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Christmas 2015


zigzag
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Right, as I am usually the Grinch that stole Christmas I am determined to look forward to it this year!! I know we are all starting to think about activities, gifts, cards, nativity's and parties, so thought it might be good to have a thread to post on. We are not holding our usual Xmas craft fayre this year as we haven't got enough helpers. We have decided to hold a nativity and pasty lunch!! We will put on our usual Christmas play/singing extravaganza (blink and you miss it) and then have a pasty lunch with a cake stall, wreath decorating and lucky dip. This is going to be held on the Saturday before Christmas. Our play is just the children dressed as characters from the nativity and me reading the nativity or another story. In the past we have done the owl and the star and also ones I have made up.

Our children love doing this and are so proud of themselves, I also think the parents would lynch me if we didn't do it!!! I however suffer from really bad nerves when I have to do any kind of public speaking and even ended up on nerve suppressing tablets just to get me up on stage one year!! This year my next step is to be really confident!!!

For their present the children are decorating glass jars with tissue paper and whatever else they can get their hands on!! We will then put a tea light in these. They are really easy and are very individual. Our Christmas cards are completed independently by the children at a card making station, with loads of Christmas craft stuff from poundland. So come on, what are the rest of you doing? :D

Edited by zigzag
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oooh zigzag i might pinch the glass jars idea - do the children just use pva glue on the outside and stick tissue paper ? do you paint over with pva once dry to make sure everything stays on ?

 

not as organised as you - so will wait and see what ideas come up and pinch all the ideas lol :0)

Edited by blondie
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Yes they use PVA to stick them on then another coating to go over the top. We will then use some soft garden wire to make a handle so they can be hung if wished. We are just using the small table sauces jars as they are just the right size.

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Well not feeling Christmassy for home at all this year - but I am making an extra effort at work.

 

I have a detailed plan for timings :o (but to be honest this is not super-organised, more- ok, got to do it :rolleyes: )

 

So far -

Calendars Made! (easy one, we just keep one piece of creative artwork in September and laminate )

Present - Same a zigzag!

Cards - We did lots of leaf printing with Autumn leaves and green [colour of the week] paint back in October, children will embellish their prints however they like (or not at all for some of them I'm guessing!!)

Concert - Songs that interweave with a story... (still working on that one)

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Looby lou love the Calendar trick!! Zigzag - your tea light jar sounds lovely - but as I AM The Grinch - we don't do presents - we don't do a party either!!

We do have lots of Christmas Fun though - Santas sleigh and workshop is the role play for a couple of weeks.

 

We havent done a calendar for years....shall do next year - thanks Looby lou!

 

We make one 'fluffy duck' but not all the same - This year - their own creation on a Christmas tree cone!

 

A Christmas Card - this year Parents will write in it before its decorated (with a Tree - I feel a theme coming on here) with their Family Christmas Traditions eg hang socks on bed/ Granny comes for lunch etc. Then we shall share them with the children, talking about how we may do Christmas the same or different. Card will say - Our Family Christmas!

 

Then on last day we have our Fabulous Nativity - Mince pies, coffee and festive chat afterwards - children go home with One! Gold Chocolate Coin (who said Scrooge?) early finish and us off to the pub for a well earned beer and lunch!! Ta dah!

 

All very simple and festive - if a bit lite on the party poppers! ha ha

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Okay our countdown to Christmas will consist of:

Making Christmas biscuits.

Going to our local church for a Christingle service just for us. We all love going to this.

Making Christmas calendars as a present from the children to their parents/carers. The children decorate from a array of materials and a photo of their child is placed in the middle.

Make Christmas cards, free choice station so each one unique.

A children's concert all parents/grandparents/carers join us for mince pies, shortbread, tea/coffee, as well as a little raffle.

Finally a big Christmas party, with an entertainer, party food and shhh Yes the real Father Christmas.:):)

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We make a variety of salt dough decorations covered in an artic truck load of glitter .

Christmas card - we are collecting pieces of children's at work to stick onto card.

Calender - same as Fredbear, then laminated (some glitter may creep in)'

Glittered pine cones to hang on the tree.

Biscuits.

We used to have a party for the children but too many children/not enough space to invite all on the same day. Last year we cooked Christmas dinner twice to cover all children. It was quite nice. Few party games and christmas songs.

 

Our cleaner absolutely loves glitter!!! :angry: :( bah humbug!

 

 

well I hope he's not double booked himself, as the REAL one is coming to us!

Well we don't actually see 'him' - someone rings a bell and when we look outside there is no-one there but we find a sack full of presents and a letter telling us how busy he is getting ready for Christmas Eve.

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I would loooove to do panto/show/nativity etc (we did do it about 10 years ago..different manager,but held it in our Royal British legion hall....more parking ...full nativity (so still have all the costumes upstairs) But alas that hall now not available...2 others in village really expensive....I would support it but really needs someone to fire up the staff to help ...the will is not there now...always a reason not to do a show..parking,time,...any reason not to :(

But we do have a party for the children on a sunday at local soft play area (supporting local business) and the main man comes to us too.....with personalised presents,wrapped by staff on a weekday evening (with wine )...a lovely afternoon...all parents donate food.....so runs like clockwork now.....

We also do lots of christmas activities....satff can find their own activity (love google)....each different from last year.....I did handprint on a plain red bauble,then paint the tips of fingers to resemble snowman etc....parents loved them..

But we are all weary....hard term..no support for our special children,...I suppose we are all in the same boat ??

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Well we don't actually see 'him' - someone rings a bell and when we look outside there is no-one there but we find a sack full of presents and a letter telling us how busy he is getting ready for Christmas Eve.

 

Thats a lovely idea......when we did do Santa, so many dissolved into tears......so we exclude him now!!!

 

Boooooooo!! Hissssssss!!

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Same here Rafa, especially with more younger children. We had some traumatised children! Parents 'forgot' to tell us their children didn't like Santa. We were also let down at the last minute and staff member dressed up - really funny but children recognised her straight away, even with her Gruffalo voice!!! Lol.

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Thats a lovely idea......when we did do Santa, so many dissolved into tears......so we exclude him now!!!

 

Boooooooo!! Hissssssss!!

 

I'm really liking this idea! We have santa, and do a nice feature/surroundings for him - but who is it actually for children or parents?!

 

This is the worst part of our party day to be honest- as the parents queue with their children (we've found it better when parent takes child), this takes ages and the children often run-around whilst parent patiently waits. To be fair its not a problem and we have chats with parents etc. But a Santa 'drop off' sounds much less stressful/ time consuming :1b :1b

I might send a questionnaire and ask parents. We can still make a big thing about the visit- just not the queuing xD

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The busy Santa drop off works a treat I must say. I have done it that way for a long time - for a few years we had a coffee shop in town which over looked the Santa Grotto down below, the amount of screaming children and cajoling parents for the children to at least have their photograph taken with Santa showed me very well how frightening the old boy can become for some children. What's the point of it?? So much better to keep the mystery...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Elfie arrived in a bit of a fluster - but had already escaped from his box, all children sent to find him after we found a note inside and a picture of him saying that he was hiding and he bet they couldn't find him, since then he has hidden all over the place, they have made a little bed for him to sleep in when he isn't visiting Father Christmas, last night he took all their letters up to the North Pole for them. Today as we only have a couple of complete weeks left, we are trying to do it very quietly to begin with, so today they made, iced and decorated biscuits in the style of trees, gingerbread men o gingerbread houses and at storytime we are doing our advent box, each day a different child to open the box and something to do with Christmas in there, today it was an advent calendar just to kick it off and as there aren't enough days for us they each had to open a door and have a choccie! - strangely that activity went down well :D:D Tomorrow the advent box will have a little tree inside, and then the real one is magicked from behind the screen!

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Oh thanks for reminding me about Elf on the Shelf Panders!! I bought mine, what seems like ages ago and had forgot all about him!!

 

Must say your very on the ball! Christmas doesnt officially start in our setting until next Monday - 3 weeks is about all I can handle :)

 

We have had Nativity role play this week.....but theres no glitter involved : ) just a few skirmishes over Baby Jesus..... : o !

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Oh thanks for reminding me about Elf on the Shelf Panders!! I bought mine, what seems like ages ago and had forgot all about him!!

 

Must say your very on the ball! Christmas doesnt officially start in our setting until next Monday - 3 weeks is about all I can handle :)

 

We have had Nativity role play this week.....but theres no glitter involved : ) just a few skirmishes over Baby Jesus..... : o !

Thing is I agree it is a little early, but when I worked out how many sessions it was, and not all our children do every session, it just had to be done to give them all the experiences we felt they would love. Glitter will have to make its first appearance next week.

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We have put the tree up and decorations in my setting. I asked staff when we were planning to put the tree up on Monday as a joke then was in the office for the morning doing my key children's files.

 

When I came out two hours later the setting was transformed. Children had helped to decorate tree and they had put out the Christmas books. A small group of children in the book corner were enjoying the nativity set. The writing area was transformed into a santa's workshop.

 

We have had 24 orders for letters from Santa as part of our fundraising and we have started to learn our Christmas songs at circle time. I love this time of year and I feel very blessed to do the job I do as I love watching and sharing the children's excitement as the big day approaches.

Edited by Miacat3
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We don't start Christmas until 1st December, although we have made and just about finished a giant advent calendar in our hallway. Each age group makes a card and small present to take home, with staff deciding what to do for their room (everyone has been busy on Pinterest for ideas this year). All the children come together for snack and Christmas songs either am or pm each day from Tuesday and get a turn at either opening a door on the calendar or being our postman and delivering cards from our post box. We have our party (with the REAL Santa of course!) and then Christmas lunch on a different day. Christmas week will be fairly quiet as our funded children finish on 18th...but I'm sure those few days will still be filled with glitter!

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OOh will have to find my festive doggy to pin to my posts!

 

Christmas starts on the 1st for us....tree and decorations up at the staff meeting Monday! :1b

Lots of Christmas cards done though as I need to send some out...foot prints this year! some made in to reindeers and some into mice (twas the night before xmas etc etc)

Nativity on the 8th ...theatre trip on the 11th,,,reports to write :blink: !

Have given the staff free range to fluffy duck if they want to ....but they are SO unused to doing this now they can hardly remember what to do!!! :lol:

Anyway trawling pinterest as we speak ....im on creative duty Wednesday so better come up with a plan

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Festive mode starts proper next week for us too. i refuse to do this any earlier.

Decks went up today in preparation for the church bazaar tomorrow when the children will sing a couple of Christmas songs. Christingle on Tuesday at our lovely local church, calendar making, card making and practising our Christmas concert celebrations too. Lots of fun and plenty of that wonderful product glitter. ( Sorry Parish Council).

The children made Christmas biscuits this week which was lovely, alongside lots of singing, dancing and musical instruments.

Following week concert, followed by a fab party.

Then I think we may all just full into a heap, take a breath and then think about our own Christmas time with our love ones.:):):)

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We are doing salt dough decorations and calendars (free design) for gifts - might borrow the idea of a photo with them though. Tree and decorations went up this week. Been boxing and coxing about nativity was thinking about a few songs and mince pies with the parents, but after going to bed at silly o'clock this morning struggling with it, now thinking about a story where an alien crashes in the preschool garden as asks the children what Christmas means one says a meal and we sing a song, another says a tree and we have a song etc. Hoping to do mix of English, French, Russian and Tamil songs / dances to reflect languages of the families.

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We started Christmas last week realising ( despite best efforts) that time was upon us! I wrote Nativity , children have learnt songs but this week and last had so many off with illness so it may be an all staff cast this year Cards - children creating their own , other staff have all come up with a craft - one fluffy duck but I'm too tired to moan , peppermint mints cream candy sticks, stick and ribbon trees , collage wreaths and various other bits.

 

We just printed our recipe books which are fab and hand printed mugs - thanks to our committee

 

Children decorated tree yesterday ( after we brought it back from church after the Christmas tree festival ) they used every decoration available and it looks fab and no perfect placement disorder suffered by any staff members !

 

The usual parents of very young children asking what their child is !

Demands for names so they can write Christmas cards - politely told them , your child should know their friends names and we don't have time to print lists!

 

Pomander cloves oranges to make over the next week.

 

Puppet workshop and performance next Friday with party snack and F.C visit and then finish down the pub with the staff and celebrating colleagues birthday .

 

Then my Christmas shopping as I have not done any and my daughters 21st on the 23rd !

 

Letter of resignation written but not handed in ............

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Yes really no shopping done - I don't like shopping ! So will be last minute for me ! Arrangements for Christmas Day have changed so will be me and OH home alone

 

Had a very low weekend the other week and decided that I need to find pastures new but have decided to leave at end of Summer term , but then who knows I may change my mind ......

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