Now it’s all over I am actually really looking forward to taking down the decorations and the tree and regaining a little normality to the house again, however now is a perfect time to look back over the month and reflect on my 12 favourite festive things we have done as a family:
- It all started on the 1st December when we visited Santa at Westfield in his 4D grotto. This was Harry’s 1st visit to Santa as last year he was only 2 months old. The excitement, the anticipation and the surprised looks on my children’s faces will say with me until next year an beyond. It was a magical experience for us all and they so enjoyed it – this kicked off the Christmas excitement for us all.
Decorating the tree. This is no longer a thing I do myself while Paul is at work as a surprise for him, every bauble carefully placed. This is a family thing to do. Paul sets the tree up an in turn the children place the decorations onto the tree – they maybe messy, it maybe uneven but it is done by them and will not be changed until they decide to move the decorations themselves.
Making homemade Christmas cards. Each year I have made homemade personal cards from the Children for the family, we have had handprint trees, handprint robins, hand and feet print reindeers and feet print angels. This is lovely for the children to do and make wonderful keepsake gifts for the family.
- Ice skating. We took Emmy ice skating for the first time this year, it was paid for by Hewlett Packard when we attended an event with them. This we were a little unsure of as Emmy is only 3 however she LOVED it and the look on her face was a picture. We now intend to make this part of our Christmas family traditions every year and to include Harry in a few years too.
Buying the presents! I LOVE shopping. I no longer get the time to browse the shops however I still love it. Now the children are here I love it even more. Choosing things I know they will love, listening to the ‘I want that’ from Emmy when she see’s an advert on the TV and taking note of what it is. My children don’t get everything they ask for (Emmy more than Harry at this age) however I do like to make them happy. Christmas for me is about the children – gifts are for them. I still buy for the adults however the excitement and fun is with the kids.
Christmas music. I love nothing more than popping the radio on in the kitchen especially at Christmas time and making a fool of myself with the kids – singing out of tune, spinning around with them and everyone getting excited. As long as it’s December then the Christmas music is allowed to blast out.
Christmas movies. They are my weakness – last year Emmy and I must have watched ‘The search for Santa Paws’ at least 30 times. This year she is even more interested and can be persuaded to watch different movies (thankfully). We have loved – Elf, Nativity2, A Christmas Carol and Santa Paws 2, mostly a good few times. She comes in from Nursery tired so we snuggle under a blankie and watch movies at her request. Who am I to argue?
Baking. Mince Pies, shortbread, gingerbread houses, truffles – you name it and we have baked it and loved it. They may not be perfect but they kids have been involved every step of the way.
Night time drives. I love the effort many make in decorating their houses, inside and out. There is something special about wrapping the kids in dressing gowns and blankets and taking a night time drive to see all the Christmas lights. There are a few special houses where we pull up outside and the kids point out all their favourite lights, colours and Christmas characters.
Cavalcade of Light. Every year since the kids arrived, we have walked into town to watch the Cavalcade of light. This is where we watch the floats and local clubs parade through the town on the night the Christmas lights are turned on. If I’m honest it’s not great but the kids really enjoy it and there is a great sense of community as the whole town is brought together.
Leaving Santa his treats. This is just as exciting for me as it is for Emmy (Harry is still too little to understand). Her whole face lights up when she pours his milk, leaves his mince pie and scatters the reindeer food outside. We leave a special Santa key out as we have no chimney and then the stockings are hung on the bedroom doors. The excitement before the bid night never leaves – even as a 34 year old – I still feel that excitement, only it’s excitement for my children not myself.
The squeals of delight on Christmas morning when Emmy awakes and finds her stocking is full as is Harry’s. NOTHING can ever beat that I don’t think.
Those are my favourite memories of Christmas this year. The Night time drive as inspired by Nick’s tips of getting out and about this festive season over on the Center Parcs site.
‘This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 December challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Elveden Forest’.