All families have their own Christmas traditions, some left over from childhood and carried through to the next generation and some that may have only recently appeared but feel just as important.
For my children, a new tradition began three years ago when my son came home from preschool with a bag full of 'Reindeer Food'. On Christmas Eve our children scattered it across the grass and threw it out of their bedroom window onto the roof below 'so the reindeers could see our house from the sky and have something to eat while Santa filled the stockings. It was much more exciting for them than leaving the carrots next to Santa's biscuits and whiskey by the tree.
The following year they remembered and asked to make it for friends who we spend Christmas 'Eve Eve' with, whose children they have known all their lives. It worked well for these friends - that Christmas the reindeer left a trampoline as thanks for the treat.
Last year they made a jar for friends to take interstate - it seems to travel well too.
This year they are already asking to take a jar to a variety of Christmas parties so we will be the family with a bottle of wine in one hand and a jar of reindeer food in the other.
It's become a pre-Christmas ritual they enjoy as much as decorating the tree. Any child (or child within) can make it too...
6 tbsp natural oats
4 tbsp red lentils
A handful of shimmery stars
A dash of gold glitter
A smattering of red and green glitter
A sprinkling of 100s & 1000s
Place all ingredients in a jar or snap lock bag. Seal and shake.
Leave in a cool, dry place until Christmas Eve, then spread evenly over the garden / lawn / courtyard / roof.
Listen out for reindeer bells.
Some Home Truths
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(Images: Germaine Leece)