  • look around for some celebrations of other cultures – maybe there is a display or event for Hannukkah, Eid-as_Adhe or Bodhi Day near you
  • deliver some Christmas items to a nursing home, hospital or charity
  • arrange to visit some people in a nursing home, community home, hospice or hospital – just a friendly chat will brighten them up, or you could perform some carols or a Christmas story for them

    Christmas in July displays in Maldon - Mrs Claus, carollers, wombats, kangaroo pulling a koala in a sleigh

    Some of the displays in historic Maldon were well worth the drive.

Add some excitement to your Christmas plans

Set up a family advent calendar where each day you select an activity (eg have them on pieces of paper in a jar – maybe have a weekend jar and a weekday jar though to allow for different amounts of time available) to do as a family.

As well as doing anything in the above lists, what else would your calendar could include?

 

* Images courtesy of 123rf & LoveSanta

Make Santa letters a family tradition

Boy writing letter to SantaWriting letters to Santa is a long standing tradition in many places around the world.

It is a lot of fun and has many benefits for children, but it can also be a family event that is lots of fun.

Writing letters as a family

So how can you make it a family activity?

Basically, you just have to make the time to sit down together and write letters to Santa. But to get you moving, here are a few tips…

  1. make a date and time to do this so it will happen. if you make a date like ‘the first Saturday in December’ or ‘the third Friday in November’ it is easier to become a tradition that will last for years with little effort.
  2. get things set up first – have paper, pencils, textas, crayons and even special things like glitter and stickers. Spread them out on a table, turn on some Christmas or other loved music, and maybe have a yummy snack on hand so the letter writing time can be truly dedicated to being creative.
  3. let everyone ‘write’ their own letter. For very young children, you may write the actual words, but let them draw and write on the letter as well, and make sure they tell you what to write rather than deciding what to write for them.
  4. have a rule that nobody has to share their letter as they write, although encouraging sharing the finished letters can lead to some lovely times together. If someone (usually an older child) wants to keep secrets, maybe they can just read out part of what they have written instead.
  5. let everyone be creative – kids can draw pictures and decorate the letter, anyone can use different coloured pens/pencils for each sentence or even each word, and so on. This is for Santa, not a bank manager or lawyer, so make the letter beautiful!
  6. remember to include something nice for Santa in the letter, it shouldn’t just be a list of gifts you want
  7. have everyone write a letter, not just the kids. Parents can have fun, too, and it may help tip kids towards gifts you want instead of another pair of socks!
Great tips on making writing Santa letters as a family activity

Lessons to be learned

Smiling little girl writing a letter to Santa

Writing to Santa makes children happy! Writing with family is even better.

Writing Santa letters together has a number of advantages, including kids learning some useful lessons such as

  1. how to structure a letter!
  2. why it is nice to write letters and how people enjoy receiving letters. And in modern times, a letter takes more effort than an email or text so receiving a letter is even more valuable so it is a social gift to be able to write letters.
  3. practice writing, spelling and using grammar/punctuation.
  4. thinking about other members of the family – want they may want, what they think is important to tell Santa, and how they use their creativity
  5. using good manners (eg “Santa can I please have…” rather than “I want …”)
  6. Christmas and Santa – it is a great time to chat about what these things are and how your family celebrates them, and to answer any questions your children may have at that time of year.
  7. how to address and envelope and mail it – unless you leave the letters under the tree or in stockings instead of course!
  8. how to relax, have fun and enjoy tradition and magical moments. Remember the kids are given facts and goals all year so it is nice to have some magical and imaginative time, too (as stated by Michael Grose).
  9. having traditions like this help connect the family and set some rhythms that give kids certainty and security over time.

 

Has your family (present or in your childhood) ever written Santa letters together? Are they special memories?

December and summer have arrived!

The first of December – that means summer is here and Christmas is not too far away now (unless you’re an excited three year old anyway!)

What do you do to celebrate the start of December?

We put our tree up as a family, while listening to carols of course. And being such a beautiful evening today in Melbourne, we went outside and looked at Christmas lights in our street before the kids went to bed (a bit late!)

Christmas lights on an Ashwood house

Some local Christmas lights that we enjoy watching each year

Christmas family reunions and gifts

pile of Christmas wrapped gifts

Cheerful wrapping and a nice gift make you feel good – and it’s up to the recipient how they react to your gift giving…

Well I guess we all have that one or maybe two relatives that we can’t stand but we have to put up with their presence every single time there is a family reunion!

Well, since Christmas is coming and my family already planned the whole thing out I was just wondering what could I buy for the two aunts that I deliberately dislike… I don’t know them very well but there’s one thing I know for sure – they love to criticize; so what could I do to please them?

 

making family happy at Christmas

Most people with a family probably like the idea of doing things together and enjoying the Christmas season as a united celebration. Yet it isn’t always easy to do, especially as kids grow older.

I think a key to making Christmas a family event is to include each person’s values and ideals. That probably means taking the time to discover what each person’s values actually are, of course, and then working together to incorporate those things.

For many Australians, Christmas Day is a whirlwind of opening gifts, visiting people and having huge meals before travelling to the next event. Yet what are the little things that actually matter to you and your family? Maybe it’s the tradition of opening gifts on Mum and Dad’s bed or having fresh fruit for breakfast, perhaps it’s singing carols together or having quiet time between gift-giving and dealing with lots of other people, and so on.

Plan at least one important thing for each person into your Christmas Day FIRST and then fit in other things. This way, everyone feel included and can look forward to part of Christmas Day.

Be willing to discuss new idea, too, and accept that some old traditions may not suit any more (what was cute for  a 2-year-old may be embarrassing or boring for a 14-year-old).

Throw in some extra fun, too, as part of the lead up to Christmas – and maybe in the days afterwards. Make things more relaxed, having everyone at home without guests or the need to dress up, and do family things – play board games, sing karaoke, do a jigsaw, play charades, make paper chains, watch a movie, give each other massages or play ‘truth or dare’.

Building some family Christmas memories will make Christmas fun and probably reduce some of the stress Christmas can cause.

Silly family things

Happy children dancing in Christmas costumes

Christmas children dancing and laughing

We spend Christmas Eve doing silly things as a family!

It started when our kids were little but we all love it so it’s kept going – our kids are now grownup and bring along boyfriends and wives, too. The new comers find it a bit strange at first but soon they’re hooked – it’s a lovely way to relax before the big day and it really gets us feeling good and happy to be together.

Being silly on Christmas Eve is great family fun!

A lot of it is just silliness that follows when you laugh a lot but some things we do are:

  • think up lots of alternative reindeer names for Santa or give each other reindeer names
  • tie pillows around our tummies and say ho ho ho a lot
  • someone usually finds something silly at a discount shop and we all take turns wearing it and acting to suit – so we get snooty with a feather boa or have a twang with a cowboy hat
  • read out spoonerisms (where parts of words are swapped around in a story e.g. Santa’s sleigh skies through the fly)
  • having staring competitions
  • sing silly songs (like ‘next verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse’)
picture of little girl drawing a star on a face of her father

Drawing on a parent’s face probably counts as silly!

  • tell tall tales where one person starts the story and stops mid sentence for someone else to continue on

We’re always keen for more silliness so bring on your ideas please!!!!!

* Images courtesy of Love Santa and ximagaination (at 123rf)

His or hers?

If you are part of a couple, which family do you see on Christmas Day (or Christmas Eve if that’s your preference)? How did/do you decide on that arrangement?

There are so many factors involved I am sure there are many answers to this question – location of families, relationships, extended family commitments, mobility, what suits the kids’ needs and so on.

Have you found a solution for your family or is it an issue every year?

Dressing up

How much do you dress up for Christmas Day? Is it a special occasion you get a new outfit for or choose your best clothes in advance? Maybe you have a casual day with the family and wear whatever you grab from the drawer that morning?

I can’t say I buy something new for Christmas Day, but I certainly do my best to look nice and consider dressing up to be part of the celebration (that is, making it a day out of the ordinary).

All my family dresses nicely, if not in their ‘good clothes’, but a couple of my in laws are much more casual (everyday t-shirts and shorts) which surprised me the first year or so. Having said that, they are neat and clean, and I don’t think they have dressy clothes for other occasions either so it works for them and no one seems to mind.

As a kid, we spent half the day on the beach so we mostly wore our good clothes there and then wore bathers!

Do you find that your entire family dresses to the same ‘code’? Does it matter to anyone on the day?

i love christmas.

hi i am emily.
i love Christmas because i get to see my family and friends. also i get to do lots of cooking and partying and eating and talking and laughing.

go Christmas!!!!

talk soon…

Christmas Traditions

Christmas is celebrated differently between families; each family having different rituals and traditions that are passed down over the years.

Some people open presents on Christmas Eve, some on Christmas Day and others after Christmas.Little girl in a Santa hat opening a Christmas gift

And others dance around their tree and sing songs as part of their celebrations.

My family doesn’t even have a tree at Christmas, we decorate the fireplace and chimney!

Though it is for the same thing, each family celebrates this day (well month really) in slightly different ways.

I’m curious as to what other people do – are we the only ones without a tree?

* Image courtesy of 123rf

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