This month’s blogger challenge over on Tots 100 is all about all things Christmas – a challenge I am more than happy to meet head on! I love so much about this time of year and I always feel a sense of fond memories and fresh starts when the season is all over.
Center Parcs have asked us to share 12 of our favourite things about Christmas. I’m certain I can come up with more but I am happy to list some of my most favourite in no particular order below.
1. Seeing the Jolly Man in the Big Red Suit
First up I am sharing the Center Parc’s Winter Wonderland expert’s tip. Nick Oot states ‘Meeting the man himself – what better way for you to get in the Christmas mood than by visiting Santa and his little helpers in Santa’s Woodland Workshop?’ I couldn’t agree more! This year me and my family went to meet Santa Claus at London Zoo and had a day out seeing the animals in the process. We had a magical picture taken below:
2. The Songs
Every year I seem to discover a new song about Christmas. The year before last was ‘I Really Don’t Hate Christmas’ from Phineas and Ferb, last year it was ‘Dominic the Donkey’ – now set as a firm favourite with me and Grace, and, this year, it was Thea Gilmore’s ‘That’ll Be Christmas’ which I have shared below.
3. My Daughter’s Excitement
There really is something about seeing a kid looking forward to Christmas and I am hoping that Grace is forming magical memories similar to the ones I have from when I was young. She is 7 years old next week and I believe she is currently the perfect age to really feel excited about this time of year. She is also a very generous young lady (see number 7 on this list!).
4. The Films
There are 3 very specific films that I really love to watch every year for Christmas. These are ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, ‘Elf’ and ‘A Muppet Christmas Carol’. The last one is my favourite as it has exactly the right amount of sentiment in it – both humour and emotional – and fabulous songs, in particular ‘Wherever You Find Love It Feels Like Christmas’ which is brilliant.
5. Elf on the Shelf
This is a new tradition for our house this year. Elora turned up the night we put the Christmas Tree up. Grace had never heard of such a thing and I explained to her that she must be a very special little girl to have an actual Elf turn up in our home. Every morning Grace continued to be amused by her heart-warming antics and was very sad to see her leave with Santa picked her up on his rounds on Christmas Eve.
6. Time with Friends and Family
I think this has to be 1 of the 2 most important ones on my list. For years I was in a difficult relationship but thankfully now I am with Ross who is a real family man and enjoys spending time with his loved ones as much as he does with mine. We spent a wonderful day with his family on Christmas Day this year and Boxing Day with my brood. A really loving time.
This year I was lucky enough to give back to Women’s Aid and a Refuge. They have helped me in the past and I was offered the chance by a couple of companies to help those in need. You can read my post here. Grace even got involved and sent her old bike, some clothes, the gift she received from Father Christmas at London Zoo and her ragdoll, Merida from the film ‘Brave’ saying to me ‘I have enough things Mummy, and so do my cousins. I will get more presents this Christmas, so I would like to send Merida to another little girl who would like a present and needs something to cuddle’. I was also very lucky in receiving things as a result of my blogging meaning that I was able to give more this year.
I always feel very blessed whatever I receive at Christmas time. I would be happy with socks and useful items. I was VERY lucky and rather spoiled this year. Grace bought me some beautiful earrings. Ross gave me a gorgeous necklace, especially made and….a brand new computer! Meaning I can get things done much quicker instead of using the archaic laptop I currently have!
9. The Food
Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous! I love turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes and all the trimmings – particularly pigs in blankets and cranberry sauce – and it never tastes quite the same as it does on Christmas Day. I have also come to appreciate Christmas Pudding now too which means I don’t just have brandy butter any more!
10. The Leftover food!
Almost as good as Christmas dinner itself! Especially at my Mum’s house. There is always leftover turkey and I adore the turkey and cranberry sandwiches my Step-Dad makes. Plus, it I also find it acceptable to have turkey and bread sauce sandwiches! There is usually chocolates and roast potatoes floating around (although I don’t eat them together!).
11. Falling Asleep on the Sofa!
It seems to have become a tradition over the years and, normally, I find it very difficult to sleep on the sofa but not on Christmas Day! I think by that point everything has caught up with me and finally you can chill out. I also find this acceptable up to and including New Years Day.
12. Pressing the Reset Button
It seems to me that over the festive season you can down tools, have a rest and completely stop with the rigmarole of daily life just for a while. I try to make sure that all the Christmas decorations come down on New Years Day as Grace’s birthday is the following day and it means it is separate from Christmas. I tend to find that this down time makes me return with renewed vigour for the things I do on a regular basis as well as looking forward to the challenges and exciting new opportunities the next year will bring.
I hope that you can associate with some of these and have had the chance to relax this Christmas, spending time with the people you love.
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year to you all.
This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 December challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Longleat Forest please.