Punking Up Christmas
When I was at nursery school, I remember making a black paper house with different coloured windows that shone as the Christmas lights passed through it. My mum would hang it from the ceiling so it would dazzle as it moved. I loved that house and its dangly bit of string. I loved that my mum cherished it every year and made it a centrepiece of our family decorations. That house became a tradition and the memories of it inspired me to create new ones with my own children. Now, every year, the first Saturday in December is dedicated to punking up Christmas in our own way! Ceramic painting at Punk Me Up Café.
Punk Me Up ceramics café is owned by a friend and it’s the loveliest, quirkiest little place to spend an afternoon painting, getting creative and drinking good coffee. At times you can hear a pin drop as the people sat at tables are deep in concentration and other times you can hear the chitter chatter of children enjoying their private session in the disco area. One of their other mini-creatives was so impressed that she wrote a blog post on The History of the Christmas Bauble – how amazing for a 9 year old!
“We all know that the creative Arts, messy play and giving children a *certain* amount of freedom to express themselves have huge benefits to their development…That is why we created the Punk Me Up Ceramics Café.”
Anyway, it’s one of our favourite places to hang out and Sofia and Luca love going to see Toni to paint their wares (and contrary to the subject of this post, our visits are not limited to Christmas…everyone who knows us has received some gift of some sort that has been punked up by Sofia and Luca’s very own hands..).
Since they were born, we have painted a Christmas tree decoration every year. They have one each and each has their name and the date on the back. It was always my intention that we’d have a little Christmas tree dedicated to just those but for now I hang them on the garland that runs down the stair banister. They look great and you can see, especially in Sofia’s, how much neater they are as they’ve got a bit older. This year they painted a gingerbread man each, with Sofia’s being painted zebra-esq with black stripes (never question the creative!) and Luca’s was painted in pastels (he obviously wasn’t swayed by the gingerbread on safari look!).
This years trip to Punk Me Up was all the more special as my mum was visiting from Liverpool. We originally took her to collect a gingerbread house we had painted for her the week before but she loved it so much that we stayed for another painting session! This time, I sat and drank coffee and ate walnut cake why she and the children painted a huge Christmas tree that my mum wired up and put little LED lights in. It’s the most colourful Christmas tree you’ve seen!
When we get the Christmas decorations out, every year the children scramble and fight to open them out of their paper. They really enjoy seeing them and choosing their pride of place in the house. They remember every detail and recount stories of what we did and what they chose. This is what I wanted to create for them, the ability to relive the Christmas’ of their childhood over and over again just like I have with my black paper house.
There is nothing more festive for us than punking up Christmas!
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