Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Christmas Eve – a cautionary tale

April 6, 2014

Babess is a writer.  She’s always writing little stories, and I’ve given her an exercise book for her “home stories”, just like the ones she has for her stories at school.

This is one she wrote towards the end of last year, clearly taking some parental, um, “encouragement” to heart.

I’ve kept her spelling, but explained it where it might be necessary.

Christmis eve.

One night there was a gerl ho (who) didi’t go to bed her Mother called Santa and sed don’t do eny presints for the littil gerl so he didi’t gev eney present’s for her but he left a noet for her that sed be good but she thoht she hd been good all the time but she got it she didn’t go to bd so nexst Christmis she was good and she got a wond (wand), slepers (slippers) sollvorens (Sylvanian Families) and they all lived hapreley.

Lot’s of love from Babess.

© UpsideBackwards 2014.

Silly question, Dad!

December 17, 2013

Fainjin has modified his Lego Father Christmas, adding some talons from a Hero Factory set he has.  The Dad (who is usually quite bright) was puzzled, and asked why he’d done it.



Fainjin giggled with glee.  “Because he’s Santa CLAWS!”

Well, of course.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.


Letter to Santa

December 15, 2013

Babess has very good handwriting and quite astonishing spelling for a child with only two terms’ schooling.  The other day she sat down and wrote a long letter to Santa, on the back of a piece of Christmas wrapping paper.

Ples Santa...

Ples Santa…

Here is the whole text, with her spelling:

Ples Santa ples can you get me lego frens boot with the dolfens and gerls mery chemes Santa your my best frend your not the werst I love you I now you hav been to my house come agen these ine day you like if you can’t come that’s orit if you can’t come I’ev got a bloun of you come and see it if you can my tree has ____ you can what Fainjin wants lego set that has Jaba the hat in the colled sopa markit What Pearl wad like a mgp skoter. Dad wod like kofy maker. Mum wod like                                   Pearl is going to werr rodof theress no time to mes it we will gev you a picha of Pearl wering rodof in her herr.

Some notes:

“ine” = any, “orit” = alright, “bloun” =balloon, “rodof” = Rudolph

I’m not sure what the Jabba the Hutt Lego set is about, some kind of market?  I wasn’t home for Babess to ask what I would like, so she left a blank space to be filled in later.  Pearl’s “reindeer” hairdo is a clearly much-anticipated Christmas tradition. Perhaps by next year Babess’ hair will be long enough to put up too!

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

The longer-lasting Christmas present

January 18, 2013

Our Christmas present to Pearl was horse-riding lessons.

She has been pony-mad forever.  She had her first ride at the age of 9 months, although to be fair I don’t think she was quite pony-mad then.  I’m not sure she was really aware of what was really going on, even if she did seem to enjoy it!

By the time she was 4 and we visited friends who had miniature horses, she was definitely keen.  She just couldn’t wait to get there and see the horses and have a ride.  It was all she could talk about for weeks before and after.

And so it has been, ever since and forevermore, it seems.  We have taken her for pony rides on her birthdays and other occasions when we can.  There aren’t any equestrian centres particularly close to us, so it’s always at least a 45min drive to go riding, which has precluded any spur-of-the-moment outings or regular lessons.

This year we decided that the passion has been long-lasting enough to warrant more effort on our part.  We gave her five lessons for Christmas – not very many, but they are expensive, and somewhat difficult to get to.  She’s doing all five lessons in three weeks, which should give her a bit of a base to work from.  I’m hoping we’ll be able to organise a couple of lessons each school holidays.  It’s a shame we live too far away for her to be one of the kids who hangs out at the stables and helps clean up and learns by osmosis.

The second lesson was today, and she is having a ball.  She is learning a rising trot, and is so proud of herself riding around the ring with her arms outstretched (look Mum, no hands!), remembering – or trying to – to keep her heels down, toes up, back straight, look ahead, keep the rhythm.

Fainjin was pretty impressed, watching her.  Then he turned to me and said, “Pearl has had a long turn. I want a turn on the pony as long as she had.”


© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Christmas 2012

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

We were up at a reasonable hour this morning – around 6am.  Babess was the first one up and about (apart from me, I had some cooking to do).  She was amused to see that Santa had left gifts on the dining table as we don’t have a tree here, and ran to wake Fainjin and Pearl.  Her amusement quickly turned to concern, however, when she realised there were only three gifts.  “Mummy and Daddy didn’t get any!” She turned huge eyes to me.  “Are you on the Naughty List?”

We assured her that we were on the Good List, but Santa only leaves gifts for children.  I think she was dubious, but decided to humour us.

So the children opened their Santa presents – books, as is usually the case when we’re in Australia for Christmas.  Santa knows we have to carry them home again, so he keeps things small.  Then we all had breakfast, and I finished stuffing mushrooms and making salad, before heading to the family present-opening with Grandma and Grandad and the uncles, aunts and cousins.

That was very satisfactory indeed, with several cries of “It’s just what I always wanted!” and many “Thank you!”s.  We lingered to play with toys and chat (and I “helped” construct several Lego models, my ideal Christmas Day activity!), and had a leisurely lunch together.

It was very hot by my standards, although the locals seemed untroubled.  We came back to our accommodation in mid-afternoon to embrace the air-conditioning and have a dip in the pool, followed by more playing with Christmas presents and – of course – left-overs for dinner.

All in all, a pretty typical Christmas Day for our family.

I hope yours has been/is as enjoyable and special in your own family way.  And that you’re not on the Naughty List.

Hyvää Joulua!

Joyeux Noël!

Frohe Weinachten!

Gleðileg jól!

¡Feliz Navidad!

Gaudete! Dies natalis est.

God jul!

Nollaig Shona Duit!

Feliz Natal!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Getting the Look

December 15, 2012

Once again summer has snuck up on us, the children have grown out of all their clothes, and we are staring down the barrel of a Queensland Christmas with a wardrobe full of jeans, tights, and long-sleeved shirts.

Time to go shopping!

First I went through Fainjin’s & Babess’ drawers, removing all the too-small clothes, as well as some they just never wear for whatever reason.  That was reasonably reassuring – they both have lots of t-shirts that fit them, at least.  I don’t really know how this happens.  We must have started with hundreds of t-shirts in several sizes, because we never seem to run out, although we hand on dozens each season.

Space now made, we went looking for new things.  I told them that they each needed a “smart” outfit for Christmas.  We have a couple of church things to go to and it would be nice if they didn’t look like complete scruffs in the Christmas morning photos.

Babess was thrilled.  She waltzed through the shop saying, “Let’s try this on!  And this one!  Here’s a pink one of those! Did you get that one, Mum?  I like that one too!”

Fainjin was the opposite.  “No!  I don’t want to look smart!  I want to look awesome!”

Apparently awesome means t-shirts with ninja lego or angry birds on them.  We found some short-sleeved button shirts and plain shorts, and persuaded him into the changing room.

Babess merrily tried on dozens of outfits.  Sadly, she is so small and slight of figure that most things didn’t fit.  The smaller sizes were too short, and the larger sizes ballooned out over her chest.  She sobbed when the pretty dress with roses and a net petticoat was put away, but she does like the pink dress we chose in the end.

Fainjin grudgingly tried on one of the shirts.  “Hey!” I said, “You look really handsome!  It makes you look older, quite grown-up.”

He preened.  He looked in the mirror.  “I look like I’m about seven,” he agreed.

Apparently looking older is awesome when you’re nearly six.  He happily tried on the rest of his clothes, and because he is average size for his age, they all fit.  Lucky boy.  Now he has two smart and awesome outfits for summer!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Mhairy Christmas!

December 14, 2012

I wish I could claim credit for this idea.  Fainjin’s teacher showed me a picture the other day and was very excited when I said I would attempt it with Pearl.  She instantly went to her art supplies cupboard and found pipe-cleaners for me.  (This teacher has sons, but no daughters of her own to play with their hair).

Pearl’s own art box provided the red pompom and the eyes, which I hot-glued to hair-pins.  The whole effect was remarkably easy to achieve, and quick to put together.

Rudolph the red-nosed hair bun!

Rudolph the red-nosed hair bun!

People stopped her in the street to tell her how awesome her hairdo was!

People stopped her in the street to tell her how awesome her hairdo was!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Oh Santa, what were you thinking?!

December 11, 2012

This afternoon after school I took Fainjin and Pearl to see Santa at a department store.  Pearl wasn’t really very interested in seeing Santa, to be honest, but Fainjin certainly was, so she came along too.  She didn’t sit on the stool next to Santa or anything like that, preferring to be grown-up and hang back near me.

Fainjin happily regaled Santa with the day’s exploits at school and details of his good behaviour, and Santa ho-ho-ho-ed and chatted amiably.  Then the fatal question.

“So, young Fainjin, what would you like for Christmas?”

“Ummmm Star Wars Angry Birds,” comes the answer.  I try to catch Santa’s eye and shake my head slightly.  Santa doesn’t bring electronics to our house.  But…

“I think I can manage that,” he declares.  Eeek.  “How about you see what you can do, Santa?” I suggest, and he seems to nod.

“Do you need more Lego?” he asks Fainjin.  Whew.  We agree that we always need more Lego, although Fainjin laughs that everyone gives him Lego.

Then Santa turns his attention to Pearl.  “And what would you like for Christmas?”

Pearl, predictably, says with a smile, “A pony.”  I shake my head violently, and Pearl says, “But we can’t have one of those.”

Santa asks, “How old are you?”


“Oh, there’s only five years to wait, then.”

I may have squawked.  Did Santa just promise my daughter a pony in 5 years time?  I think he did!  Does he think she will forget, or forgive?

Oooooh Santa.  You’re in trouble.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

How did they know?!

January 7, 2012

Yesterday morning, Fainjin appeared in shorts and a singlet.  The singlet has a certain Disney character on it.  He said stubbornly, “I’m only wearing a t-shirt if it has [the same character] on it”.

“We don’t have a t-shirt with that character on it,” I told him.  He has plenty of t-shirts, I recently sorted out the kids’ clothes and was startled at the amount of choice our children have in the mornings!  He stared at me mulishly, then said he’d only wear his singlet.  No problem, that’s what summer is for.

Later in the day, The Dad took him to town to check our mailbox.  Fainjin still refused to put on a t-shirt, so he went out in his singlet.  They came back about an hour or so later, bearing a large box.  Friends overseas had sent Christmas gifts!

The children excitedly ripped into their parcels, and joyfully discovered a Disney t-shirt each.  Fainjin’s eyes went round and wide.  His t-shirt had that character on it!  “How did they know?!” he asked.  He put it on at once, before I’d even had a chance to cut the tags off.

The girls put theirs on too, and were thrilled with them, but Fainjin was convinced there was some mysterious magical knowledge at work.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Boxing Day

December 26, 2011

After a quieter-than-usual Christmas where it was “just us” – or not even that, as Pearl has stayed with her grandparents – for the afternoon, today was very peaceful.  Fainjin and Babess played happily with their new toys all day long, every so often going to the laundry-basket full of presents and rediscovering another new amusement.

It was a day for opening boxes – of lego, puzzles, toys.  The new scooter and bike are still in their boxes, though.  Despite the brilliant weather, today was spent mostly inside.  I was grateful; the sunburn risk for my little redheads was extreme, and besides, with The Dad out of action the task of assembling the bike would fall to me… it still will, of course, it’ll just be another day.

Fainjin came into the kitchen to “help” me make some ice-cream, and when I noted that we hadn’t heard from Babess playing in the lounge for a few minutes, I sent him to ask if she was ok.

I heard, “Babess, are you ok?  Are you ok?  Babess, are you ok?”

He came back into the kitchen.  “She didn’t answer me!”

“Oh. Is she awake?”

“No!”  Which would explain the lack of answer, perhaps.

The Dad, having overheard from another room, went to look and reported that she had settled on a cushion, having dragged out a blanket, and dozed off on the lounge-room floor.

That’s the kind of day it was.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

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