Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Our Festive December - The Polar Express, Gingerbread Houses and our Christmas Eve Eve Party!

Well can you believe it?! After weeks of (im)patiently counting down the days, Christmas week is finally here!!

I'd like to say that we ramped up the festive activities this week but has anybody else noticed that all the festive events seem to trail off once Christmas actually gets close?!

I was hoping to go to a Christmas Fayre or something this weekend but there was absolutely nothing going on near us!

We still managed to have lots of festive fun though!

This week we took a trip onboard Dartmoor Railway's Polar Express Ride!

We did this last year too, as Tyne was already showing a huge interest in trains even then and we thought he'd just love the chance to meet Santa on a train - we were right, he did!

This year though with him being older he understood so much more about it, and was so excited for the trip - we went in our pyjamas of course, as the characters in the story do which I think made it all the more exciting!

We had actually seen a condensed 15 minute version of The Polar Express movie in 4D when we visited Drayton Manor Park last week so Tyne knew what the movie/story was about and what to expect.

This year we went along with my sister and her family, which made it all the more fun for Tyne as he absolutely loves spending time with his cousins!

From the second the train pulled out of the station the staff swung into action - all singing, all dancing action! - they kicked off with a whole hour and a halfs worth of songs and entertainment which was really fantastic!

The actors on board are SO high energy, I don't know how they keep it up and manage to perform so well whilst on a moving train!

My favourite part is always the hot chocolate song, when we are served real delicious hot chocolate and a chocolate chip cookie.

As well as the songs and entertainment, the staff also read the story book out to the children as we make our way to the "North Pole".

When we arrived at the North Pole, Tyne and the other children were delighted as they looked out of the window at the beautiful lights and waving elves! And then, much to their delight, Santa got on board to give everybody one of his magical sleigh bells!

A naughty stowaway elf also hopped on board and entertained us all for the journey home by climbing all around the carriage and generally causing mischief - he was very entertaining!

We really enjoyed our trip aboard The Polar Express, even Noah was excited! We will definitely be doing this again next year.

This week we also decorated our very first Gingerbread house!

This was a new one on me as I'd never done before, but it was lots of fun to do and Tyne really enjoyed it - particularly helping himself to the sweeties from it!

And finally this week, we threw our very first Christmas Party for the children in the family!

As my sister hosts Boxing Day and Bonfire night at her house, and my mum hosts Halloween at hers..I decided I want to have an annual event to host too - so we decided that a yearly Christmas Eve Eve party for the children would be it!

I was really looking forward to getting creative with planning the food and activities! I did pretty much just traditional party food - sausage rolls, chicken drumsticks etc, but I made sure that we have Snowman and Stocking shaped sandwhiches and I made Christmas Tree shaped pizzas to make things a bit more festive! We also had a lovely reindeer cake, and a hot chocolate station which was a big hit!

We had the hot chocolate in the slow cooker after seeing the tip going around facebook recently, and it worked out great! We had out squirty cream for topping, mini marshmallows, chocolate dust, candy canes for stirring and little shots of Baileys for the adults to add to their hot chocolate if they wanted to!

We also had lots of fun playing some party games with the kids! We played:

Pass The Parcel Challenge - basically pass the parcel but with a challenge in each layer for the person to complete such as Sing A Christmas Song or Give a compliment to the person next to you!

Snowball toss - basically throwing screwed up toilet paper (Snowballs!) at some xmas cups and seeing who could knock the most over!

Do You Wanna Build A Snowman? - wrapping up one member from each time in toilet roll, and getting them dressed in snowman gear complete with carrot before the time runs out!

Candy Cane Hunt - pretty self explanatory!

We also played Sing The Next Line Of The Christmas Song, did a Christmas Conga Line, had a Christmas Dance Off and did a Santa Pinata!

It was such a fun evening...although exhausting!!!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and our plans are to have a chilled out day at home, the boys will get their Christmas Eve box to keep them entertained...I'll prep a Christmas Eve Buffet tea for us to have once we get home from the Christmas Eve church service and dropping our care boxes off to the local homeless people, and then it'll be sacks out for Santa, and off to bed....SO EXCITING!!!

No matter how you spend it, I hope you all have have a wonderful Christmas!!

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