December is suddenly here and we are offically allowed to talk about Christmas! The countdown to the big day has begun with fun advent activities for the children.
|Advent countdown to the Nativity|
These include reading their favourite Christmas books, opening their advent calendars at home and virtually on the Makaton website (watch out for Mia and Natty who made their little video last month), practising for their school carol concerts and nativity plays, writing cards for friends and teachers, helping to decorate the house and joining in with creating homemade festive crafts.
We've cranked up a few of our top festive films already and the children have persuaded us to take them to the cinema to see Nativity 3. Phase one of Christmas music is to be heard playing around the house, the pop faves, not the full on Nat King Cole and Bing Crosy though. They get unleashed at the 11th hour.
|Excited ahead of Nativity 3|
|Counting down to the Nativity play|
Advent is also a time of mixed emotions as we watch our children grow and bloom at their own pace. The tears we shed at those Nativity plays are those of pride, of recognition of hurdles overcome, and perhaps of the realisation of differences sometimes.
Last year Natty played the virgin Mary, and I wrote about the innermost feelings that caught me by surprise as this role made me contemplate her relationship with motherhood. You can read Nativity Star Realisations here.
This year Natty is playing the part of an angel and she has lines to say. Actual lines to say aloud in a village hall. Now that's a whole new level of Mummy worry. Children with Down's syndrome have short term working memory difficulties and also speech can be a challenge. So first we had to learn them, commit them to long term memory and they were quite long. Then we had to worry about them being loud and clear enough for people to hear and understand.
Of course Natty is also a show-off, so my mind has begun to worry about her forgetting what she has to say, or worse, snatching the limelight and running with it, doing a bottom wiggle dance or burping into the microphone. Oh heck...
And what if everybody ooohs and ahhhhs and as she delivers her soliloquy? Will she feel babied? Will I cry and embarrass myself?
So, I am telling myself not to overthink the whole thing, and in the meantime we have made you a little vlog, showing you our practice in action. We include tips for learning your words as well.
We hope you enjoy your lead up to Christmas whatever you are doing, and we send you love at this most wonderful time of year.