christmas

We are knee deep into

one of our most magical rituals.

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The gnome population

has awakened again.

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They have emerged from the Blue Suitcase

along with their basket of furniture

and tray of trinkets, food, dishes, and toys.

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Now three young architects begin their sprawling

make-shift “open concept dollhouses”

 around the living room.

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It is time for the enactment of Santa’s workshop….

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The full scale migration began a few days ago.

as gnomes and elves began taking over every shelf and cubby.

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Brayden made his little world under the coffee table,

illuminated by Christmas lights.

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Here is Santa reading his “letters” from the children…..

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This is how I like it.

You see…..

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The Ultimate Dollhouse has no fixed dimensions or walls.

It doesn’t cost a couple hundred dollars

or monopolize valuable storage space.

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It may spring up inside a piano bench,

in a kitchen cupboard,

on a bookshelf, or behind the couch.

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Open concept =

open thinking.

A spacious, overflowing

way to Play.

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A way of play

that nurtures a wall-free

relationship with life.

A wide open relationship with blank slate rooms

and ordinary moments.

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Infinitely expandable

and different every time.

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This style of free play anoints the child

as a true Creator.

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Every time an epic playscape begins I relish it with every fibre of my being.

I let them keep their ‘set ups’ for days, even weeks.

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I know that someday my 10 year old will be

putting it all away for the last time…

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but these magical ingredients always re-emerge in new, captivating configurations.

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Wooden blocks.  Sea shells.  Fabric scraps.

Grandma’s old barbie accessories.

Random finds from garage sales and the antique mall.

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Unique components that ebb and flow out of storage like old friends.

They are intimately absorbed, cherished, and familiar —

The building blocks for every possible story.

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This was Madelyn’s Christmas gift from Santa when she was 4 years old.

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Every year Santa brings more little tidbits “for the gnomes.”

It is such a delightful tradition now.

If I can offer any Christmas shoppers a bit of advice from experience —

Start small and grow your own gnome world or open concept dollhouse

bit by bit, organically, year upon year.

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It’s not that I have anything against real dollhouses.

In fact, I swoon for them, and if I had the space and money, I’d buy half a dozen!

(This one I picked up fully furnished for $5 at a garage sale!!)

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What can I say?

This is our thing.

This is what we do.

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Some families go for sports or music.

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 We Make Worlds.

 

 

 

 

 


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