Once I had my own home I established the practice of starting present wrapping, once the tree was up. The presents then became part of the decoration and an important part of the festive atmosphere. About a year after my first son was born I realised that that wasn’t going to work anymore. Apart from the issue of teeny tiny fingers getting involved in premeturely unwrapping the paper, it just didn’t fit in with the Santa story. So presents were wrapped and put back in the cupboard.
This left us with a tree that looked a bit lost, if not naked, until I saw paer mache reindeer at my local craft store. I started off with only 2 and painted one a pale gold and the other a very deep gold. The standing one is about 40 cm high. We told my son that they were reindeers in training and that Santa would pick them up on Christmas Eve and leave presents behind.
I have to confess that I really don’t know how big the flock is now. I usually grab a couple of new ones each year and try to slide them behind the rest of the flock. There’s at least 12. They are so easy to make. All you need is a bit of craft paint or house paint along with some ribbon and some holly. The kids are older now, but we still put the flock out each year.