The beauty in Christmas

26 Dec 2014

"The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table."

Who would have thought I would write a guest post for a food blog. Whilst my daughter Femke enjoys cooking and everything to do with food, I am no foodie at all. That is one myth out of the world, Femke did not learn her culinary skills from her mother!

In my work as a preschool teacher at Little Earth I emphasize the importance of heart centred values. When values like beauty, respect, love and care are at the core of a programme, teaching comes from a heart place. This fosters connection cooperation, community and compassion rather than control. These are our core values at our Preschool.

Christmas is the season of Love and Peace, Joy and Family. Our values are more than just beliefs. We put them into action. At Little Earth we do that by offering an environment that is beautiful on the inside and on the outside. So when Femke asked me to set the Christmas table I was in my element. We come from a belief that food should always be a pleasure, and that the table should not only nourish the body, but also the mind and soul. Setting the Christmas table is one of those little touches that become important when they touch a heart.

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Beauty is found in simplicity, natural materials and careful attention to detail. The little things often make all the difference. Setting the Christmas table does not have to turn into a major mission. I used very simple objects, gathered from the Christmas stuff we have collected over the years such as baubles and bells.

Christmas in New Zealand is in the middle of Summer. We can only dream of a white Christmas. Knowing we will never have a white one, we often have a barbecue as our feast in the scorching summer sun. To leave enough space on our outside table for plates, cutlery, glasses and dishes, I used a tree stump to create a little Christmas display. I placed baubles in glass vases, separated by colour. This creates a beautiful, calming display.

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At the table I decided to keep it simple and in harmony with the environment. As a family we celebrate Christmas at our beach house. Small pieces of driftwood gathered during a quick walk on the beach were used to create two small christmas trees. These are the main table feature. Simple but stunning. To add some spark to the table I placed small baubles together with some red felt stars in a set of smaller vases.

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I absolutely love flowers, something that is most likely due to my Dutch heritage. No table setting is complete without flowers. Our summer garden is full with red poppies, the colour of Christmas, so poppies it was. To finish it off and create a real Christmas atmosphere we lighted two candles in little glass jars placed on small mirrors.

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Christmas is a time for sharing and celebrating with family and friends. Whilst I do hope you celebrated joyfulness and happiness throughout the year, Christmas is the time to give just this little more richness, love, and care to your family rituals. How do you set the table at Christmas, do you have any traditions?

This post was written by my mum, Anja. Thanks mum!

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