Sunday’s Christmas challenge thing was two kind of half-hearted things. I took Louis down to the ‘ateliers’ (workshops) in the square – a whole lot of craft activities for kids. Unfortunately only one was open to children under four.

But it was very festive and he got a helium balloon (though it being an ordinary balloon filled with helium, it is now on the floor like all the other balloons floating around our house, and dying faster than the rest.)

Louis and I made a sort of candle-cover thing which I suspect won’t be safe for candles, so I’ve put it over a light on the christmas tree:

Then in the evening, at church, the kids were decorating gingerbread houses and the little ones did gingerbread christmas trees – an activity which I organised, and made all the bits for, so I think it counts.

I didn’t have a cookie cutter, but trees, it turns out, tesselate rather easily, if not exactly, and so I cut them out with a steak knife.

I love the way food looks under the oven light – doesn’t it just sing of longing!

I thought it’d be great but Louis just ate all the sugar stars and baubles. A couple of them went onto his tree biscuit… after he’d licked them. Yeah, not a great success. The other preschoolers got the idea and did very well, but Louis is a bit younger.

And these are the gingerbread houses the older children decorated. Apparently the houses are readily available at IKEA. Next year!

On Monday I had great plans to go on a pine cone hunt. Pine cones are great as decorations in all manner of ways – painted or not, strung up, hung on the tree, piled in a bowl… whatever! But then a storm arrived just as Louis woke up from his nap. So I showed him lame (in my opinion, though he was happy) clips from christmas tv and movies on youtube.

Feeling like this was a bit of a cop-out, I hatched plan B: ‘rockin around the christmas tree’. In the evening we had a little christmas party. I mixed fizzy water and juice, put out some cheese-ball-like chips, and found some christmas tunes on youtube.

With the christmas lights on, and the other lights off, we boogied the evening away. I tried to take a video of our embarrassing dancing – I really did try – but the camera ran out of memory after three seconds.

I have a handful of ideas for later in the week, but require ingredients which we need to get with the groceries… so monday was ‘rocking around the christmas tree’ and hopefully today will play nice weatherwise for the pine cone hunt. (It hasn’t so far… but the rain has just stopped…)

I thought this post was going to be about how things don’t go to plan, but it is all rather food-focussed isn’t it. Should this tell me about my tendency to rely on food to fix problems?

Nevermind if it does. All day I’ve been resisting the pain au chocolat Luuk bought this morning. We had our final french lesson together. I’ve found these lessons quite difficult as Luuk and I learn differently, in style and speed. I go away feeling like the slow kid in the class. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my group french classes, which I leave feeling confident and positive about my progress with the language, however the old classes have suffered by comparison – or my attitude toward them has suffered.

Anyway, all classes are on break for christmas and the group ones pick up in January. It’s just a shame the last lesson left me feeling so rubbish when yesterday I was feeling encouraged.

Ah, the pain au chocolat is calling, and another coffee with it, before Louis wakes from his afternoon nap. If the weather doesn’t hold I’m wondering about painting holly with potato-stamps and berries with fingerprints.

Like this,

Not my image, click it to go to source.

We could cut them out carefully and stick them on the windows, since Luuk has decided that spray on snow is unnecessary. So I’m prepared, whatever the weather throws at us. As they say, Let it snow!