January is flying past and it feels a little late to be updating about Christmas. However we had such a great holiday period, that I don’t want to let it pass by without a mention. Also, with not doing a November or December round-up, I wanted to make sure I at least briefly covered that period of time.
For some people, Christmas begins with the Coca Cola truck advert, but for me Christmas begins with Starbucks Red Cups. Sadly this is getting earlier and earlier every year (as are many Christmas things) which often results on the christmasy things being few and far between, instead of compact into a few weeks of December. Anyway, I won’t rant about that! So in November, Starbucks released their red cups and as a family we took a trip to get one (12th), each trying a different flavour (as is the tradition). Next came the Christmas Light switch on, November 18th, which has become tradition as a family too. We walk into town, look around the market and get food, then sometimes coffee too and then watch the light switch on and firework display. It started to rain this year which almost sent us home early but we stuck it out and actually really enjoyed ourselves.
This was really all the excitement for November and next came December. On literally the 1st, I started attending Lincoln Christmas Market. Usually we attend to visit, once during the four days its there, but this year I was actually selling there with Closet Geek. It was such a great experience, but very tiring and the preparation before hand was insane. I don’t regret it at all, but I won’t be doing it in 2017, partly because it falls too close to Megan’s birthday.
The following weekend was Megan’s birthday, which despite not being a Christmas event, often feels like it’s part of the celebration. On Saturday (the day before her birthday) the Coca Cola Christmas truck was in Lincoln so we traveled over to see that and get a mini coke can. The next day, Megan’s birthday, we took her and some of her friends, to Pizza Hut and then family joined us too, for a family lunch to celebrate.
After such a busy start to December (which Christmas Market, lots of school events – including a school disco that Megan got a date for! – and of course Megan’s birthday) we didn’t get time to put up the tree till 17th. Strangely enough this didn’t actually bother me as much as I thought it would, making me feel more Christmasy than when we put it up early.
As always, we put on the Christmas music cds, wear silly hats and glasses and put up the tree. Megan made us hot chocolate too and it was actually a lovely family event. Afterwards we sat and went through the TV pages to pick which movies we wanted to set to record.
The kids had two more days of school after the weekend we put the tree up and while this was a shame, as we were all ready to be on a break, it went fast and we celebrated as always, with a trip to Pizza Hut after school on the last day of term. This one in December always seems silly as we’re only there for Megan’s birthday a week or so before but we do it anyway! Later that week, the girls and I had to go to Doncaster for some last minute Christmas bits and pieces, so I treated them to a wash, cut and blowdry from Supercuts. I won’t tell you the exact price, but just for the two of them, it was over £50 (!!) which definitely surprised me but it was part of their Christmas treat so I didn’t let it bother me too much.
As part of the trip to Doncaster, we finished sorting out Christmas Outfits for the girls, as I already had my sorted from Simply Be. Their tops had come from Boohoo.com, we picked up their trousers at H&M, then I popped to ShoeZone on the way home and grabbed the boots. The following day we also picked up our Christmas Hamper from the girls grandparents (as is their tradition) so coming home and unpacking that was fun too.
Soon it was Christmas Eve and that holds a whole host of traditions for us. First is, my mum and sister come around and we do Christmas Eve presents. That was edited a little this year as now both kids know about Santa and we don’t have to play it so young. We used to exchange Christmas PJs, Christmas Lush and a book to read for a bedtime story. However this year it was decided we wouldn’t wrap anything (as the kids know we do it as a tradition now and its just waste of paper) and instead of a book we would get a board game. When mum and Pippa arrived, we had hot chocolate, Baileys, a glass of sherry etc and as the girls were already having their traditional Christmas Eve bath, they got dressed into their new pjs. Afterwards, once Chris had arrived too, we played a board game and then finally mum and Pippa went home. After they were gone, Chris and I had baths, the girls did their reindeer food (some traditions don’t always need giving up!) and hung up their stockings.
Christmas Day was spent in the same way as always. The girls woke and came into our room, bringing their stockings with them. They took it in turns to open their gifts, before Chris and I did our stockings. Next we all got dressed and headed downstairs. We had crumpets and muffins for breakfast, plus tea and coffee for Chris and I. Next we opened the gifts under the tree, taking it in turns to each open one. Once all were opened, the girls played and opened some of their boxes/toys/gifts, while Chris and I sorted out rubbish, had another cuppa etc. Mum and Pippa turned up a little while later and we opened gifts between us all. Then we got in the car and headed to Chris’ Gran’s house, to see her and his dad. Again we exchanged gifts. We then headed to my brother’s house, where we would be having lunch. We exchanged gifts for the kids (as we had agreed not to do them for adults) and then had lunch. It was lovely and very relaxed. My mum then drove us home, but kept the girls with her as she later drops them off with their dad for the afternoon and evening. Chris played on his new Xbox game while I snoozed on the sofa, then in the evening we watched some TV. That was pretty much our Christmas Day.
Boxing Day was a nice quiet day, with the girls arriving home and everyone just spending time with their new presents and relaxing. The day after, we had another family day but at my Auntie’s house and this was wonderful as I got to see my cousins for the first time in ages and I’m hoping it becomes another tradition. In the few days between Christmas and New Year, we didn’t really do an awful lot. We ate cheese, drank wine, watched movies, played board games and basically just hung out as a family. It was pretty fantastic.
On New Year’s Eve, Chris was working till 6pm but then we had family time planned. We ate a huge cheese based dinner, drank wine (the girls had a little strawberry and lime cider) and spent time together. We opened our New Year resolutions from last year (and laughed because we failed most of them) then watched the music channel until midnight as there was nothing much on. At midnight we popped some fizz, had a toast, stayed up just a little longer and then finally headed to bed.
On New Year’s Day, my mum, sister, brother, his partner and her son, all came around for lunch. I made lasagne with garlic bread and salad, then served profiteroles with cream and ice cream. Afterwards we all played a great game on the Xbox called Jackbox.tv and had another lovely family day. That was basically our whole Christmas and New Year, both fantastic and hectic at times. The girls only had two more days off school after that, before they went back to school and then it felt like it was all a blur and Christmas was long forgotten! I’m looking forward to 2017 however and I hope that everyone enjoyed their Christmas period and is looking forward to the New Year too.