For our final dish, on Christmas Day, we have a candle. Arnold has agreed to supervise, so that we can light it!
Sometimes candles are used to countdown the days or weeks to Christmas. Candles can be made of wax or fat, perfumed or not, but they all give off light, which is an important feature of mid-winter festivals. When we’re all missing the sun a bit, it’s a message that the light will come back again!
And so, we wish you all a Merry and Peaceful Christmas, with snacks galore!
Gino found a very jolly reindeer head to put on the tree, but he had to assure Matilda that it wasn’t really Rudolph!
Reindeer live in the far north and have thick coats and wide feet to help them walk on the snow. Most people know them as the animals who pull Santa Claus’ sleigh through the air, guided by Rudolph’s shiny red nose!
Ofelia is enjoying a sleigh ride on a starry night, wrapped up warm in her blanket.
A sleigh is a sort of cart that has runners to travel on snow. It could be pulled by horses, or even dogs, but at Christmas of course, we think of Santa’s sleigh, which is pulled by reindeer, and flies through the air!
In the olden days, sometimes winters were much colder than they are now, and big rivers like the Thames used to freeze over. People would skate about on them and have fun, and other people set up stalls to sell food and souvenirs. They were called Frost Fairs.
Ofelia found a lovely skate, but she needed a boost from Winston to reach to put it on the tree!
Hypno and Fury have been making some gingerbread. Hypno did suggest that workshop dungarees weren’t quite the right outfit, but Fury said she wasn’t wearing a pinny for anybody.
Once the bits were cut out, Hypno made sure to watch the oven so they didn’t burn. Gingerbread is a very delicious Christmas snack, often cut into festive shapes, and decorated with icing. Sometimes, gingerbread is even made into a house, decorated with icing and sweets!
Now, it just needs assembling, and a bit of decoration. Well, that’s…. Yes, well, it’s definitely a house. Well done you two!
Matilda found a slightly prettier gingerbread house for our tree, and we ate the one Hypno and Fury baked! Delicious!
Holly is a tree with prickly leaves, which people often decorate their houses with at Christmas. There is even a carol about it, The Holly and the Ivy. Although a sprig of holly is sometimes put on top of a Christmas pudding, you better not eat it – it’s poisonous!
Because it’s so prickly, Arnold used tongs to put the holly on the tree!
Lots of people have a dish of nuts at Christmas… No, Fury, not that sort of nuts!
Here, try using your hammer on this walnut. No? Maybe a bigger hammer?
Anyway, lots of people have a dish of nuts at Christmas and there are traditions of children scrambling for nuts thrown down during Christmas celebrations. The good thing about nuts is, you can’t get into them very easily, so you can just use the same ones again next year.
Wreaths can be worn on the head, but Christmas wreaths are usually hung on front doors to decorate houses. They can be made from all sorts of evergreens, like holly or ivy, with berries or baubles for colour.
Ernest found a perfect wreath for our tree, and even he had to stand on the chair to put it up there!
Bernard has been growing a poinsettia, a plant often given at Christmas. It starts out all green, but if it has the right mix of light and dark, the top leaves, or ‘bracts’ go red. Bernard put his in the shed and covered the window up to make it dark.
And it worked! He is very proud of it, and it’s just perfect for our tree.
In the Christmas story, angels told the shepherds about the birth of the baby Jesus, and many people like to put an angel on the top of their Christmas tree – although sometimes it looks more like a fairy!
Esther has found a little angel for our tree. We think she looks like Peggy.