I LOVE Christmas! We LOVE Christmas. J and Bella LOVE Christmas.
I LOVE the power of Christmas. One threat that Father Christmas is probably watching and the shoes are suddenly on the feet, or the fight over Buzz Lighyear is old news.
I love the magic of Christmas. The lights, the fun, the gift giving. Oh and the food!
November to Christmas is manic for us. 3 out of 5 birthdays, plus both grandams birthdays amongst others. But year after year I plug our diary with commitments and activities to celebrate the season. This year I’m hosting 3 parties in 5 weeks! I will inevitably have a near freak out over a 3rd birthday party cake at 10.30pm the night before. Mr G will suggest at 10.32 that we go to Marks and Sparks in the morning and buy one. I’ll then burst into tears. It’s as predictable as the sun rising. Year after year I verge on losing my mind but I just don’t know what I could forgo in these two months. I HATE it, but I LOVE it.
As soon as the 3 November birthdays are out the way, on the evening of the 30th November, Christmas ramp up is scheduled for full force!
So what is my family looking forward to to prepare us?? To hype the kids up when they really don’t need encouragement?? I’ll take you on a run down of our favourites so you don’t miss any you and yours would enjoy.
- Christmas lights and hot chocolate – We never seem to make it to the Christmas light switch on for Winchester but we always stay up late one evening and wonder the streets whist the shops are closing and the street is emptying bundled up in the pushchair with hot chocolates in little gloved hands. Greyhound Close in Hedge End was also a highlight of our pre christmas hype up. The whole close covered their houses in lights for charity and it was a true Christmas spectacle. Sadly, due to local disagreement and bureaucracy, the close have come to the sad decision not to decorate their houses this year to avoid the inevitable crowds of visitors who enjoyed it as much as us. We will miss this magical part of our pre Christmas celebrations. We will have to drive the streets of Winchester looking out for the odd house here and there who jump into the festive spirit with both feet and their electricity bill instead!
- Picking out the perfect Christmas Tree – Every year we get our tree from Burcot Farm in East Stratton, which is off the road from Winchester to Basingstoke. They have a gorgeous selection of trees, all in stands for you to argue over which has the perfect shape, and which will or won’t fit between the sofa and the fireplace! They have a gorgeous shop selling ornaments and we have come away with mini kegs of beer and bellies full of pork rolls the last couple of years! Not sure how the tree is going to make it home now our car is officially full with 3 kids! http://burcotfarmchristmastrees.com/
- Discovery centre show – We love Winchester Discovery Center. We have atteneded their christmas childrens show for the last couple of years and it’s always hugely enjoyed by all the family. This year Blunderbus Theatre return with ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark’ based on the book, and suitable for little ones 2-7 and their parents. http://www3.hants.gov.uk/library/whatson-library/libraries-event-search/libraryevent.htm?id=280887
- It’s cold outside, so eat some ice cream! – I have no idea why, but it is a family tradition to go out for ice cream on Christmas eve. Sprinkles here we come! http://www.sprinklesgelato.co.uk/default.aspx
- The annual Christmas party – We host a Christmas party every year for all our friends with children. It’s manic. It’s loud. It’s full of Christmas. Last year there was sightings of a Naughty Elf running the streets around our house. And a rabble of 20 ish children pelting after him full pace. Mad.
On top of our time honoured traditions I’ve plans for a few new Christmas hype up activities this year.
- Santa Fun Run – This year we are running the Santa Fun Run for Naomi House as a family. Well, attempting to run. J is intending to run it all. All 5k. I’ll be impressed if he gets to the bottom of the high street! https://www.naomihouse.org.uk/events
- Live Advent Calendar – Woolly Hat Fair – A new event this year, with only sparse details currently, is a Live Advent Calendar from the people who bring us the Hat Fair! ‘On every day in December, a door will open somewhere in the city, behind which a small moment of magic will take place. There will be performances, exhibitions, installations, weird and wonderful happenings, story-telling, puppetry, and all sorts of things to join in with – a festive lucky dip!‘ How amazing does this sound! I’m eagerly waiting to find out more! Let me at those doors! http://hatfair.co.uk/events/live-advent-calendar/
- There may or may not be a trip to see a certain couple of Mice and their princess friends also in the pipe line this Christmas. I’m saying nothing. I know nothing. Honest children.
So after all this merriment, I defy any family to not have children unable to contain their excitement for Christmas! And perhaps a marked dent in a few glasses of wine to help us frazzled mums to get through the first 24 days of December without a minor break down! Embrace the craziness. It only comes round once a year!
I’d love to hear about your Christmas run up preparations. How do you and your children get in the festive spirit? Any fantastic Hampshire Christmas gems you think we would like?? x