Sunday, 18 December 2011

Feeling Festive

We're starting to feel all Christmas-sy here.  Obviously the plethora (I love that word - note to self must use it more) of advent calendars help but the tree is now up and the pictures duly tinselled!

Last weekend we went to North Wales to go on the Santa Special on the Llangollen Railway.  This was our third annual trip and I feel that now qualifies it as a Christmas tradition.  The first year we went, we went with J and her family.  Last year we went with J and family and also with K and her family.  This year it was all of us again, 11 in total, for the trip on the steam train, coupled with presents for the kids from Santa and mince pies and mulled wine for the adults.  I think next year I need to remember to sit next to J so I can eat her mince pie!!!  After a stop at Lapland for a photo op with Santa, it was back on the train to Llangollen and time for a long lunch in the Corn Mill.  We all had a lovely day and will be back again next year - well we've got to make the most of it before the kids decide they're too old for it.  Max looks less than impressed with Santa in this picture but, by contrast, you'd think this was the first time Paul had ever met him!!

We were made to feel even more festive this week with Max's first school nativity.  I made his shepherd's outfit myself.  Partly to see whether I could actually make a decent enough job of it and partly on the grounds of cost - well I had the material already so it seemed a waste not to use it.  I was really pleased with the embroidery sheep detail and even toyed with the idea of putting "Shepherd" across the back, simply because I could, but decided that was probably a step too far!

The nativity was lovely with all the children waving as they spotted their parents in the audience.  Max was able to see us and he sang beautifully which, if you remember this post, was a feat in itself.  It just goes to show how much he has developed, and how his confidence has grown, since he started school in September.

So we're all feeling nice and festive - how about you??

Monday, 5 December 2011

An excess of advent

Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?  At the moment we have five advent calendars on the go:


A chocolate one from her great-auntie.  It only took her until 2 December to work out that chocolate came out of the calendar each morning and I now get pointing at the calendar coupled with "more"


A chocolate one from his great-auntie.  Max is slightly disappointed that Penelope gets to eat her own advent chocolate this year.

A Lego one from me and Paul.  He has come to terms with the fact that he couldn't open every door and build everything immediately upon receipt.  

For all of us

Every year the German markets come to Manchester.  You know Christmas is on its way when they start putting up the stalls.  I bought an advent tree from one of the stalls this year.  I am assuming that the way it works is that you add a new decoration each day, but it didn't come with any instructions.  Needless to say Max has co-opted this as his own and is in charge of putting on the daily decoration.  When Penelope is old enough I can see I am going to have to enforce a strict alternate days rule.

And me

I have what I laughingly call my "diet" calendar.  I like an advent calendar with pictures.  One year I had a calendar with the most random set of pictures (including a elephant with a sprig of holly!) and every year I hope the experience will be repeated.  Sadly I appear to have a generic angels and shepherds one this year.  Max also gets to open my calendar but only once he has given me a kiss and cuddle!

So essentially Penelope has one and Max has four.  More is definitely more when it comes to advent!!