Its that time of year when our diaries are full of all the events and traditions we squeeze in to make the most of the festive season. I am very lucky that every year I get a full 2 weeks off work to spend with the kids. It’s absolutely fantastic. To make the most of our time together we have made a Christmas season bucket list of all the things we want to do over the holidays. See how many your family can tick off………
1. Santa Visit. First of all (and for many kids, the most important!) is booking a visit to see Santa. Now this could be anything from a regular garden centre grotto, to a special Santa train ride/boat ride or something even more extravagant such as Lapland UK. This year we booked a Santa Sleepover weekend at Alton Towers. We did this last year and it was absolutely amazing so we knew we had to do it again this year. We booked to go with my brother and sister-in-law and our niece. Unfortunately though, due to the snow, we had to cancel our trip this weekend. Therefore I am now searching for more local options and time is running out! HELP!
2. Garden Centre. We love to have a look at the beautiful displays in the local garden centres. I try to buy a new bauble for the tree each year too.
3. Christmas Market. This year we went to Waddesdon Manor Christmas market and it was wonderful. The way the stalls were each set up in their own individual mini log cabins was lovely and there was so much variety of goods on offer. We tasted lots of yummy samples and mainly enjoyed the food stalls. Definitely foodies at heart here!
4. Street Fair. The start of the festive season for us is the local street fair. Every year this takes place on the last Thursday of November. I have been going to this since I was a small child and now love taking my own children. It hasn’t changed much except the parade has sadly gotten smaller and smaller. It used to be filled with floats all decorated by the local schools and activity groups. This doesn’t happen anywhere near as much any more which I think is such a shame.
5. Local Christmas lights. We love to have a drive or maybe walk around and look at peoples Christmas lights. Its been a tradition ever since I was a child to drive to the nearby village where my Nan lives. There’s a street there that’s always filled with fantastic displays. The tackier the better!!
6. Stage Show/Pantomime. It seems no Christmas season is complete without a visit to the panto or a show. This year we were lucky enough to be invited to see The Nutcracker & The Mouse King at Cornerstone Arts Centre (Didcot). It was absolutely fabulous. Such a lovely heartwarming tale and an evening full of festive cheer. You can read our review of the show here The Nutcracker & The Mouse King
7. Christmas Cards. The kids LOVE coming with me to deliver Christmas cards to our friends and neighbours. They take it in turns posting the cards through people’s letter boxes. For close family members, especially grandparents and aunts/uncles, they make homemade cards which is great fun. This years designs are very impressive. They are getting better and better every year!
8. Letters To Santa. The kids write a letter to Santa letting him know about their achievements this year and one gift they would particularly like. I’m very fortunate that my kids never have huge long lists. Consequently I often have to ‘guide’ them into thinking of a gift they would like 😉 We leave the letters by the fire for the elves to take to him or sometimes we post them.
9. Christmas movie. We really love movie time in our house. Sometimes its at home with nachos and munchies, cuddled up on the sofa with a blanket. Alternatively we have a trip to the cinema. You can’t beat watching a good old Christmas classic. My personal favourites are Home Alone, Polar Express, Miracle On 34th Street and Elf but there are many more we love too.
So what have we missed? Is there anything you would add to your Christmas season bucket list? Ice skating perhaps? Mince pie making? Church nativity? Let me know in the comments box below. And have a very Merry Christmas xx