Friday, 11 December 2015

Our Christmas Plans 2015

Can you believe that it's the end of the first week of December already?!

It feels like i've been counting down to Christmas for literally months and suddenly it's so very nearly upon us - I can honestly barely contain my excitement!

They say that Christmas as an adult starts to become all the more magical once you have children of your own to experience it with and, although I enjoyed Christmas immensely before kids too, I can certainly vouch for the fact that there's a whole new level of magic attached to the festive season when you're experiencing it through your little ones eyes.

Last year Tyne was so excited on Christmas Day but I don't think he really understood the build up to the big event so much, whereas this year is the first year that he really seems to get it! He asks every day "Is it Christmas yet?" and seems so excited - not only for Christmas Day itself but for all the fun festive things we have planned in the lead up to the day too!

And then there's Noah - of course at 8 months old he's pretty oblivious to what's going on but as a parent there's something so special about celebrating your childs first Christmas, and I feel so lucky that we not only get to experience Noah's this year but we get to have another first Christmas with a new baby next year too! How amazing!

Because we're such BIG fans of Christmas in this house I like to try to make it last all month long! 

We traditionally put up our tree and decorations around the 1st of December to set the tone for the month to come - usually there's prosecco involved but not this year due to baby bump! But there has to be Christmas music playing while we decorate and Tyne always has the job of putting the star on the top of the tree!

For the rest of the month we seek out Christmas markets and fayres, carol concerts, and any kind of festive fun we can! This year will be the first that we indulge in some Christmas crafting and baking too which I'm super excited about!

Our special plans for December include visiting Santa in his Grotto, a special trip to Thomasland at Drayton Manor for their Magical Christmas experience which we're very excited about, a visit to Santa's Storytelling Day at a local childrens centre and a trip aboard The Polar Express!!

Christmas can get pretty expensive of course, especially with kiddies to buy for and so many fun things going on which are very rarely free - we try to budget by putting money aside each month throughout the year and always starting our shopping early so that we can take advantage of any sales. I managed to sort out quite a lot of gifts in the Black Friday sales this year which has been  a huge help!

TSB have a great Christmas Guide to give you tips on how to plan your budget to make Christmas less stressful which is well worth a look.

This year we're starting a new tradition of a Kids Christmas Party which I'll be holding at my house the night before Christmas eve - it's just for my kids and their cousins but it's a great chance to get together and get really excited for Christmas, I've got loads of fun games and festive snacks planned thanks to good old Pinterest! 

On Christmas Eve we always head to our local church for their Crib service - it's family friendly and aimed more so at children so they hear all about the nativity and get to help lay out the crib scene which I think is lovely, they also sing some carols and have a chat with the Vicar afterwards about how excited they are for the big day - I love to include a bit of the whole "Reason for the season" in our celebrations each year so that it's not all about presents!

With that in mind, on our way home from the church service we've made it a yearly tradition to hand out care packages to some local homeless people to try to make their Christmas Day a bit more comfortable.

Once we get home, we open our Family Christmas Eve box and get into our new Christmas pjs, make our Snowman Soup (Hot chocolate!) and settle down in front of a nice Christmas film before the kids head off to bed and Daddy & I spend the next several hours wrapping gifts!

On Christmas Day itself, we spend the majority of the day at home as a family - opening our gifts, having our delicious Turkey dinner, and just chilling out stuffing ourselves with chocolate and watching Christmas movies while the kids play with their toys - later on, around 4pm, we head off to visit my family - as my parents are from Liverpool they like to hire an apartment nearby for the festive season so we visit them there - my sister does the same with her kids so there are 11 of us in their little holiday apartment exchanging gifts and eating the food my mum prepares - its hectic but lots of fun!

On Boxing Day my sister has a little buffet lunch at her house for the family, which is always fun!

Bring on the mince pies and brussel sprouts...yes I`m SUCH a big fan of Christmas that I even get excited about the sprouts!!

How do you spend Christmas? I'd love to hear all about your plans and traditions!!

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