It’s the most Wonderful time of the Year (2021)

As I sit here typing this we are already in December, how is that even possible?! I feel like November whizzed by and was a bit of a limbo month where you can’t fully get into Christmas spirit yet you want to. Polly ended up having a whole week off school poorly where her nasty “viral” cough had really gotten her down and she just wasn’t herself, not eating, so lethargic and napping at the drop of the hat poor love so I’m hoping that’s behind her. Now ending the first weekend of December and both the girl’s have conjunctivitis! Polly got it first so is clearly still abit run down and of course sharing is caring and Lola now has it! Anyway lets hope that’s our run of sickness bugs, colds and viral infections done with before Christmas because we have a pretty festive jam packed month of fun ahead.

We went to pick our Christmas tree last weekend and tomorrow (Monday 6th) we go and collect it. Now because we always get real ones we didn’t want to get one too early so it didn’t last but also wanted to pick a good one before they all went.

Also last weekend we felt festive because we kicked off with an Elf Breakfast, which I planned on doing on the 1st but with it being a school day I didn’t think it fair on Polly’s teacher to send her into school buzzing on lots of sugary treats so I actually did it the Sunday before, so they could enjoy it and take their time and not rush and get ready for school. I will do this again next year on a weekend so not rushed for time.

As you can imagine this was lots of fun! Lola especially loved the buffet style breakfast thinking she could help herself to absolutely anything hehe. The stockings were lovely presents last Christmas from our kind neighbours. I brought a Jellycat Elf in the hope to do some “Elf on the Shelf” style things with him each day. He also brought the girl’s their letter from Father Christmas. I got Polly to post her letter the day before so she didn’t twig anything. But everything else was just little bits from B&M and Home Bargains to add that decorative Christmas feel and the balloons lasted ages! As for food Polly’s favourite breakfast treat is waffles or pancakes so I guess those and the fruit was the only healthy part to the tray.

So on December the first the Elf started with his magic and brought the girls (more so Polly) advent calendars. I say Polly as I had a Mum fail moment as I left it until the day before to source Lola one and only Maltesers truffles was left! Oops. Lucky a relative recommended a Happyland one amazon so it arrived a few days in at least. The Elf, “Buddy” as Polly calls him is a good kind Elf and doesn’t get upto much trouble, his brought the girls new PJ’s, books, read to barbies, made a balloon bath and done some little bits of magic for them. Polly is completely loving it so far and can’t wait to run down the stairs each morning to see what his been upto the night before.

On Monday 6th, after picking Polly up from school we ventured off to Sandringham estate for their Luminate event. I’d never been before but heard and seen lots of good things about it and it didn’t disappoint! We were keen to make up for last years lockdown by doing lots of festive things in the build up to the big day but with another new variant of Covid-19 about we tried to do things outside and this was perfect.

I took more videos than pictures as I seem to do these days and these pictures don’t do it justice how pretty it was. You walk into their woodland trail and I think it said it can take upto 90mins which it probably did to be honest, we didn’t hurry and we took Lola’s pram as I thought it would be too far at her age to walk it all but we got the pram round ok actually considering it had rained that day all day long. Luckily not in the evening. They had a vintage funfair there and Polly picked to go on the huge wheel which was super high, especially when you stop at the top for them to let people on ekes! And she also wanted to go on the helter skelter this time with Daddy. She was under the height measurements so needed an adult to accompany her on both which of course you have to pay for so hense why we didn’t do it all as gets a money getting game then. But we had prebooked £10’s worth which got us 4 tokens so basically 4 rides. I would definitely recommend it to anyone local and I would go again next year too as know Lola would be abit older to enjoy it then but Polly loved it.

Letters to Father Christmas…

Last year Polly could barely write her own name to Father Christmas but this year she gave him and essay bless her. I always take a picture of it so she can look back on it in years to come in her scrap book and last year I took a very similar picture of Polly posting her letter (see far left) so this will always be a tradition to use the same post box through the years to see how much the girls have grown.

We had a couple of playdates with our friends at our local forest one of which Polly and her friend from school made tree decorations and decorated some gingerbread men. We also met our relations there too another weekend and had hot chocs and cake and a wander round the forest to find the biggest sticks hehe. Whilst Polly was at school Lola and me went on a lunch date with family and I loved her little red corded outfit. As the end of term quickly came around Polly enjoyed being a cow and an angel in her school nativity but yet again for another year it was recorded and we couldn’t go in and watch her class. Thanks to Boris and Covid! I was so proud of Polly thought because on the last Friday of term she came home with Wow of the week after trying her best and being super kind! Now that school is out for this year it’s time to enjoy more festive fun.

We woke up on the first weekend of the holiday and Hubby suggested going someone for a yummy brunch. So we went to Elveden which is quite local to us and had a delish breakfast and a wander of their grounds. They had some reindeer there which Lola loved looking at. They also had at least 20 new found land dogs which would pull your Christmas tree back to your car for you. They were soooo cute, such a lovely breed of dog. We also ended up seeing Father Christmas there. We hadn’t planned to but they managed to get us in and Polly got a book from him and some chocs. He really did look the real deal and a friend of mine who we bumped into there said that Santa has been there every year for the last 4 years which I think is fab, just a shame there was a screen up but he did let Polly have a quick picture with him. Lola was not a fan at all! Maybe next year hehe.

We then had booked a Breakfast with Father Christmas at a local tearoom. He wasn’t the reel deal but Polly loved him. He took his time to go round to each table, ask the children their names what they would like etc and had pictures taken and of course gave gifts. Was lovely experience for Polly. She had even drawn him a map of where she lived so he could find our house which was the cutest thing. Again Lola was not a fan but he didn’t push her and she did give him a wave as we left. So after a lovely morning having breakfast with Father Christmas we came home and had a chilled rest of the day before heading off that evening to Thursford enchanted light journey with my Mum.

Again I took more videos than pictures and even the videos don’t show up how pretty the outside walk around of lights were. Because there was no Father Christmas this year due to Covid they did all this extra display outside and it was beautiful! Lola walked the whole was round. All of inside and outside. We did take the pram just incase but she was so good and was lovely just letting her wander and explore. Polly’s has been several times and the Father Christmas’s there were always really good ones so I’d probably go again next year as I know it’s a good age for Lola and they both really enjoyed it. They had a vintage funfair and both the girls went on a reindeer merry go round and loved it. They also both fell asleep on the route home.

It’s not really Christmas without a panto is it? Oh no it isn’t hehe! Sorry couldn’t resist. Back in 2019 a couple of my friends and myself decided rather than buy Christmas gifts for our little ones to do a day out instead so we did panto in the January of 2020. We were in lockdown last year so we did do gifts but this year we planned on doing a pantomime again this time before Christmas. My friend booked us “Cinderella” and my Mum had Lola for me as I didn’t think she would sit still all that time so me and Polly went off with our friends for the day. We had a yummy Nando’s for lunch then the show was on in the afternoon. We knew at least the children would have full bellies to sit and enjoy the show which they all did, especially Polly. Panto’s these days seem to have modern songs in them so she knew most of the song’s and sung her little heart out to them. I’m not going to lie I was alittle worried going to a theatre 2 days before Christmas being in a room full of strangers with Covid still so rife but everyone wore masks and touch wood we were all fine.

Having 4 children between 3 adults worked well as we sat down and had 2 between us then another adult then the other two then another adult so it worked fine they had a blast and I think it will be back to a yearly thing as I think it’s nice for them to have a day out as they all get so many toys around Christmas it’s nice to do something alittle different and festive too!

What Is Christmas without alittle magic…

Twas the night before Christmas and all was quiet yet excited! I love that we have a real fire as that’s how Polly believes Father Christmas enters and then leaves some snowy footprints. Polly wanted to stay up last and help me lay out some presents that we had got from family and friends as I personally never put presents under the tree until the night before. She said wow we are so lucky we don’t need Father Christmas to arrive as we have already been so lucky which made my heart melt!

And just like that the big day has been and gone. After Boxing day I always get alittle sad because there is always such a big build up and then it’s all over. I was always brought up to open my presents from Santa then the rest soon as my Grandparents arrived so that’s what I try to do with the girls. Easier said than done with very excited children but they open a huge box each, both from our lovely neighbours and that kept them busy until my Mum arrived and then could see all the fun. We also then facetimed one of my best friends and family. We then always eat around 1pm ish then opened more presents so the day is really dragged out and seems to go on and on which I love.

The girls had the best day and I think Lola had a quick nap before lunch was ready so she wasn’t grumpy from being overtired or anything. Then they stayed up late and we all watched Home Alone 2 as the 1st one was on the night before. Although it was a very lovely Christmas with lots of wonderful memories made, it was also bittersweet because it was the first one without my Dad being here. Again last Christmas we couldn’t see him as it was lockdown and although he was in a care home it felt odd not going there first thing like we did back in 2019. It’s been 6 months now and it still doesn’t get any easier but I know his not suffering anymore and his memory will live on in my girls. Polly still often talks about him and wanted to send him his Christmas presents upto heaven which breaks my heart telling her his not coming back. But that’s another reason why I’m always taking pictures and videos to remember all these little moments and milestones the girls have as their lovely to look back on.

New Years eve was very low key. We just had our lifelong friends and their children over for a chinese and the kids had some sparklers in the garden, watched a movie and did some dancing and of course playing. We didn’t see midnight as that’s what happens when you have children hehe. Our bed was calling us. Anyway lets hope 2022 brings us good things and health to all our loved ones.

Much Love

Sophie

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