Thursday, 18 November 2010

Letters to Father Christmas

I always get a bit nervous as Christmas approaches. It's not just the expense I worry about, I get concerned about meeting my children's expectations. Christmas is such a magical time and I would hate to mistakenly do something to upset them. Just imagine if Father Christmas brought the "wrong" present on Christmas Eve!

Sending a letter to Father Christmas is the traditional way for children to make their requests. But how should I manage this with young children? Should I just let them get on with it by themselves; make suggestions and drop hints, steering them towards an idea I think they would like; give them the Argos catalogue; or just simply ask them what they'd like?

Since early September, my 5-year-old son has gradually started to take an interest in the toy adverts on TV. "Oooh mummy I really need that! Oh I'd LOVE that for Christmas!" After a few weeks of listening to his pleas, my husband created a Word document for him on his area on the computer, and every time he saw something he liked he would add it to this document. He would even add things he hadn't seen, such as "Doctor Who lego" (Dear Lego, this would be a great range!)

October half-term is our traditional time to write our letters to Father Christmas. With our Word document to hand, I thought it would be easy for my son to write his letter. However, little did I realise how long his list had got! "Sweetheart, we really need to cut this list down, Father Christmas can't carry so many toys". We decided to choose just two things off his list. I was proud to see him choose two small gifts. He carefully wrote his letter, drew some lovely pictures, and coloured it in for Father Christmas.

But, how to find out what my 2-year-old daughter would like? She can communicate very well, so I simply asked her.

"Potatoes" she promptly replied.

"No darling, mummy will buy potatoes, what would you like to play with?"


"No food darling, what toy would you like?"


"Balls? What sort of balls?"

"Jam balls. Yummy."

I decided to make suggestions. "What about a dolly?"

"Yes, I'd love a dolly."

"How about sparkly shoes?"

"Yes, I love sparkly shoes!"

I was reminded suddenly of the scene from Father Ted, when Father Ted asks Father Dougal what his three wishes would be, and Dougal gets really excited and says he wants whatever Ted says. "Oh God yes I'd love to be a rockstar like Elvis!" I spent most of the afternoon chuckling to myself about that.

So tomorrow, I shall write to Father Christmas on behalf of my little girl, requesting balls and perhaps some sparkly shoes. And I will chuckle to myself, and think about what a great Christmas we'll have.

What the heck is a "Jam Ball"?

Friday, 12 November 2010

Like father like daughter

You know when you walk into a Christmas shop and some hilarious person has switched all the singing Santas on so the place is full of "Santa Claus is coming to town"?

Sigh. Sorry Sainsburys.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Plants by post

I've never ordered live plants before so I wasn't sure what to expect when the postman rang the doorbell this lunchtime with my Victoriana Nursery delivery. He said: "I thought I'd get this out of the way first" and handed me a damp cardboard box. I was quite sympathetic! But what could brighten up a grey, miserable, wet day more than a delivery of plants and seeds?

The sun is actually shining now. I might just pull my wellies out and dig some compost into that spare bed ready for the perennial cauliflowers...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Vegetable planning, with a Victoriana twist!

As November begins, my garden is starting to look a little sad. The veg border is almost empty, with the exception of a couple of rows of leeks and spring onions, a few carrots, and some very sad-looking calabrese plants. The patio has been cleared of the numerous pots containing tomatoes, peppers, and courgettes (the kids can play on their bikes again!). It's that time of year when I drag all my books off the shelf, search the shed for old seed packets, and start to plan what I want to plant next year.

Thanks to Fennel and Fern, I have been given the opportunity to review £50 of products from Victoriana Nursery next year. It's an excellent chance for me and my family to buy lots of fabulous products we wouldn't usually look twice at, test them out, and write about the experience here. And you all know, I do love to write about our family experiences!

The problem I'm having at the moment is deciding what to buy. I really should ignore fanciful delights such as the Tamarillo Tree Tomato, which grows to 8ft high and will fill a large proportion of my garden, or Asparagus plants, which I won't be able to harvest for at least 2 years. But I'm very tempted to try Strawbini seeds (strawberry spinach). Is it a vegetable, is it a fruit? Who knows?! And I'm not sure I can resist sneaking the bizarre Tomtatoes (tomatoes and potatoes from the same plant) onto my list, for simple curiosity value!

Keep checking my blog over the next year to find out which products I ordered, how they grew, and what we thought of the outcomes.
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