Festive fun at the Christmas light switch on

The festive season is now upon us and we started off ours with an afternoon at the school Christmas fayre followed by the Christmas light switch-on.


Sophie with her face painted like a reindeer and Auntie Maxine standing either side of Father Christmas in his sleigh - "Festive fun at the Christmas light switch-on"


I find the school fayre hard these days – walking around the school that Jessica should have been going to; seeing her friends and wishing she was there to excitedly greet them. Little memories popping up everywhere: her singing along with Away in a Manger; her joy at winning a talking Elmo in the raffle; going to see Father Christmas in his grotto. She had so much joie de vivre, that little girl of mine.


As hard as the festive season is without her, we are trying to make sure it’s still a fun time for Sophie and Thomas. Thomas slept on my back most of the way through the Christmas fayre, but Sophie enjoyed having her face painted, seeing Father Christmas and wandering around the various stalls.


Sophie with her face painted like a reindeer at the school Christmas fayre


Father Christmas had a busy day though. Not only was he at the Christmas fayre in the afternoon, but there he was again waiting in his sleigh inside the estate agents’ to greet the children once more.


Sophie with her face painted like a reindeer standing in front of a festive float decorated with a snowman and Christmas tree


The school choir was there too, singing Christmas carols. This seemed like a good moment to head for the giant inflatable snow globe in the hope that this would probably be the quietest time to go on it. We timed it well – Sophie was able to go on straight away and there were only a couple of other children there.


Sophie bouncing around a Christmas tree and snowman inside the inflatable snow globe


The festive photo booth was also very quiet. Sophie loves a selfie booth – at our friends’ wedding in October, she seemed to spend most of the evening in the photo booth, having photos taken with most of the other guests. This time we just had the one trip to the photo booth though. Auntie Maxine donned an Elvis wig and Sophie and I went for Mario and Luigi hats. Looking at Sophie in the photo though, I can see Jessica looking back at me. Maybe it’s the glasses or just something in Sophie’s expression. Still, it makes me feel Jessica was right there with us.


My sister wearing an Elvis wig and glasses, me wearing a Luigi hat with Thomas in the carrier on my back and Sophie with her face painted like a reindeer wearing a Mario hat and glasses in the festive photo booth


She would have adored the donkeys and Shetland ponies outside in the mini petting zoo. I could just imagine her standing there with Sophie gently stroking them. I am sure Thomas would have liked to have said hello to them too but he was safely out of the way of the crowds on my back. Maybe next year!


Sophie and Auntie Maxine petting the donkeys who are wearing red and white Christmassy coats


Sophie also enjoyed getting to decorate some biscuits with colourful icing, making a rainbow of colours all over her biscuit.


Sophie decorating Christmas biscuits with coloured icing


Sophie with her face painted like a reindeer holding up her iced biscuit and standing next to her Auntie Maxine


We missed the actual switch-on of the lights as we’d stopped off for a coffee and hot chocolate and Thomas had stopped to feed too. It was lovely though to walk out of the coffee shop and see all the lights twinkling in the dark. Seeing Sophie‘s face when we saw the big Christmas tree lit up reminded me that there are still moments of magic to be found no matter how bittersweet the festive season can be.


Sophie standing in front of the big Christmas tree


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4 thoughts on “Festive fun at the Christmas light switch on

  1. This is such a heartfelt post, meeting your grief head-on but making sure the little ones still feel the joy of Christmas too. An unenviable, painful task that you carry out with such dignity. So glad Sophie saw the lights and had lots of festive fun #countrykids

    1. Thank you Lucy. The grief is always there but I’m learning to live with it and trying to make the festive season as fun as I can for Sophie and Thomas.

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