Monday, 5 January 2015

Our Christmas 2014

I realise I'm a little late with my Christmas round up but it's been a busy old time in the Sparkles household and this is the first chance I've had to sit down and blog since the big event!

I hope you won't mind?! ;)

Our Christmas this year was always going to be a little different than usual as it would normally be a big family affair with my parents visiting from Liverpool as they do every year, but this year my Mum suffered a terrible fall at work just a week or so before Christmas and ended up needing to have an emergency hip replacement - this was a big shock as she's only 53 so very young to have something like that happen and with it being right on top of Christmas everything was suddenly thrown in to chaos!

We knew that due to the operation and recovery time she wouldn't be able to do the 5 hour car journey down to Devon, and we were left with a dilemma on what to do....should myself and my sister go to Liverpool to have Christmas with her? Or should we plan a second Christmas at later date?

In the end, we decided it wasn't possible to drag our 4 children on the long journey so close to Christmas as none of us has a car big enough to fit everybody in which would mean lots of seperate cars or public transport, and taking all of their Christmas presents wouldn't happen either which didn't seem fair to we decided we would have our first ever Christmas without the grandparents and instead we would travel to Liverpool on the 27th December for a second Christmas at their house.

This meant that I would be hosting Christmas dinner at my house for my sister and her kids...eeek! My first experience cooking Christmas dinner for anybody!

Our Christmas Eve was very busy as always - there were last minute presents to wrap, turkey to cook, veg to prepare and so on - we gave Tyne his Christmas Eve basket in the afternoon to keep him entertained, and he loved it!

It included: A Thomas Christmas book, Happyland Christmas set, Chocolate santa, Gingerbread man, Thomas Christmas dvd, Personalised Christmas book, Santa teddy, play snow, and a Christmas themed Thomas toy!

After a few hours of playing with the basket and us doing chores, it was time to head off to the Crib service at Church - we go every single year, its become part of our Christmas Traditions now and I could never miss it! We did pose for a few photos before we headed off!

It's a lovely service - short and sweet and focused around children so need to worry when they're running about or being loud, the Vicar is lovely and very insistent that nobody tries to shush or subdue their childrens Christmas eve excitement! 

After the service we did our little Random Act of Kindness (More on that in a blog series coming soon!) and off we went home....

We opened our Secret Santa present from our Bump Group which has also become a yearly tradition - Tyne received some lovely Thomas The Tank slippers and socks, a Peppa Pig sound book and a gorgeous personalised apron - such lovely gifts and he was very excited!

We then remembered that we'd been invited in to a neighbours house for a Christmas eve drink - we had tried to avoid it as it was now 8pm and we still had the turkey to cook but we ended up going over for an hour with Tyne, and it was lovely to meet our new neighbours as most of the street were in there!

We got home, put Tyne to bed and cooked the turkey and prepped all the veg - by the time Santa had visited and all jobs were done it was 5 am! PHEW!!!

On Christmas Morning, Tyne woke around 9.30 and we showed him his full stocking in his bedroom - he was DELIGHTED to find it filled with lots and lots of new Thomas trains! 

I think he would have happily stayed in his room and played with those engines all day but we knew that more awaited him downstairs, so off we went...

Tyne squealed with delight when he saw his waiting kitchen, rocking horse and pile of gifts!

Daddy made a lovely breakfast of cinnamon rolls which we dug into while we watched Tyne unwrap...which took almost TWO HOURS as he wanted to have a little play with each thing before he moved on to the next present! Good job we weren't in a hurry!

We had our own little dinner, just us 3, which was lovely!

Tyne LOVED his and ate every bit!

This is his current "Cheese" face whenever the camera comes out!

After that, we prepared the second dinner for when my sister and her family arrived that evening
and chilled out on the sofa watching The Snowman & The Snowdog (A mistake never to be repeated!!! We ALL cried...even Jon!!! How harrowing is that film?!)

My sister and the children arrived later in the afternoon, and we had a lovely Christmas dinner together - we played a little Christmas music quiz at the table and then it was time for more present opening!

We had such a lovely Christmas day, it was so relaxed and there was absolutely none of the usual stress I feel - Christmas is so much more fun with little ones around!

It was by far the best Christmas ever!

On Boxing Day, Tyne had a fun day playing with his toys and we headed over later in the day to my sisters house for her annual Boxing Day buffet which was lovely! Tyne had lots of fun playing with his cousins and their new toys.

On 27th December it was time to head off to Liverpool for Christmas 2!

The journey was HORRIFIC - but TEN HOURS after setting off for what should have been a five hour journey, we finally arrived at nanny's house!

The children had fun opening their gifts from their grandparents and having a good play!

There was yet more Christmas Dinner to enjoy, and the following few days we saw the Christmas lights at Liverpool One and my sister and I even got to hit the sales childfree!! 

We arrived home after ANOTHER nightmare journey on 30th December, and so New Years Eve was a quiet one as I felt jet lagged!

We did manage to go out for a lovely meal at my favourite restaurant Ocean Drive - it was just the three of us and it was really lovely! The restaurant felt so festive and the meal was just gorgeous!

We came home and watched some tv while Tyne played with his toys....we let him stay up but he crashed out just before midnight!

Jon & I went out into the back at 12 and I got a bit teary looking at our lovely view across Torbay - we could see fireworks going off for miles around, hear all the shouts of Happy new Year, bells ringing, people singing Auld Lang Syne....our neighbours below were waving up at us and wishing us Happy new was really lovely, and it made me feel very lucky and pleased that we moved here as this house just feels right.

And that was it! Our Christmas 2014!

I hope you all had a fantastic one too!

I will be back tomorrow to give a little look at my Christmas haul, and keep your eyes peeled for a BIG exciting giveaway coming soon to celebrate my blogs second birthday! :)

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