Thursday, 12 December 2013

December Loving........

I'm trying very hard to be 'relaxed'..... just go with the flow.....

....and enjoy this December.

Just a few more birthdays to go before I can really think about Christmas without distraction.

These past few years I have really been trying hard to get the Bears to focus on what Christmas is actually all about. It's a difficult one. It's every child's dream to wake up on Christmas morning to a sack full of presents.....but I have been finding the pressure of advertising aimed at Children too much. I don't want my children growing up just thinking it's all about getting the latest trend in toys. I don't want them to just 'expect' to get something, rip the paper off, look at it for a moment and then move on to the next item. I also find now that individual toys now are just so expensive. Ridiculous in fact. It puts a real pressure on parents. These past couple of years we have been making the elder Bears try and learn the true value of money. I want them to appreciate what they open on Christmas morning.....but above all, I want them to appreciate that, although presents are great, being with family is far more important. Okay, so it's difficult with very young children......and Baby Bear is at that age still, but my older two Bears are at an age where they can start to understand it all more.

I've talked a lot with my older Bears about what it means to be with family. Memories created in family 'get togethers' stay far longer than memories of what toys one had each year. Of all my Christmasses as a child, I can only remember a few single items that I unwrapped (a huggy bear, anyone remember those? They wrapped around your bike. They were like gold dust and my mum said she drove for miles to countless little toy shops (no super stores in those days) in search of one), but I remember the excitement of opening stockings in front of my mum and dad, and my grandparents, just little sweets (always rainbow pops) and pencils etc. Every year I would get those little Cadbury's chocolate machines. It was a tradition I loved. But anything else? Nope. I just fond memories of the day as it unfolded being with my whole family for that day. Everybody under one roof, playing family games, wearing silly hats and feeling happy being with everyone. I think in this day and age it's even more important. Parents work far longer hours, so spending a few days with a whole family together can be a real luxury.


Christmas decorations this year have been fairly minimal in my house. I'm not sure why, maybe it has to do with my pink tree. I'm usually a traditional red and white girl, they don't really mix well with pink. But it has been quite nice to be different this year. There has been a fair amount of laughter because of it. It's a poor effort this year, and Baby Bears' enormous paper chain covers the whole of the pink tree.....literally. I am a bit like 'Monica' (Friends) with my tree, so to have it completely ensconced in a HUGE neon green and blue paper's taking everything I have to leave it there. But leave it there I shall, and laugh at everyone laughing at me!



In December I'm loving......

Steaming hot lattes

(I'm hoping that very skinny and very decaf are helping with my obsession)

Watching the hyacinths 'unfold'

(I am stupidly excited. I ADORE Hyacinths and cannot wait for them to burst into colourful life and fill the room with their scent)

Porridge on the go

 (My weekdays are consisting of a late lunch in the car on a school pick up. Wrapped up warm and scoffing slowly eating some hot porridge.)

Cake Making

 (About as Christmas cakey as I'm going to get!)

Finishing off bits and pieces

 (Yes, a rubbish selfie, I know. Where are the Bears when I need them to hold a camera.....but I finished it.....YAY! My sparkle scarf is finished and happily adorning my neck. It looks grey and drab in this picture, but it really is lovely with just the right amount of sparkle. Done in time to wear over the Festive period. I CANNOT WAIT!)

Being inspired by my 'Crochet' board in Pinterest and gathering ideas for 2014 makes

 (I LOVE spending a few moments here and there going through the pins on my boards. How many of you just pin and pin and never actually look at what you've pinned again?!!!)

If you fancy being inspired......just click on the Pinterest button on my side bar and it will take you to my boards.

So, I'm thinking this is my last post before Christmas.


Tootle Pip



  1. I so agree with you about the present and children. My kids are 2-and 4 years. They are not getting any christmas presents from me (from relativs yes). I am trying to avoid the fuss as much as i can.

    Love your blog, just found it <3

  2. the hardest things in the world....being in the present, enjoying the prescience, and ignoring the presents!!!

  3. Beautiful post Vanessa ..... family and friends are definitely more important than ANYTHING and even more so at Christmas~time x
    Such a pretty scarf and a pretty you.
    Gosh, its hard enough organising Christmas let alone birthdays to think of too! stay relaxed x
    Wishing you and your lovely family a magical and beautiful Christmas
    love jooles xxx

  4. Wish you a lovely Christmas! Thanks for your thoughtfull post. Like to look at your photo's, love the greengate cups with hyacinths, my favorite christmas flowers too. I can totally relate to your Monica feelings, you have a picture in your mind and your children "spoil" ït. So difficult to let it go, but good for you you did it.
    We don't give presents with christmas, it is a dutch tradition to celebrate Sinterklaas at the 5th of december with presents. (though these days many people give presents at christmas too). It's important to learn children it is about family time together, not about the presents. At Sinterklaas we make little funny poems, or we wrap the presents in a funny way. And we take time for each present individually. And my boys now sometimes tell me; Mom, do you remember?? And they talk about something which happened in the past, not the
    presents themselves. They do remember I gave them always one book. (they never liked reading, I tried to encourage reading, with zero success).
    I too have a birthday, at the 24th of december , my eldest was born that day. Busy times. I'm happy I had some free holidays days left at my work.
    groetjes, Gerda

  5. Lovely post. I don't have children myself yet but I totally agree with your way of thinking. It's nice to have gifts but spending time with family is much more important. You pictures are gorgeous as always. Miss you on IG :) Sarah-Jayne (@bellacoco_)

  6. Le tue immagini bellissime hanno tutta la dolce allegria del Natale!!

  7. Hi Vanessa
    Love the idea of a pink tree - would certainly make a change !
    I hope you and your family have the best Christmas.
    I'm definitely going to try and find a couple of quiet minutes during mine to look at your Pinterest boards.
    Kate x

  8. Thank you....thank you.... what a great post....I so agree with your words about Christmas and the never ending pressures of giving bigger and better every year. I stopped giving into that a couple of years ago, but listing to parents around me I am often made to feel like a Scrooge!!! I but not the whole present pressure so....THANK YOU.... you have made me feel much better. And yes, just like you I only remember very few of my present, most vividly a Cookie monster jumper given to me in a beautiful box hand painted with classic fairytale by my Mum, so the handmade gifts are still the best!!! But what I remember most of all from my childhood Christmas's are all the great board games we played & long walks in the woods something we still do as a family today and both are free. I wish you and your Bears a lovely fun filled family Christmas!
    Anna x

  9. Hello there lovely lady. Super word about the real spirit of Christmas. Hard to teach younger ones though. I made a vow a few months back to pay more attention to stuff I had already pinned on Pinterest. I was getting that little "you've already pinned this" message way too often. I love going back through my boards. I feel they really capture me! I am starting to work through the projects on there too!! Have a wonderful family Christmas xxx

  10. Hi Vanessa, Hope you have a wonderful pink Christmas and may it be everything you want for you and your family!!!!

  11. I appreciate your comments about children and presents, so true! We strive for the same family gratitude here...and your December loves are wonderful - wishing you and yours a restful, lovely and treasured holiday! Chrissie x

  12. Merry Christmas, I hope you have a lovely one, make some precious memories for your children to recount to theirs! :) x

  13. Hi Vanessa
    Well, wow, wow, wow, - I have just spent way more than a couple of minutes looking at your truly gorgeous Pinterest boards, you just have the most gorgeous taste, and so many of your favourites are right there next to mine ! Spots, stripes, hearts, buttons, homes, gardens, cute things and of course, crochet. You have pinned so many things to be inspired by - I shall be back, and back and back again. It's also made me realise I need to spend more time adding to my boards - there is so much beautiful stuff out there.
    Thank you for sharing all of that gorgeousness,
    Kate x

  14. What a lovely post so true about Christmas and memories, love you're scarf I've been using some of that yarn in my wreath so I can imagine how wonderfully sparkly it must be. Have a wonderful Chirstmas
    Clare x

  15. I agree about the presents and I try hard to make sure that they get things that are a) simple and not very expensive and b) stuff they will actually use and appreciate. It's easy to fill up the shopping cart with frivolous junk but I really try not to let that happen, which is more work, but it's worth it.

  16. I like what you say about trying to remind the children that it's not all about the presents. I try not to buy too many toys as such - more books and paints and things. But I shall also try and focus more on enjoying our time together too. Beautiful photos as always. The hyacinths are pretty, I really like them too. And your sparkle scarf is lovely, so flawlessly made.

  17. Merry Christmas. You are right, it should be about families and the meories you make. x

  18. Great post, my daughter ( age 5) has been well and truly sucked into the TV adverts...we've also been talking lots about Christmas traditions and how it is not all about the presents. I'm off to be inspired by your pinterest boards! Sarah xo

  19. Hi Vanessa , a lovely post. Your Hyacinths look gorgeous, I have some blue ones in the kitchen that smell divine, but they are already a bit floppy :0)
    I've been having similar conversations with my boys , my parents were only children and my brother and I only had one set of grandparents so Christmas was very boys are so lucky to have a big extended family to spend the day with. I think they are beginning to realise that family time is the most special thing about this festive season.
    Jacquie x

  20. So many gorgeous pictures to enjoy here today! I love the sweet hyacinths and their pretty pots. And the photos of the Xmas decorations are so beautiful. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
    Helen x

  21. You are absolutely right. The things at Christmas you'll remember when you're grown up are not the many toys you've got, but memories about being with the family, the long cold walks, the hot chocolate.. that's what really matters.
    Lovely pictures again!

    x Margriet

  22. I love the snow globe bauble in the picture with the hyacinth - could you tell me where you got it from please?
    Thanks, Helen

  23. I love all the pictures in this post. I do not have children who are becoming independent, but I can relate. My parents are always begging me for more time and whatnot. I know it is hard for them. Your projects look LOVELY! What kind of yarn is the scarf made from?

  24. Thank you I had a lovely long look through your crochet pinterest board! I found lots of new inspiration there. Eventually I came up for air!! the sparkle scarf if fab. It's all lovely, Heather x

  25. It's so good to have you back Vanessa. I'm loving being able to drift away into the lovely world you weave for us. xxxx

  26. Merry Christmas beautiful, I know you'll give them all a christmas to remember. xxx

  27. I'm loving the look of your Pinterest boards ... off to have a proper nosey :)

    The pink tree is fun!

  28. A few years ago when my kids were at the age of 5-6 years old I got so annoyed by all the advertisements of Christmas presents that I forbid my kids to watch kids programmes on tv. Instead they watched dvds. I did this after explaining to them how they get exploited by big toy companies to buy stupid toys in very expensive prices. With the big crisis wave in my country ,Greece my family and many many others will celebrate with very little this Christmas. But, this is not as bad as it sounds because families become more resourceful and spend more time together and start appreciate all the little things that cost no money but make us better persons.

  29. I love the way you wright and the lovely pictures! i've put your blog on my *inspiration* list on my blog. :)

  30. Lovely pics, Vanessa!
    Have a wonderful Christmas and a fun and inspiring New Year!
    Pati x

  31. Hello lovely Vanessa, wishing you and yours a lovely happy relaxed Christmas and all the best for the new year x x Jane x x

  32. Have a wonderful Christmas ... I love the sentiments about Christmas in this post - you are so right. I'm popping over to your pinterest boards now ... I could lose days! X

  33. ~~~~*** X ***~~~~ wishing you merry festive holidays xxxx p.s started a new blog

  34. Hi lady, such beautiful blogsss, i also follow you on pinterest as hermione, but i wonder if you have instagram too?

    Best wishes, xx

  35. Hope you had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Your scarf and the peak of your shelves are beautiful. I do follow you on Pinterest and always enjoy your pins. Is your Instagram public? Could you share your name on it? I have only been on Instagram a couple months but love it and would love to follow you.


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