Christmas 2020 & a New Year!

To dear Sebastian Jaya,

After your fifth birthday, we started counting down till Christmas. I couldn’t wait. All year, through all the lockdowns and the worry, all I wanted was a “happy” Christmas with our little family {including your Gran, of course!}.

I also had A LOT of surprises to come out of the “Narnia” wardrobe! My biggest collection was the Ostheimer animal figurines that I had been secretly collecting and hiding nearly all year. I wanted to create an Advent Calendar for you, Sebby, something we haven’t done before and a way for us to count down the days until Christmas. To add some magic and joy to our days leading up to the 25th of December.

So, your Dada obliged me with my crazy idea and helped me to create an Advent Calendar for you. We spent long hours at night working on a spectacular Ostheimer Advent Calendar. And all those long hours were worth every moment to see your joy.

Using the Grapat Tinker Tray and a Kmart shelf along with cardboard and recycled wrapping paper, we created two Advent houses with 24 windows/doors for which we placed an Ostheimer surprise for each day.

Grapat Tinker Tray looked something like this, I may have changed up a few at the last minute.
Cute little surprises behind each door!

We also, for the first time, created a Waldorf Advent using the Grimm’s Celebration Ring. This became the most special tradition, you loved it Sebby. We would decorate the celebration ring each Sunday for the week ahead as we counted down the weeks until Christmas.

Advent – Week 1

Sebby, each night you would love to blow out the candles before bedtime. It filled my heart with joy and gratitude, after such a difficult year, this was a very special ritual, a traditional for our little family to carry on for always.

As for presents under the tree from your Mama and Dada {and your Santa sack} – you were definitely spoilt this year. Although, I do want to say that some presents were purchased with an intention that they are more educational resources in my mind rather than just toys. My thinking and my purchasing this year has all been in preparation for us going into home-schooling in 2021. {I’ll share more about this later!}

I managed to find two Grimm’s block sets that I wanted; the 1001 nights and the LSCB {Large Stepped Counting Blocks}. I was super excited about these two MASSIVE block sets. Of course, there was more Grimm’s amongst your presents, your Santa sack contained; rainbow stacking house, moss pebbles and stacking bowls. {Thank-you Santa for the awesome choices!}

And just in case I hadn’t gone overboard already with the wooden toys, one week before Christmas I purchased the full sets of Grapat Mandala pieces! This had been on my wishlist for a long time, I’d wanted to buy them all year but as I had purchased so much, I told myself to wait until next year…but when they all popped up in stock just before Christmas, I just couldn’t help myself but get them. A present from Santa left under the tree with a tag with all our names on it. Something for all of us to enjoy!

I think the Grapat Mandala pieces would have to be THE MOST open-ended toy ever! Probably my most loved piece in our collection. I know they will be used endlessly for; building, small-world play, maths, shop-play and so on but my main reason for wanting them is for mindfulness. I’d like to create a space in our daily rhythm for mindfulness, some quiet, down-time in the afternoons. I’m hoping this will become a focus for us in 2021.

To be honest, the Grapat Mandala pieces were the one thing that I wasn’t sure what you would think about them, I didn’t know if you would like them, Sebby. I don’t know why I worried about that, you absolutely LOVE them and every time we play or build, you ALWAYS reach for the Grapat Mandala pieces. This makes my heart so happy!

Your other Christmas presents included; LEGO {of course!} and the standard new pjs and summer clothes {shorts & t.shirts} that were needed as you have grown so tall, Sebby. Books – lots of books! More Ostheimer animals, the big ones that couldn’t fit in the Advent Calendar were wrapped up in boxes and put under the tree.

So, it was a HUGE wooden Christmas! This made my heart so so happy!

We were fortunate that Melbourne had come out of lock down and some restrictions had eased, which meant we were able to spend Christmas Day with your Gran. So grateful that we were able to spend this special day together, especially as I know many many people around the world were still in lockdown and would not be spending Christmas with their loved ones near or far. We were very lucky.

So, on Christmas morning, after a crazy morning of opening all the presents, we headed to your Gran’s for a traditional roast lunch and more presents to open. You got a watch, which is gorgeous and it’s going to be great as we will focus on learning to tell the time in 2021. Of course, you also got a car, some pjs and clothes and a wooden Tangram puzzle and some beautiful books. So spoilt, Sebby.

It was a lovely day; a delicious lunch – a traditional roast turkey, presents to share, sunshine and playing outside and most importantly, we were all together. My heart was happy.

It was a huge day, we were exhausted by the time we got home and got you to bed very late.

After Christmas was over, we could finally relax and just enjoy some family time at home together. Your Dada had taken some time off work so we were all home to play with all our new toys. It was nice not to have to be anywhere.

Always an extra busy time for us as we have your Dada’s birthday to celebrate in between Christmas and New Year so it’s all a bit of a blur, ha! Our holidays were mostly spent at home, unfortunately it wasn’t great Summer weather, so we got to spend time at home to play with all these beautiful new toys.

And every day that we have been home {apart from the days that we visit your Gran} we have played with all your Christmas gifts. You have loved building with the blocks and you love the Grapat Mandala pieces so much! You have dived straight in to all the new open-ended toys and I see the joy on your face. My heart is so happy. We have entered a whole new level of play and construction, and we can be lost in our play and imaginative worlds for hours a day.

Your first Ostheimer animal stack! Proud Mama moment right there, kiddo.

Your Dada went back to work in the second week of January and we are still in holiday mode. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time, reading, researching, thinking about your learning and play for 2021. I have decided that we’ll be home-schooling this year, and what that will actually look like well only time will tell. I’m working on a ‘Daily Rhythm’ for us, just to guide us through our days. I’ve also started brainstorming activities for us to delve into but I’ll leave all this home-schooling stuff for another time.

For now, I’ll just say that we are so ready for the new year ahead and we are well resourced with the most beautiful wooden resources for playing and learning. And we’ll just be taking one day at a time, after what has been the worst year ever, I’m praying for some hope and healing in the new year.

May 2021 be filled with magical adventures, my little love.

Love always, Mama xxx

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