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24 Jan 2022

Me & You with Jennifer Griffiths: Magic Moments at Christmas

Me & You with Jennifer Griffiths: Magic Moments at Christmas

I was delighted, as was the Editor of the Derry News, to see our Magic Moment post shared so much, maybe you saw it here in the paper or on the Derry News Facebook page (or on mine).

We didn’t get many brave people sending photos in but we did get some lovely ideas so, this week I’m sharing these thoughts and ideas with you …

Craft; One of my Mums from years ago, reminded me of a lovely snowman picture in a Christmas frame her son made in one of our groups. She said she brings this out every year and it always brings a smile.  I did giggle to myself thinking, I wonder if he will smile when he’s 18 and she brings  it out in front of his girlfriend! 

Christmas Pyjamas: A granny messaged me to say that every year, her daughter and her three children all come on Christmas Eve and they all wear the same Christmas Pyjamas - I love this, what a great tradition!

Christmas Box:  Another Mum told me, the best part was, she gives the children a Christmas Book Box every year on the 14th December. She said the books are all Christmas themed, some will be old favourites and some will be new but each night then, with the last being on Christmas Eve, they have special snuggles and a Christmas story. I do wish I’d have thought of this for my son!

Father Christmas: This one made me sad but made me smile too. This mum said that, this year her son had asked, really asked, is Father Christmas real? She said she knew, he knew he wasn’t and that no reasons were going to be ‘just believed’ this year.

So here’s what she said. “Father Christmas is not an old man with a beard in a red suit. That's just what we tell kids. You see, children are too young to understand the true nature of Father Christmas, so we explain it to them in a way that they can understand.

The truth is that he's not a person at all, he’s an idea. Think of all those presents he gave you over the years. We bought those for you. We watched you open them and it gave us great pleasure. You see, Father Christmas is the ‘idea of giving for the sake of giving’, without expecting or needing or wanting thank you’s.

It means that if you help someone, do something nice for someone, you are being a ‘kind of Father Christmas’, it doesn’t just have to be at Christmas either, like when we give to the charity shop or the homeless lady.”

Mum said she checked he understood and asked, told him, now you know, you're a part of it too. You have to be Father Christmas too now.

That means you can never tell a young child the secret, you have to help us select presents for them, and most important, you have to look for opportunities to help other people. Got it?” He said yes, Mum said she felt sad, but he actually looked really proud to be in this special new group!

So keeping up this Magic Moments theme, thinking of craft and giving, I thought wouldn’t it be wonderful for each and every child to make a Christmas Angel to give to their family group.

Say one for granny and grandad and another for auntie Pat, uncle John and all their kids. So Christmas Angel Ideas;

:: Use half a kitchen roll and doily (for wings) - paint white, add glitter (and sequins) stick on the face and done!

:: Use the other half and add a circle skirt covered in cotton wool and pipe cleaners with tissue paper for wings.

:: Make salt dough angels, add paint, glitter and decorate - don’t forget to put the hole in before you bake so it can be hung up!

:: Cut in half a paper plate, fold as a fan, do this very tightly, open out, cut the other half of the plate in half (you now have 2 quarters) fold these as a fan too - these will be the wings. Thread together with wool / string / or staple, add glitter and a face!

:: Look on line for more ideas, there are some amazing ones to do (I just picked simple!) oh and baby can make one too - she can shake the glitter!

My Last Magic Moment theme  brings us back to the books, it simply can’t be Christmas without Christmas books. And my first favourite Christmas book has to be the traditional old fashioned version, with old fashioned images too, the famous story, It Was The Night Before Christmas, When All Through The House…’

But, of course, we must remember why we actually have Christmas, it is a celebration, a day to be treasured, not just a day to receive lots of presents but a day of giving. Just like the ladies son earlier in the article, it’s about the gift of giving, the giving of our Lord Jesus, the Story of the Nativity.

Please do try and find the time to share with your children this beautiful story, let them hear the tradition, let them hear what we are celebrating. Of course,

I accept that some of you may not believe, but the story is still the story of Christmas, so let it just be that.  Choose a story to suit your child’s age, try publishers like Usbourne or Dorling Kindersley, or authors such as Fiona Watt for babies and toddlers.

Or better still go and have a look in the book shop in town, choose one that your family can treasure and enjoy for years to come, magic moments, magic memories. 

Written by, on Facebook, Me & You @meandyoubyjenni to support the Greater Shantallow Talking To Our Babies, Greater Shantallow Area Part

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