This is not the Christmas post I had planned, that will be coming in a few days time, but we had such fun this weekend sending our letters to Santa that I had to share it with you, so here is your Christmas bonus post.
Many of you have probably got your traditions set in place with how you send your letters to Santa but with a nearly 3 year old and an 8 month old in the house we are just getting started with our family traditions. As I child, I always sent my letter by burning it on the fire on Christmas Eve, Santa was very clever and could read the words in the smoke. I loved doing this so wanted to continue this with my children but being the Outdoorsy Mum we took it outside and made an event of it. I also chose to do it a little earlier so Santa had chance to get any surprise additions to my daughters list if needed!
We love a fire in our house (we are not pyromaniacs before you start to worry) and regularly continue a summer BBQ by building up a fire after cooking. It is a great skill for children to learn, not just the building of the fire but learning to respect it and how to be safe with it. More importantly, children of all ages love it. So let your children help. Let them find fire wood, let them build the fire and let them add additional wood later on. Let them also fill the safety bucket of water so they understand it’s importance. Obviously you need to supervise and be close by, but show them how to do it safely and they will copy (hopefully… practise makes perfect!)
Once our fire was going our minds drifted to marshmallows, because you can’t have a fire without toasting marshmallows, and to do this you need a good toasting stick. We found a green stick each (still living, this means it is less likely to burn when you put it in the fire) and whittled a point at one end using a potato peeler. Not only does this give you a good point to spear your marshmallow but also a nice clean point as you take away the dirtier bark. Older children could use a knife if you show them how to do it first, make sure they always push the knife away from their bodies and don’t hold the section the are whittling over any body parts. I don’t feel my daughter is ready for a knife yet so a potato peeler is a brilliantly safe alternative as she can do all the whittling herself without causing any harm.
Fire roaring, marshmallow sticks whittled and we were ready to send the letters. It was lovely watching the wonder on my daughters face as she threw on her letter and watched the smoke drift upwards as it burned. Her little skip of excitement knowing that Santa could now pick out gifts for her stocking was proof enough for me that this is now a tradition to be repeated in our home year after year, and we got got to enjoy family time, marshmallows and a glass of mulled wine too!