Showing posts with label christmas traditions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christmas traditions. Show all posts

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas from Review This Reviews

 Merry Christmas to everyone from all of us here at Review This Reviews.

Merry Christmas Greetings


For me, Christmas is a time to be spent with the people you love and a wonderful time to create memories.  Everyone celebrates Christmas differently and has different Christmas traditions, one such tradition is the Christmas Tree.

Some people put the tree up as soon as Halloween is over and others on December 1st, when I was a child it was Christmas Eve in our household.   My brother and I tried to talk my parents into putting it up earlier and one year we thought victory was ours as mum relented and said okay we'll put it up on the Saturday before Christmas.

As it got closer to Christmas we realized that Christmas was on a Sunday which meant the Saturday before Christmas was, in fact, Christmas Eve!  When my daughter was younger we would put our tree up on the 1st Saturday of the school holidays.   This leads us to how you decorate your Christmas tree, there are lots of ideas that can be found on this Christmas Facebook page.   We used to have special ornaments that we put up every year, but some people like to create a new theme every year.

My brother and his family have a tradition of giving their children a present every Christmas Eve which is a pair of pajamas for them to wear that night.   They used to open the presents while still in PJs so it meant all the photos always looked good!

Growing up we would use pillowcases in lieu of stockings and when talking to some other ex-pats from the UK a few years ago we found that we had very similar things placed in our stockings each year!  There would always be an orange, a toffee dime from the Quality Street tin(how strange that this was the one that my parents didn't like from Quality Street - a must-have for any English household over the holiday season at that time!).   There would also be a book and/or a little game to entertain us and a nice outfit to wear.   

After waking our parents up at whatever time in the morning it was that we discovered Santa had been we had to go back to bed and weren't allowed up until 9am, hence the book/game.   Then we had to get dressed (hence the new clothes) and eat breakfast (which was usually porridge that took soooo long to cook!) before we were allowed into the front room to see the Christmas tree and all the gifts.   I can feel the excitement just recalling the moment when we could see the tree on Christmas morning. 

I have spent far more Christmases in the antipodes than I did in the UK so Christmas for me these days is in summer (I do still miss Christmas being in winter though I must admit).   Our family Christmases certainly look different to my childhood Christmases for one thing we usually watch Christmas movies (my daughter used to love Elf, whereas my husband and I are more Die Hard fans) in the lead up to the big day - when I was growing up we didn't watch much television.

Board games were a big part of our Christmases and I know they are for lots of other families as well.   I also come from a family of readers so there were occasions where after Christmas lunch was over we would all be stuck with our noses in books!  If you're after a book to read then be sure to check out our recommendations, and best of all most of these can be downloaded to your Kindle straight away (just in case no one gives you a book this year!)

Some people enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles, others build Legos whereas others take walks as a family or for people Downunder it often means being in the pool or playing backyard cricket.   The first Christmas we spent in New Zealand we went down to the beach and tried out fly fishing rods that mum and dad had got, then found a log and tried our version of tossing the caber, I seem to recall a jandal throw as well.   Our very own Christmas games on the beach!

Whatever you're doing and whoever you're spending Christmas with this year make sure you are making some fantastic memories.   Keep safe, have fun and goodwill to you all.




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Sunday, November 18, 2018

DIY or New Reusable Advent Calendars For a Treasured Family Keepsake

A Wooden, Cardboard, Cloth or DIY Advent Calendar

We've had a cloth advent calendar for Christmas for the past 20 years. Since the kids were little, the same advent calendar sees our family room annually. 

The nice thing about a cloth calendar with pockets is you can put treats inside for each of the 24 days.

Our family Advent Calendar is featured below.

Bring out your own Advent Calendar each year and make it standard part of family traditions.

However, if you're not into a store bought reusable Advent Calendar, you can make your own. Get the kids involved.

Five DIY Ideas on How to Make Your Own Advent Calendar:
Our Family Advent Calendar
by Funkthishouse.com
  1. Use 24 kiddie Christmas socks. Glue each sock to a painted cardboard or wooden backboard. Put treats in each sock for each day.
  2. Use 24 small boxes (ring size) glued to cardboard or backboard. Keep the lids on the boxes, and inside each box put treats. Decorate the boxes individually.
  3. Attach 24 small gift bags to a backboard or cardboard. Put treats in the gift bags.
  4. Use mini tree stockings. Put them all together on a piece of string with numbers on the front for each day. Put treats in each one.
  5. Use 24 empty toilet paper rolls. I know, that's weird right, but it works. Glue the rolls together in the shape of a Christmas Tree - 1 on the top for the star then, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, then 2 and 2 for the base of the tree. Glue them together then decorate each one. Place goodies inside each roll. 
Making your own Advent Calendar is a beautiful reminder during the kids growing years. When they're older, and no longer decorating with you, you'll pull out that calendar along with your past Christmas memories.

Time holds our treasures, and our treasures stop time. Think about the decorations your kids have made over the years, and what they mean to you. There isn't anything quite as precious.

Whether you use a pre-made Christmas Calendar or  DIY one makes no difference. Create memories during the little years to carry you through the big years.

When the time is right, take all the decorations your kids have made, wrap them up and pass them on. They can include them into their Christmas traditions along with your family stories.




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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Christmas Candles - A Great Gift Idea or Not?

Christmas Candles - great gift idea or not
I wanted to review a few candle gift ideas for Christmas as I always thought that candles made great gifts at Christmas time.  In fact in my mind candles and Christmas are synonymous with each other, but I wasn't sure why.

I decided to google why we always think of a Christmas candle (just in case it was just me!) and found that there's a lot of debate over whether or not candles make a great gift idea or not.   Apparently a lot of people think you shouldn't give candles at Christmas time - what do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts below.

I have always enjoyed being given a candle and I have thought of giving a candle many times although until this year I haven't actually done so before.

Why Christmas Candles


>Apparently candles were used way before we even celebrated Christmas.   During the ancient winter solstice celebrations candles were lit as a way of remembering that spring would soon come.

The earliest records of candles being used at Christmas apparently dates back to the middle ages where a large candle was used to represent the star of Bethlehem.

I think the reason that I think of candles and Christmas together is because many cultures put a candle in the window at Christmas time combined with images of the first Christmas trees with candles on them.

The most well known origin of lighting a candle in the window for Christmas is the catholic Irish tradition - this dates back to the 17th century at a time when the catholic religion was being suppressed in Ireland under British rule. The family would put a candle in the window to signal any passing priests that they were welcome, the authorities were told that the candles were to welcome Mary and Joseph into their homes - this was believed to have been an Irish superstition and worked.

Since this time the custom has spread and is said to be a sign of welcome for anyone who may be passing so that they could share whatever the family had for Christmas as no one should go without at this time of the year.

I have also heard that the lighting of a candle in the window is to represent family or people who are close to the family that cannot be there for the celebrations either because they're serving their country overseas or even because they've passed away.

Fragrant Candles

There are so many lovely 'smelly candles' as my daughter calls them, available as a gift that it's hard to know what to give someone. I always look forward to seeing what holiday candle Arbonne will bring out each year.  Their candles are slow and clean burning, hand-poured coconut wax blend candle and they always smell divine.   This year it's a cozy, sweet smell of Sugared Amber -

Sugared Amber Candle from Arbonne



Another popular fragrant candle to give is one from the Yankee candles range.

Unfortunately not everyone likes the same fragrances so this isn't a gift that you can give just anyone!

Decorative Candles

Decorative candles are totally different and are a great gift idea whether you choose to give the shorter, fatter candles or the taper candles, these can be gorgeous. A lot of decorative Christmas candles also come with their own holders which are really good.

I used to use candles a lot, but I must admit that since becoming a mum I have been more aware of the dangers of an open flame which is why I love the different LED lit decorative candles that are available. I think these are definitely the best holiday candles if you don't know whether someone likes fragrant candles or not.




This is my favorite LED candle design for Christmas - I love the Robin Redbreast, but there are lots more to choose from if you prefer other styles of candles from personalized photos to peppermint stripes, vintage designs or more - Christmas LED Candles.

Do You Use Christmas Candles & Which is Your Favorite?


Do you have a tradition of Christmas candles and do you like the idea of a candle with a flame (with fragrance of not) or one of the LED lit candles.  I would love to know.



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