The First Whiteley Family Grav-mass 2012 (possibly the first real Grav-mass ever)


The idea for holding a Grav-mass celebration had been offered on the last few Christmas' by Simon and had been batted off each time by Jane.  This year, Jane decided in a quiet moment that she would do some reading about Grav-mass and the idea caught her eye.  Over their evening meal one day, Jane told the children about what she had learnt and their reaction, lead by our 7 year old was, 'well that makes much more sense than Christmas because we don't go to church or anything'.......and so our Grav-mass was born.

Planning began.  Our tree had seen better days and so we decided our first Grav-mass deserved a fresh specimen for a fresh celebration.  It was special as a celebration because it represented our true beliefs – that science holds the answers for us and not the bible.  Our children had been offered the bible stories despite our disbelief and have formed their own opinions.  For our tree, we searched the internet for apple decorations and they were found and ordered, thankfully arriving in good time.  Since then we have found these glass tree decorations that are perfect for any Grav-mass tree.  The children decorated the tree alone and did a fine job.  We bought tinsel in complimentary colours which will be used in years to come.  We re-used our former tree lights in the living room and they lit our room independent of any other decorations.  So now we have a Grav-mass tree in our dining room and our living room was full of light for the future.  We have found that as we have walked by our tree, we have occasionally knocked off one of the apples by mistake (our home is not a large home!!!) and when this has happened, we have called out 'Happy Grav-mass'!!!

Having taken the decision to commit to Grav-mass, we realised there was an awful lot of work involved to create our usual supply of greeting cards for family and friends.  Simon worked on his computer to produce the decorations for our cards and then assembled the cards using glue stick and sparkly card!  We bought envelopes and hand-made every single Grav-mass card we sent.  They were posted to friends and family in Malta, Australia, Spain, Barbados, Boston (Massachusetts) and of course, the UK.  In total, we posted out approximately 70 cards for Grav-mass.  Of course we have two children who wanted to also send out cards........around 35 cards to one class and teachers with around 40 to the other class and teachers.  Still all handmade.  Once the posting and school deliveries had been successfully executed, there were cards for hand delivery to family and friends who live near to us.....in total, we made a further 40 cards to this group! Additionally to this we had close family to make a card for and this came to a further making session to produce 10 cards.  Simon created two very special Grav-mass cards for our two children and they were both very impressed and highly delighted by their cards in equal measure!  If you are keeping track of the mathematics here, we seem to have hand-made and despatched a total of 197 cards.  Next year we will seek the services of a local printer friend!!!!!  Our glue sticks can take no more and Simon insisted on sanding the front and back of each card to help the detail for Grav-mass to stick.

Our Grav-mass card.
Our Grav-mass cardReverse of
        our Grav-mass cardOur Grav-mass card in our Grav-mass tree

Our 4 year old has been giving a more basic explanation of Grav-mass to people – telling them 'it is to celebrate Newton and the apple bonking him on the head because of gravity'.  Our 7 year old took great pride in explaining Grav-mass to her school friends and teachers and in the distribution of her cards.  She seemed to like the fact that where she has learnt about Hinduism and embraced other cultures, religions and ideas, she could celebrate something she believed in so much more and yet manage to honour her school carol concert with as much understanding about what others believe.  A perfect balance where Santa could still drop by without any conflicting thoughts and the children didn't feel 'left out' to what their friends were doing.


Our day began with the opening of children's gifts and this was preceeded by a chocolate breakfast in bed.  The children loved their gifts and the house looked like a bomb had hit it.  We had decided that we would replace the next day of 'Boxing Day' with 'Parent's Day' and we would open our gifts in bed on the following day.  It comes with a however though.....Simon had to open his gift from the children on the main Grav-mass day.  He realised why when he opened a box which contained a Grav-mass tshirt and pen!!!!!

Simon's Grav-mass tshirt and pen.
Simon's Grav-mass shirtSimon's Grav-mass shirt


For the main Grav-mass day itself, we thought about what we would eat.  Jane created a Grav-mass menu.  Our appetiser course was quite simply a bite of whatever we liked and with as much or little, traditional connotation as you pleased.....it was your day to celebrate however you wished.  A salmon and prawn salad for Mum and Dad and the children opted for southern coated chicken breast fillets!

Simon's first course.
Grav-mass lunch first course


Main course was a meal where we all ate the same and which included a family recipe which had never been attempted within our four walls......we called this our science experiment to embrace the Grav-mass feel.  The outcome being that 'it tasted spot on but the texture wasn't quite right'.  This paves way for next Grav-mass and an further attempt to get it just right.

The Grav-mass cooking experiment. Unfortunately there are no photos of the final product as it was comsumed very quickly!
Our Grav-mass experimental cooking ingredients


Dessert had to include sweet apples and so we went with an apple crumble using apples boiled in vanilla.  The spirit of Newton appeared for our 1st Grav-mass shortly after this had been prepared.  It was cooling on our window sill and it fell off!!!!  Wahay, happy Grav-mass everyone!!

Ingredients for the apple crumble.

Apple crumble ingredients


Adult drinks for the day were home brewed cider.....could it have been any other?  It had to involve apples!

Our children are very good and make sure they accept our rules about a strict bedtime routine when school term-time is around.  To balance this, when they are on school holidays, we make sure that we relax this and let them have 'no particular bedtime' and this time varies to whatever we are doing on the day itself.  In the UK and at this celebration time, the BBC offers an annual science lecture series of programmes aimed at children from The Royal Institution.  This year it was chemistry.  The children loved watching these – although the 4 year did not pay them as much attention as the 7 year old!!!!  The 7 year old loved them and they finalised our science celebration in good style.  The lectures were a hit and rounded it all off nicely.


We are looking forward to Grav-mass 2013!