Anyone who lives here knows that, like last year, we have been having pretty rotten weather this autumn and winter. It is not like Bermuda. Usually, when the rest of the world is cloaked in frost and grey, we are enjoying blue skies, and just a mild nip in the air. But last year, the winds and rains came for the entire winter, and it feels like the more of the same this year. And in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the weather was so wet and windy that I think people dared not even go shopping. Even Christmas Eve offered bursts of torrential rain and storming winds. But Christmas Day was different. A break in the clouds and in the gales graced us for the holiday. We had ten adults and four children for lunch on Christmas Day and we were blessed enough to eat outside. Throughout the entire meal, as everyone was engrossed in meaningful conversation, I kept interrupting to make toasts about how thankful I was for the sun and that we were eating outdoors. We stayed outside all day and ended up lighting a fire and the kids roasted chestnuts. It was a day from Heaven.
My sister Amanda made the beautiful flower arrangements, Oslo did the place cards, and Ben did all the cooking. I was on the back end of things and didn't stop the entire day either though hard to tell what my contribution was from these photos!
The kids had their own table next to ours and it was so sweet how important they felt and how much fun they had. Oslo and I made these crackers ourselves - such fun and so personal.
Here is what we did. First of all, we cut up cardboard rolls. You can gather loo rolls, but we just used the rolls after the wrapping paper was finished. We cut two smaller ones that we used for all the crackers, and then slightly longer ones that remained inside the crackers.
We cut some wrapping paper just long enough to cover the main middle roll with the two end bits and wide enough to go all the way around.
We folded one edge so that it was neat and tidy. We taped the unfolded edge to the middle roll, then as tightly as we could, wrapped the paper around the rolls. We taped the folded edge down so it was a neat tube.
The kids looked around the house for toys that were in good condition that they didn't mind giving away. Indigo was not keen on giving up her hair tooties and bracelets, but it was the perfect opportunity to talk more about the spirit of Christmas and in the end, she was happy to share. The kids and I Googled some holiday jokes and wrote down our favourites on pieces of paper. We wanted to make hats but had no tissue paper, nor enough time, so decided those could be for the next batch.
We slightly pulled out each end bit and as we did, gently and evenly squeezed in the paper until it was gathered enough for us to tie the ribbon around it. There will be a slight hole, but it needs to be small enough that nothing is going to fall out. We filled the middle tube with the joke rolled up and the toys, and then did the same paper gathering on the other side.
We curled the ribbons and voila - beautiful homemade holiday crackers!
I hope everyone else had as wonderful a Christmas as we did. Just such a lovely holiday and all the feelings and meanings that go with it. It is a time for family, for thankfulness, for believing, for sharing, for giving and for remembering. Merry Christmas. xx