Santa's Grotto - 2 minutes of magic

Santa’s Grotto – 2 minutes of magic

Santa's Grotto - 2 minutes of magic
They’ve been waiting for this all year…

#blogmas day 6 and you’re all getting sick of me and the Christmas ramblings, but I’m enjoying keeping a record of what’s going on for us this year.

Yesterday evening saw the school Christmas Fair and my 4 year old was just so unbelievably excited about it. All afternoon she was asking if it was “time yet”.

It was also my first School Christmas Fair as a parent and I dutifully roped myself in for a stint on the chocolate tombola stand (interesting activity – some children won like 6 boxes of chocolates, others none. It was hectic. I needed wine afterwards). The parents were so heavily involved, manning stalls for booze tombola (didn’t win anything – bugger, had my eye on the prosecco, obviously), handmade jewellery, usborne books, cakes (lots of), tuck shop (with mulled wine and beer for the adults), face painting, some more that escape me and…

…a Santa’s Grotto.

This is what they were waiting for, my two girls! It lasted for 2 minutes, but it was 2 minutes of magic for them. A room decked out in white sparkling sheets and handmade snowflakes, with an elf waiting for them at the door to usher them into Santa. They sat next to him and explained to him that they were ‘being good’ (news to me) and got a present each.

I take my hat off to Santa and his elf helper, who had their work cut out seeing many, many children yesterday evening!

Read #blogmas day 5 here.

Our letters to Father Christmas

letter to santa, letter to father christmas
To Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland…

Last week saw the annual ritual of posting our letters to Father Christmas. For us, it seemed to herald the beginnings of Christmas excitement and magic, stimulating my two girls’ imaginations as they posted their letters to Santa’s Grotto in Reindeerland.

My girls are 4 and 2 and got really involved with this activity this year. It’s also quite helpful as the children give me ideas on what they would like and I can in turn use the prospect of receiving those items as bribery fodder positive behavioural reinforcement tools.

Even better, having recently started preschool my 4-year-old can write her own letter this year and it’s great writing and language practice – ok it’s barely legible and contains some surprisingly gothic drawings especially thought up for Father Christmas himself – but it’s her own work, nonetheless and it’s one of the sweetest things I’ve seen her do.

Letter to Father Christmas
Dear Father Christmas…please don’t be afraid, but for Christmas I would like…

My 4-year-old is now of an age where she can list the items she’d like Father Christmas to bring her, and even my 2-year-old managed a “MORE STICKERS!” when I asked her what she would like.

How I’m going to get round some of the items my 4-year-old chose is going to be INTERESTING – “doggy”, anyone?? I’m assuming she meant a small, soft toy in the shape of a dog, wearing maybe a princess necklace (surely she meant that?). In fact, her list took a decidedly non-human form this year:

– a fish
– a rabbit
– a dinosaur
– a doggy

That’s doable, that list (HELP!!!).

If you want to write your own letter to Father Christmas, the cut off date for Royal Mail is Saturday 6th December so get your skates on, folks!

Here’s the address:

Father Christmas (or Santa),
Santa’s Grotto,

Hope you get what you ask for!

Christmas memories: week 1

I may as well come out and say it – I love Christmas and it turns me into a big kid who jumps up and down a lot.

As I wrote in my post on writing a letter to Father Christmas, I want my children to find Christmas as magical as I do.

Here’s a brief pictorial on Christmas memories of the past week.


Helping us choose a Christmas tree…


…and placing the Angel on top.


Marvelling at unicorns in grottos…


…or camels?


…and of course I couldn’t resist a photo of a trip to the local park, all wrapped up to protect from the cold.

Time for some Christmas cookie making next week…

Read week 2 here!

A letter to Father Christmas


Well, after a stressful weekend (trip to a&e, breathing problems, turned out to be viral chest infection, all’s well that ends well), what could we do on a frosty Sunday morning to cheer ourselves up?

Write our letter to Father Christmas, of course!

I’ve well and truly got the Christmas bug. Of course I did the usual “bah! humbug it’s only November” thing at first, but the spirit of Christmas got the better of me once again.

Christmas evokes such warm, comforting feelings for me, like being wrapped up in a huge fleecy blanket of good, home cooked food, treats, gifts, family and friends.

I know that it’s not like this for everyone – for many it can be quite the opposite. Christmas can be a reminder to many of loss and bereavement, or simply feel like a kick in the face to those who have nothing.

I count myself lucky right now to be able to have a good Christmas. For this reason I want to get started on making it exciting and full of wonder for my children.

A letter to Father Christmas – this must seem so magical to a child, to be able to actually interact with the big man himself!

A quick check on Royal Mail told me the address and that he does endeavour to write back. Did this happen when we were kids? I don’t remember it!

Of course my three year old can’t quite write yet (though she does like practicing her “curly c’s”) so we sat together and she dictated exactly what I should write.

This resulted in a reasonable list of potential gifts for her and one year old (many of which I realised, to my horror, she had stored in her memory from watching the adverts on Nick Jnr).

Of course I can’t say what they are, but one of them begins with “ch” and ends in “late”. And has “oc” in the middle.

The best bit was the posting. We set out, all wrapped up on this frosty day. Three year old took her “nocli-ers” so she could look for birds…

…and we posted the letter, three year old just about reaching high enough as you can see above.

Them we found a cafe and had latte for me (nectar of the gods) and babyccino for the girls.

It was a great weekend after all!