The festive season is now upon us. Advent is often a very busy time for us with lots of events in the calendar. There are so many Christmas events and activities happening at this time of year. Our calendar is a little quieter this year though as we were expecting to be in hospital for much of Advent. I’m glad that we’re able to enjoy the festive season, even if the hospital rollercoaster is awaiting us at the end of it. Being less busy will hopefully mean being able to relax and enjoy the moment a little more too. These are the things that I am looking forward to in the run-up to Christmas this year:
1) Celebrating Christmas with the Gruffalo at the Chessington Winter’s Tail
I’m enjoying being a #ChessingtonBlogger this year and am looking forward to experiencing their Christmas event for the first time. The girls love the Gruffalo ride which will be open along with some of their other favourites, such as the Adventure Tree carousel and Tiny Truckers. There’s also a Gruffalo’s Child treasure trail around the park, the opportunity to decorate festive treats in the Gruffalo’s Kitchen and enjoy story time with the Gruffalo’s Child. The girls are also excited about getting to see Father Christmas in his magical grotto.
2) Seeing the Christmas lights at Waddesdon Manor
Despite Waddesdon Manor being one of our more local National Trust places, we’ve not yet managed to visit. We’ve arranged to meet up with friends and go and see the Christmas lights with our girls once the school holidays start. I’m looking forward to seeing the Electric Menagerie light-based artwork displays throughout the grounds and doing the Willow Lantern walk with the girls.
3) Singing carols at church
I can never get enough of singing Christmas carols, especially when they have a nice descant on the last verse. We have a couple of carol services at church to look forward to in the run-up to Christmas. This year, the girls and I have been asked to sing the first verse of “Once in Royal David’s City”. I’ve been busy teaching them the words so hopefully they will sing along with me on Christmas Eve.
4) Visiting family and friends
I come from quite a big family. Christmas is a good time of year to try and catch up with all my brothers and sisters. I usually take a day in the run-up to Christmas to “do the rounds” and visit as many of my siblings as I can – particularly the ones that I don’t see so often throughout the year. A couple of friends of ours have an annual Christmas house party and as they live reasonably near to my family, it makes sense to take a couple of days out and combine the two. For me, it’s one of the highlights of the festive season – getting to spend quality time with good friends and my family.
5) Making handmade presents
I love making personalised presents for people. Last year I spent most of the autumn writing and illustrating a book for hubby sharing all the different things I love about him. I’m not sure I can top that one this year but I do have a couple of special presents that I’m working on. I hope the recipients love receiving them as much as I’m enjoying making them.
Most of all though, I’m looking forward to being able to spend Christmas with my family. We will be heading into hospital again two days after Christmas for Jessica’s heart surgery. Knowing that we have this hanging over us has made us so aware of just how important that time together is. I often get quite stressed in the run-up to Christmas because I’m trying to make it perfect. This year, I’m not trying so hard. Because what makes Christmas perfect is just being together and making magical memories.