Not to say it went off without a hitch. One would have thought we’d be a little more well-oiled second time around, right? Well, at least I thought we would. But with end of the year energies flagging, and me feeling an extra sense of fatigue, things were a bit stop-start. I was still snapping at Mike about lights as guests arrived – lights I asked him to sort out 4 weeks prior. But who’s counting? Cookies the girls and I never got around to finish icing (despite their constant reminding to me – geez, I owe them a proper cookie day I guess) And by the time the guests rolled around, I was still busy putting the last few touches together.
Which made me super glad I decided to keep the guest list small, even though Morgy really wanted a couple of her school buddies to join in this year. And I can tell you, I was this close to caving in, especially since this was her LAST year with them, before she’s off to BIG school next year! (Like Holy mother of megaton, hold my hand while I let that sink in and balance out my excitement, with my sentimental mom crap). But that’s deserving of its very own post where you can take a personal tour of all the sentimental mom crap that resides in my brain. Warning: it gets a bit messy.
Although, no promises it’ll be anytime soon, as if you haven’t already noticed,this here blog has taken on a more laid back pace…As in, I’ve been too lazy (a.k.a: very busy working/fatigued/fried) to string together a decent post. Six of the planned December posts are still just sitting there in draft. (The same 6 I started last year and never got around to finishing) But enough whining from me, I’m still oozing Klismassy vibes and happiness since our North Pole party last week, and would love for you to ooze along with me. Ready?
So without further ado, I give you…Our second “One night at the North Pole”…
(To see our first, and most magical North Pole Party, click here)
This year? A little less well-oiled, but still filled with all the fluff and wonder that makes my heart get all the flutters. Seeing the kids eager- no, hungry- for the indulging of their colourful imaginations. To see the world with wonder, through their eyes…THIS. This is what keeps the magic of Christmas alive…The belief and hope that all this delight and reality-defiant possibilities may be actually real. And it totally is.
The hot chocolate bar that always goes down well…never mind that we’re in the heart of summer..
So this not being their first north pole rodeo, the bigger kids already knew what to expect, and this oddly didn’t dampen their excitement. Not one bit. In fact, it may have increased it actually, as the eldest excitedly kept asking for the next activity, rather eager to get to the scavenger hunt.
This year we kicked off with a craft – just to give it ample time to dry before we finished it off. And if our invite was any clue, snow globes it was!
Just as with our Dragon Party, a craft table covered in brown paper, with written explanations right next to each piece of equipment was the best way to ensure everyone knows what to do without feeling lost. I used photo frames with each set of instructions propped up on the craft table at Parker’s Owls and Birds first birthday party back in 2014, but it honestly didn’t work as well as this technique.
I made some polymer snowmen for as figurines – because I totally forgot where I stored the dang north pole animal figurines I bought back in March this year at a complete bargain. I’m still hunting for them. (story of my life)
I was originally planning on using some of the craft trees I bought in the States recently for this craft but then I stumbled across these pretty little trees in a local store and thought they’d work better for the snow globe.
I had ordered some snow glitter from the States too, but sadly our SA postal service sucks in the highest form, and Lord alone knows where in SA my shipment currently is. (This includes our Christmas jammies bought more than TWO months ago already. Can locals manufacturers catch a clue already please? And start churning out those matchy matchy christmas jammies already. I’m tired of having to import them or having them tailor-made.) Fortunately, Merry Pak is starting to catch on, and at least had some white glitter to save the day. (why is white glitter such a hard find in SA, never mind snow glitter!?) However, my tip to you would be that fine glitter does less of a stellar job than bigger glitter or even proper snow glitter for snow globes. If you know where I can source snow glitter locally, please let me know! (Please!)
I used the biggest jars we could find. (Our recent picnic at Zevenwacht with buds produced the perfect ones) We gave the inside of lid of jar a quick sandpapering to ensure figurines will stay nice and stuck. Then used epoxy to secure first a tree then the figurine to the base of lid. (The reason why this craft needs proper adult supervision is, as preferably, only an adult or child old enough should handle epoxy.) Epoxy is waterproof…unlike hot glue. Lessons learnt. Moving on.
Epoxy takes about 5 minutes to take hold, so be sure to press tree and figurine down in place then to leave it to dry. ( this is where we moved on to the Reindeer food bar) My brother had special instructions to keep my nephew away from the craft table at this time, because..HOT damn, that kid is a busy little bugger! Non-stop machine of discovery and destruction that one. 🙂 But, also a huge factory of love, that guy. He churns out the cuteness and hug factor like it’s his job. Urgghhh, love him to bits!
I’ve had to hide these jars away, as my girls are far too eager to lure the reindeer to our house. Every day it’s, “Is it Christmas eve yet?… Is it Christmas eve yet?” as they cradle the food jars. They clearly remember the fun they had from last Christmas eve, complete with our traditional Christmas eve box and all.
It was soon time for our scavenger hunt, complete with darkened house – because thank you South Easter for once more making sure we’re blown out every damn year and confining our hunt to indoors. Not that it deters the kiddums at all, they love having to whip out their torches, and refer back to Santa’s special letter that magically falls down the chimney every year.
(Also my nephew has figured out the secret to deciphering Santa’s scroll is to stick two fingers up deep…) 🙂
Then it was time for another round of milk and cookies as they gathered to listen to my mom read the Night before Christmas. Still to this day, my most beloved book. And there’s no one who reads it quite like her. (Except of course my dad. And I’d be lying if I said I didnt feel an acute sting in my heart that my kids will never get to hear his rendition of this tale. With his deep gruff voice.) At her last visit back in August, my sister was amazed that I still had this book, and in such (near) prestine condition. She was like, “you made me read this book over and over and over to you all December!”. ( I used to keep it for Christmas eve only, but apparently I lost the plot at some point.)
I’ve had it since I was seven years old guys. And still brings back every bit of wonder and excitement I felt back then, whenever I carefully and preciously pull it off the shelf. Every bit.
This year there was no personal phonecall from Santa Claus, as he had a toy workshop incident that needed his full attention (aka, mommy totally slipped up, and the only people who had the number for Santa were off jetting to far away lands in the East, and there was no way I was gonna disturb their sunning sessions with North Pole emergency calls. So we kinda glossed over that one, much like we glossed over that one item we couldnt find on our scavenger hunt that was so well hidden,one would almost think it was never hidden to begin with. *cough*or possibly forgotten about*cough)
This year’s take home gift was a cute little writing pad with a snowman pen (which,once more, thanks to polymer clay, I could whip these up in the kitchen that very morning no problem)There were so many other cute little take homes I had in mind, but this year was not the year. (That’s me practising acceptance, by the way.)
And as the adults all yawned towards the end of the night, with Doris Day, Ol’ Blue eyes and Nat King Cole still crooning their way through our home, and the kids,fueled by hot chocolate, powered on through, running around in their jammies, crunching through scattered glitter and spilled oats, I watched and soaked it all in. And I hope…no, I know, that even whilst these kids running around like crazies were not exactly stepping back to “watch and soak it all in”, the pure and intense wonder, curiosity and magic of the night, highlighted by all the twinkle their little eyes could see, is exactly what will seal these precious memories for them. And hopefully imprint upon them all the warmth and love there is for them, along with all the magic and possibility that can be manifested in this life.
Here’s to never losing your ability to see the world with the wonder of a child. X