It’s Christmas!!!!!!!

I’ve been MIA with my blog posts lately, in fact I don’t think I have written anything for the month of December. And now it’s just two days until Christmas!!!!

Life has been pretty hectic in our household, as it is in most households at this time of year (and people who have young kids, that’s actually a big chunk of the population huh?). I’m pretty excited about Christmas, I’ve tried to make our home as Christmassy as possible. I’m a big, big fan of Christmas, always have been. And of course now I have my own children to celebrate with, I’ve definitely become a kid again.

Christmas can be an extremely difficult time of year for people, financially and emotionally. This is our fifth Christmas without Alex and it has gotten easier. I’m always aware when it comes to significant events that he is missing but having Little Miss and Mr Happy makes this holiday time a little brighter.

The first Christmas without Alex, SUCKED big time. I was fortunate to be 16 weeks pregnant with Little Miss at the time, but I still struggled at Christmas, as it would of been his first Christmas. My hubby and I were in England with my family for Christmas 2011, which helped a great deal. I was on ‘holiday’ and it eased my broken heart to be around my family. We had a Christmas with some of my husbands family when we returned to NZ, bonus two Christmases and both different.

I have lived in NZ since 2004, so I have had my share of Christmases here, but  Christmas in the summer?! It still doesn’t feel the same. Give me some cold days, dark evenings, mulled wine and a Christmas jumper to rug up in and it’s Christmas! I think because my childhood Christmases were in England and during the winter, this will always feel like Christmas to me. To me Christmas is also a time about family, a time to catch up. I know this isn’t the case for some people and they would rather avoid a family together. My family are often celebrating Christmas in England and I spend Christmas with my husbands family, but this year I get both! We will have Christmas Day with some of my husbands family and two days later on the 27th December my parents arrive from England!!!!!!

Although I’m looking forward to Christmas this year, I think I could possibly be more excited for my parents arrival. I haven’t seen my Dad in 14 months and my Mum for 10 months, it’ll be great to have some quality time with them. I have a pretty good relationship with my parents, I think the distance has helped our relationship in some ways, or could be it be me as I have gotten older? I feel very fortunate to have the relationship I have with parents as I know some people are not as lucky.

I had intended to start some Christmas traditions in our house this year, but I haven’t managed to achieve it. At first I was so annoyed with myself, but I also tell myself Little Miss is only three and Mr Happy has just turned 20 months, I can start next year. Do any of you have Christmas traditions? I would love to hear about them. Here is a list of the ones I would like to implement and have tried to start this year.


Little Miss (2012) 6 months


Mr Happy (2014) 8 months


The Elf on the Shelf

I have seen some great photos of Elves in people’s homes getting up to all kinds of mischief via social media. I decided against one this year, mainly due to cost and I thought my kids wouldn’t really be aware. I have decided I am DEFINETLY getting one for next year. I just know I will have lots of fun with the Elf leading up to Christmas.

Santa Letters

This is a tradition I started last year and again I ordered letters from Santa. I let the kids see them earlier last year but this year I’m waiting till either Christmas Eve Eve (the 23rd) or Chrustmas Eve. I will be posting our letters via social media when the kids receive them.

Christmas Eve 

I have seem some friends adapt Christmas Eve as a day to give some pre Christmas treats, and to mark it as a tradition. I have a new Christmas book for my kiddies to open on Christmas Eve.

Advent Calendars

This year was the first year I didn’t have an advent calendar! My Mum has always sent me one (yes I know I’m not a kid!) but I can never resist a bit of chocolate each day. But this year I told my Mum, no calendar for me and send one each for the kiddies. Plus it’s a good bribe to get Little Miss to eat her dinner, no dinner no chocolate from her calendar!

I know some people use an advent calendar as another way to countdown to Christmas without the chocolate treats. I love that you can give the kids a Christmas themed task or treat each dat.

Photo with Santa 

Little Miss had a photo with Santa when she was six months old, she was pretty content to sit with the man in red and have her photo taken, result! The following year (2013) she was 18 months and I was 5 months pregnant with Mr Happy. She did not want to go near the man in red! So I am in the photo with her! Last year I decided to flag the Santa photo, I wasn’t in the right head space and I figured it wouldn’t matter? So this year….. no Santa photo, I intended too but it hasn’t happened. Oh well, there is always next year right?

Little Miss (2012)

Little Miss (2012)

Me and Little Miss (2013)

Me and Little Miss (2013)

Christmas Books

You cant beat a Christmas book at Christmas time, right? We have collected a few in our house. I took them out of the book collection for the kids at the beginning of the year and put them away with our Christmas things with a good intention. My intention was to wrap the books and give them a ‘new’ book every so often in the lead up to Christmas. I also wanted to get a couple of new Christmas stories to add to the collection. Has this happened, I admit with disappointment that it hasn’t! I have the books wrapped, but it is now the 23rd December and I haven’t given them any Christmas stories, geez I feel crap now I write this!


Christmas 2014


Christmas 2014


Geez now I finish listing all the Christmas traditions that are around, no wonder I feel overwhelmed! I really do put a lot of pressure on myself at times. I have been feeling rather guilty about not seeing through certain traditions but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter! My kids are happy and loved and Santa will be paying them a visit on Christmas morning!

Merry Christmas everyone

craftyorganisedme sig

The Gift


Photo courtesy of The Gift Facebook page

Some of you may of already heard of the ‘The Gift’ on Facebook, if you have, have you put together a box to gift? If you have great, you are a star! If you haven’t , would you like too?

Recently, thanks to some of my awesome Facebook buddies sharing ‘The Gift’s’ facebook status letting people know about this cause, I came across it. What a FAB idea, for the few weeks leading up to Christmas if you can add an item extra to your groceries to help someone out who may be struggling. For me and many others the thought of Christmas feels me with love, happiness and i especially like to give more than receive. One of my favourite things about Christmas is watching people open a present I have given them and hoping the look of their face is a good one!

What I really like about the idea of ‘The Gift’ is you can put together a present for someone whom I’m sure will really appreciate it. Sure, I won’t get to see the individuals face when they open the box I have put together, but to me that is ok. I’m happy this is a great cause and I trust my gift will really help someone.

When I first saw it, I checked out the Facebook page immediately and messaged the lovely Michelle who organises it all and asked if I could mention ‘The Gift’ on my blog. I asked Michelle some questions so I could share more about ‘The Gift’ and how it all started. In italics are Michelle’s own words.

What made you start doing The Gift? And when did it start?

Michelle explained in 2013 she did a Community Masterclass. The Masterclass pulls together community minded people who want to see communities get back to helping each other, looking after each other and creating new initiatives.

And in 2014 I took part in a Incubator project and I basically just took what was in my hand and created something that would connect people who had something they wanted to give with someone who was in need and needed a hand up but maintaining full confidentiality at the same time.

The Gift was birthed in December 2014.

Is this just in New Plymouth, or is it happening in other places around New Zealand?

There are little pop ups of things like The Gift over NZ. My main aim is always to see families helped, but I have made sure that the people who are helped through this process are being supported by a social worker to help them get out of the rut they have found themselves in. Its very much a hand up rather than a hand out.

What can people do to help this amazing cause?

When a need arises, the basics of the need are placed on the Facebook page and if the people who belong to the page decide that they can meet that particular need, then they make contact with me and I arranged for pick up, and then drop it off to the family.
A number of the families that we meet the needs for, are families who are under a social worker or whanau worker at Tu Tama Wahine.

Who receives the boxes?

The Gift boxes for mums was an initiative we started last Christmas amongst the staff, but when members of the community found out about it, they all wanted to participate. Putting together a box of goodies is such a simple and easy way to lighten the load of a mum/dad or grandparent over the Christmas period, and the generosity of spirit that exists in the New Plymouth area is often overwhelming!

What else can people donate if they didn’t want to fill a box?

Over the past 6 years Citywest church have provided Christmas presents for children. Over that time more and more businesses and people have come on board with this initiative as well, and last year we were able to give away presents to 300 individual children, so if someone would like to provide a child’s present, that would be awesome.

So, what can be put into a box, preferably a shoebox sized box,  just general everyday items that lighten their load.

  • Roll on
  • Moisturizer
  • Shampoo 
  • Conditioner 
  • Body Wash/soap
  • Disposable shavers
  • Toothpaste 
  • Toothbrush 


There we go, what do you reckon of ‘The Gift’? If you want more information check out the Facebook page.

I have been putting together a box to be donated. I have followed the list of items that Michelle suggested and I have been able to do it for around $20 which I thought was pretty good. Usually I would spend more than this on a gift for a friend or a family member, so I found this quite achievable. I know for some people Christmas is the time of year that can be tough for people financially. I just wanted to help spread the word about what I think is a fantastic cause.

The box I have been putting together

The box I have been putting together