Mel did an excellent Storytime post about being naughty just a few weeks ago [see here] and it left a nagging feeling in the back of my mind … I couldn’t put my finger on it but I knew it was important. Soon I began to have restless, unsettled sleep. Then one night I woke abruptly, sitting bolt upright, in a cold sweat, with these ominous words echoing in my ears …

He’s making a list
He’s checking it twice
He’s gonna find out
Who’s naughty or nice

Santa Claus is comin’ … to town”

Wait, what?! Someone’s keeping track of that? There’s a list? Am I on it? My presents allocation might be docked!? Naughty or nice – there’s no middle ground, no happy medium? No appeals process?!

Aaaaargh!

Okay, okay. Deep breaths, calm down. It’s not too late to improve our stats, right? First, let’s check what our current naughty/nice status is:

Department of Christmas Affairs logo

Well, it seems I’m in the clear but this is no time to be complacent. And good manners are not just for Christmas, you know. You have to be sincere and work on it all year round if you really want to be considered to be nice.

If you think you need to start dropping some subtle hints about your children’s behaviours and attitudes, let’s find some stories to help guide them in the right direction:    

Link to Catalogue record for Nice bear, naughty bear
Link to Catalogue record for Helping Polly Parrot: pirates can be kind
Link to Catalogue record for Rhino learns to be polite
Link to Catalogue record for I'll wait, Mr Panda

If you think you might need a bit of guidance yourself, apart from those excellent suggestions from Mel [see here], why not have a look at things from a different perspective with:

Gratitude : a positive new approach to raising thankful kids

Instilling gratitude in our children is about so much more than politeness. Gratitude is linked to greater happiness, a more positive outlook on life, stronger social bonds and support networks, and higher achievement.

Link to Catalogue record for Gratitude: a positive new approach to raising thankful kids

Given our topic today and the inescapable fact that Christmas is looming large on the horizon, let’s finish not with a rhyme about being nice but with a recipe! To make something nice it will, of course, need to be made with sugar and spice!

Okay! To make our hot, spiced Christmas wine we need to start with two bottles of …

Sorry? “Not appropriate for a children’s post … ” Hmm, yeah. Sorry parents, you’re on your own there.

Now, to make our spiced Christmas biscuits:

Ingredients

1 cup Plain Flour
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 tsp Mixed Spice
80 grams Unsalted Butter
1/3 cup Golden Syrup
1 packet White Chocolate Writing Fudge

Christmas biscuits

Method

  1. Line baking tray(s) with non-stick baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift and mix all dry ingredients. Rub the butter into the mixture until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the golden syrup and combine to form a soft dough. Turn mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Cover with plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 180ºC (or 160ºC fan forced). Roll the dough out onto a floured surface using a rolling pin until it is about 5mm thick.  Cut shapes from the dough and place on the trays (remember to allow room for spreading during cooking).
  5. Chill the shapes for 10 minutes in the fridge. Then bake for 10 minutes until pale and golden (or brown and hard as a plank, the way I like them). Cool completely on the trays and then decorate with the white chocolate writing fudge. Serve.

Yum! And in case I don’t see you beforehand, have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!