Keeping Christmas Simple & Special

xmas
xmas

Life With Our Wild Ones

This time of the year can get so stressful for some, however we really try to keep things as simple and as special as possible for our family. Here a few things we do to try and keep this crazy time of the year simple, special & enjoyable.

Millie & Ollie are now at that age (Fantastic Four’s) where they really understand what Christmas is. Over the last couple of years we have started a few Christmas Traditions like going to a shop or local market to pick a Christmas Ornament for our Christmas Tree (some ornaments chosen this year were questionable)

My favourite tradition that we started three years ago is family Santa photos with my mother & father in-law. Unfortunately, my side of the family live in New Zealand, however its great being able to include Millie and Ollie’s Nana & Grandad in our yearly Santa photo. Every year after we do our Santa photo we go to the local night markets for dinner which is always fun.

elf on shelf

Another tradition we have going for the second year in a row is Elf on the Shelf (this used to be a big cringe factor for me). I was totally against this craze and promised myself I would not buy into it, and then my lovely Mother-in-Law kindly bought one for us – then the magic really began. When I first saw it, I wasn’t impressed, however I was then told how great it had been with our niece’s behaviour. At that time Millie and Ollie were driving me up and down the walls and I would literally try ANYTHING to help improve their behaviour. At that point I broke the promise to myself and out came ‘Mr Elvis Elf’. This little Elf drives me nuts however Millie & Ollie love him and it really does help with their behaviour and they are so excited to look for him every morning! I certainly have a new appreciation for the magic and imagination this little stuffed creature can bring to Christmas.


Kids Christmas Shopping

It is sooooooooo easy to go overboard buying Kid’s Christmas Presents! I personally am very cautious about what I’m buying them. I tend to follow the below guide:

  • Something they want
  • Something they need
  • Something to wear
  • Something to read
  • Something to experience

This keeps things simple and makes for less “stuff”. I also like to be cautious as to what I am buying as I like to make sure its something they can use for a while. On Boxing Day, before putting all their new Christmas gifts away Millie and Ollie will also go through their Toybox and find three toys each that they will donate to make room for their new Christmas gifts. I love this as it teaches them gratitude, kindness and provides insight into the world.

This year we are having Christmas with Rhys’ family. To keep it simple and save money we have all decided that we won’t buy presents for the adults and only buy for the kids. This year instead of buying presents for our nieces we have chosen to make them their Christmas Gifts to add a more personal touch. Millie and Ollie have been included in the making of these gifts so it has been a special way to spend time together as a family and making presents to gift which is also a wonderful lesson for them to learn.

Family Adventures

For this years little adventure getaway we’re spending three nights & seeing in the New Year camping with some friends. There is no phone service where we are camping, and I can’t wait. Camping is such a great way to spend time as a family and enjoy time out in Nature. Its also great for the kids (& adults) to take the time and just wind down from the Christmas Hype.

Finding “Me” Time

Every Christmas Rhys and I have 2 weeks off work and the kids have 2 weeks off Kindy. This year, Millie & Ollie will be going back to Kindy a little earlier so Rhys and I can have some child free time before we go back to work. We are incredibly lucky that my Mother-in-law has also offered to look after our Mini’s for one night when they are back at Kindy so we can have a night off. I originally felt a little guilty about sending Millie and Ollie back to Kindy early, however I think that it is important for Rhys and I to have some time away from them and also for them to have a break from us!

 

I hope amongst the Christmas Family Fun & Chaos you all manage to find some time to relax and unwind.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas & a very Happy New Year

 

Chelsea x

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The Benefits of Family Adventures

Life With Our Wild Ones

I have been in a weird headspace of late, feeling totally uninspired and run down. My patience with my family was starting to slip and in short, we were all just starting to get on each other’s nerves (anyone relate??). My partner & I were bickering over things that wouldn’t normally even bother us, and Millie & Ollie were beginning to show us regularly how wonderful they were at throwing tantrums! Practice makes perfect right!

I feel like this is a totally normal feeling that young families go through at one point or another. I think the most important thing is to recognise when this is happening so you know when you can help each other raise those vibrations again. Every family has their own way of coping with this, for us we talk it out and find a solution on what we can do to change that negative energy that has come into our home.

On this occasion, we decided that we all needed a change of scene, somewhere we had never been, to get out in nature and be near the sea.  

Don’t get me wrong, this change of scene is not going to magically solve everything, however we hoped that a spontaneous road trip and night away would change out mindset that would in turn help us bring that positive energy back into our family.

Ever since I met Rhys he has spoken a lot about a magical place he had once been called Seventeen Seventy. He has always told me that he wanted to take us there and warned that when we went there, we would fall in love and never want to leave.

We packed the kids into the car as the sun was rising on Saturday morning and by lunchtime we arrived in paradise. We explored the beautiful Paperbark Forest & found secluded alcove beaches that you could only get to by rock climbing down to.

As I was sitting on one of these beaches admiring the raw beauty and watching Millie & Ollie, I noticed that since we arrived, they had not argued once, they were being kind to each other, encouraging each other to try new things, I was feeling inspired, Rhys and I had changed the way we were speaking to each other, and we were all working together once again.


We arrived home late on Sunday evening and since arriving home there has been a positive shift in energy in our home. It made me realize that ditching our day-by-day routine, a night away, being out in nature and by the sea is one of the best things for our family. Unfortunately, sometimes for us a night away isn’t always financially possible however ditching routines for a day or two, a short road trip, removing technology and getting out in nature to explore somewhere new is achievable and affordable. The only thing that this really costs is time and effort, however it is totally worth it for me if it means that it reconnects our family.

Something that I have heard being said is that when you have kids you are limited to what you can do, where you can go or how far you can go, and I need to disagree with this. I was slightly nervous about a six-hour drive with Millie & Ollie however they were brilliant. They loved looking out the window, taking turns on what music we played, playing with their car toys, chatting to us, playing Eye Spy and having a car nap. Not all children are the same, but I have come to realize that my mini’s love having their limits pushed and benefit from this as well.

I would love to hear what kind of adventures that you and your families go on and where you go as I am always looking to add new places to our adventure list.

Chelsea x

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