Camp Quality

Camp Quality

Christmas … for me the very word conjures up feelings of excitement, love and anticipation. I know I am extremely lucky: I have three gorgeous kids, a great extended family and awesome friends who never fail to make me laugh. And each year I do really enjoy pulling our often very beaten and worn hand-made Christmas decorations out of their dusty box each year.

But at the same time, I confess the idea of Christmas also opens a door to feelings of being overwhelmed, frustrated and generally feeling like I’m just not going to be able to keep it all together!

How on earth am I going to be able to meet everyone’s needs whilst also keeping my family running smoothly. And what’s it all about anyway? How do I keep myself and my kids connected to the “truer” meaning of Christmas: where the thought really is what counts and it’s about the quality time you can enjoy with those you love and the memories you can make? Particularly when most of what you see through our mainstream media during this time is all about “the perfect gift” or the “perfect family” where there is nothing but smiles and divine platters of stunning food being passed around massive tables!

Without wanting to make a gross generalisation I’ve spoken to enough mums and dads to know I’m not alone in feeling this way and it was this insight that, in 2017, inspired us to reach out to our incredible Camp Quality families and ask them how they cope during this time of year.

While the rest of us are running around, worrying about getting to the shops on time, or grabbing dates in people’s calendars for drinks and catch ups, many of our families will be facing a Christmas where someone they love will either be in hospital or will have only just come home. For them, it’s highly likely the past year has been nothing like the one they expected and all of them will have undoubtedly been through some experiences the rest of us would struggle to comprehend.

So as Christmas approached in 2017, we spent time talking to our families about the things they had learned about what really matters during the festive season including the tactics they have developed to keep their family and the magic of Christmas alive within their family’s circumstance.

And the thing that amazed us most in its simplicity was that, more often than not, the activities they suggested to us showed it really isn’t so much about “the present” as much as it is about “being present” during the time leading up too and during Christmas that really matters.

From there our beautiful Kid-ness Advent Calendars were born. No … it’s not another annoying cardboard calendar which inevitable contains little morsels of yumminess but not much else.

Rather our Kid-ness Advent Cards can be beautifully presented, either as 25 individual pocket size canvas bags you can display as you like, or as a stunning wall hanger with 25 pockets neatly arranged in rows. The magic of it though is that each pocket contains a single card of pure and delightful memory making inspiration offered to us by our families, our Ambassadors and those near and dear to us.

You see on each of these cards there is one simple idea all of us can chose to do in that day to bring our family closer, remind us all what is really important and, more often than not, help us shift our focus from the consumer frenzy that can surround December and instead focus our attention on those things that matter more to our essential human nature.

The Acts, which range from things as simple as dropping a hand written Christmas note to someone who lives nearby who you may not have seen for a while, through to camping out for a night in your living room, or encouraging us to put the music up loud and the windows down low next time we are driving somewhere with our kids, bring fun, laughter, sharing, imagination and light into our lives during the countdown to Christmas. Importantly thought all these things combine to create memories that are far more valuable then anything we could ever buy someone we love.

For my family it gives us just a moment in our crazy days to stop and unite behind a thought … and while it certainly doesn’t mean that all the stresses I mentioned before disappear, for the past couple of years it has somehow put them back into context.

Ultimately it has reminded us that our “presence” truly is the most amazing “present” we can give each other … each and every day … and for that lesson I will be forever grateful to our amazing Camp Quality kids and families.

For further information about our Kid-ness Advent Calendar and to grab one for your family this festive season please visit our e-shop at

In the meantime though, maybe channel one of my favourite Acts from last year: “Take some time to write out the three things you are most grateful for, for each of the people in your family and then, as you sit down to dinner at the table that night read them out to each other”. This really simple one reminded me and my kids it’s often in the things we don’t’ routinely say to each other that love truly exists.

Wishing everyone the very best for an incredible festive season … may it be filled with fun, love, laughter, memories and Kid-ness!


You might also like to read:

10 fun Christmas traditions to enjoy with your kids

How to Get Christmas Sorted Early, Stress-Free!