Winter is a funny ole’ season isn’t it? Everything is quite dark and dreary, but there is also a lot of beauty that comes with winter too. Frost becomes a frequent visitor, coating pavements and woodlands with glittering ice, that crunches underfoot and lights are draped around trees and buildings creating a glittering fairyland. Winter is a time of togetherness, where people snuggle down to movies, decorate their homes with pine trees, holly and lights, gift one another with presents and spend time together talking and laughing over good food. With Christmas in the heart of it, winter is a magical time of year.
We have had a wonderful Christmas this year. It has been the first year that Bear has really understood what is going on. We made sure we did different Christmas activities throughout December and had something fun planned each week, from decorating the tree and making decorations to watching movies with hot chocolate and baking cookie trees.
We started December by watching an orchestral performance of The Snowman at Chester Cathedral By Carrot Productions. We were sent front row tickets to the performance which featured a film adaption of The Bear and the Piano and a shortened viewing of The Snowman. It is such a beautiful event and one that piqued the boys interest. They loved watching the conductor and seeing the different instruments being played together. As soon as they got home they headed up the stairs and started playing the instruments they have in their playroom.
Every year we do something charitable and for our Christmas charity this year we did a Christmas gifts collection for women and children living in a local refuge. Refuges are safe houses for people who have been affected by domestic abuse and after sharing my story of domestic abuse earlier this year, it seemed the perfect cause for our Christmas Charity. Nearly 150 gifts were donated within two weeks of starting the collection, which meant that we were able to deliver presents to not just one, but multiple refuges across the North West of England.
As December rolled on, we had a snowy cold snap. I was so envious of everyone’s lovely snow pictures this year, because we only got a dusting where we live and I didn’t get to take any winter wonderland photos. The boy’s nursery on the other hand had more than a dusting and being in the Cheshire countryside, it meant that while the boys were there they got to have lots of snow day fun. Bear was so excited to come out of nursery with the cutest photo of him sledging down some snowy hills.
Christmas can be a pricey time of year and with our upcoming trip around South East Asia, we decided to tighten the purse strings and make some homemade gifts and decorations. I’ve never been particularly crafty and growing up, I was always a bit rubbish when I attempted the Blue Peter or Art Attack projects, so it’s no surprise I didn’t suddenly become a talented artist or sculptor when I became a mum. But as it’s Christmas and inspiration is everywhere I thought we would try making some homemade salt dough decorations to gift people over the holidays. They didn’t quite turn out like the ones on Pinterest , but we all had so much fun making them and the boys loved putting the ones we had left over on the tree afterwards.
Once we had made our Christmas tree decorations there was no stopping us and to save even more pennies, decided to make all of our own centrepieces for the Christmas dinner table as well. Netflix sent us a great crackers crafting kit, so we even set about making some extra crackers for our Boxing Day dinner while we were at it. We spent most of Christmas Eve crafting our very own flower arrangement,making crackers and baking a cookie tree, which was a lovely way to spend the day and something we will be making a bit of a tradition of for years to come. The boys were so exhausted after all the crafting, they even went to bed with no fuss and nodded straight off to sleep.
As soon as the boys were snoozing away we set about filling stockings, setting up the Christmas Dinner table, making magical Father Christmas footprints around the house and munching on the mince pies we left out before heading up to bed for some rest before the big day.
Christmas Day itself was just magical. Seeing the boy’s faces as they came down the stairs to see the ‘Father Christmas footprints’ leading to the tree was amazing. We spent the day opening presents, doing puzzles, reading stories, watching films and munching away on good food. The boys were so tired after all of the day’s excitement and Monkey actually fell asleep while we were getting the boys ready for bed. The boys very rarely fall asleep on me these days, so it was the most wonderful way to end the most perfect Christmas.
Our Christmas Vlog 2017:
*Note: We were sent tickets to the Orchestral Performance of The Snowman in return for an honest review. We are also a part of the Netflix Stream Team.