Tag: father christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas …

Well, at least at the Trelawney garden centre in Wadebridge down here in Cornwall.  I’ve also been reading a lot of blogposts about Christmas shopping and the appearances of Elves on shelves.  Sadly, in our little household, nothing Chrismassy has happened yet.

I knew it was going to be all about Christmas at Trelawney, that’s why I like going there.  I wanted to mooch around and just see what they have to offer this year.  I was really tough on myself though, and refused to pick up another Christmas ornament.  We have way too much already, especially for such a small house.  I’m wondering though how much this resolve will last.  Let’s see.

To our surprise, the Father Christmas in Trelawney was already accepting guests!  We took little T last year and her best friend F to see him.  We were expecting her to say no when we asked if she wanted to see him.  To our surprise she said yes, but after a little play at the playground.

And up she went …

Trelawney has a lovely play-area for kids.  They have a little train-station, a wooden train, a slide and other playground paraphernalia children love.

And down she went …

Hopped on a train and then it was time to meet her first Father Christmas of the year.

But first for the “sleigh ride” to the North Pole.

Little T seemed to enjoy this ride better than last year.  I have no idea whether she remembers the last time, she didn’t say anything at all.

And then she was funny, refused to go in, we actually had to force her!  She also answered his questions with “I don’t know.  What’s your name?  I don’t know.  How old are you?  I don’t know”.  She’ll be lucky to get a present from him!

But Father Christmas must have decided she was a good girl because she was told to choose a toy at the shop.  Guess what she chose?  Yep, those glittery pink Princess shoes which she wore from the car into the house.  And guess what, it broke.  Good thing my husband managed to glue it back together.  Yay for glue and dads who glue toys back together!

What about you?

Is it Christmas yet in your home?

Making New Christmas Traditions & Meeting a Tudor Father Christmas

This post was inspired by my blogger friend Kate, who wrote about the special Christmas ornaments her son has chosen over the years.  I just thought that it was a lovely tradition and I told her that this year, little T and I would start our own Christmas tradition of allowing T to choose a special ornament each year.

So last Saturday, we decided to go to Trerice, an Elizabethan National Trust manor house near Newquay. We are lucky to live in an area where there are lots of National Trust and English Heritage properties just a drive away.  So it’s really handy for us to be members of both organizations, especially since some of the places costs a lot to visit.  If you have a little one, being members of either the National Trust or English Heritage (like I mentioned already in other posts) is a must because these properties are great go-to-places to spend a lovely-family-day together, not to mention they always have fun activities planned for Christmas and other occasions as well.

Before going, we knew that they had a Tudor Father Christmas event going-on, but we weren’treally sure whether little T would want to see him again.  She’s seen him twice this year already.  But when we asked her, she seemed excited to see him once more.

Before the event, we had a chance to look around a bit.  The grand hall was lit-up with a fire, and a large grand dining table was all set Tudor style, while a woman dressed in a Tudor outfit was playing a hammered dulcimer.

And while waiting we also had the chance to dive into the National Trust gift shop and little T was able to choose her special Christmas ornament for this year.  I was actually saving this special chore when we go to Exeter’s Christmas market this week, but when I saw the little animal ornaments, I thought that T would actually want one and I was right.

In the photo above, she was actually choosing between a Christmas badger and a bunny. In the end, she chose the cutest little Christmas rabbit.  Then it was time to see Father Tudor Christmas.

It took awhile for it to start and the children were feeling a little bit impatient. And then we heard a loud knock, I thought T would be scared when the curtains opened and out came Father Tudor Christmas in his green robes as he greeted the kids with a Wassail!  (which means toasting to your good health in Old English).  He was really good actually.  He regaled the children with stories on what Christmas was like during the Tudor times.  Then it was time for the children to line-up for the presents.  I was really pleasantly surprised when little T went shyly on her own and even answered Father Tudor’s questions.

Can you see my daughter levitating?  Isn’t that photo weird?  My husband says it’s just the reflection on the floor or something?  Maybe it was Father Christmas’ magic working on my little T!  What do you think?

And when we came home, little T was excited to hang her Christmas ornament on our tree.  Yes, our tree is up already.  I’m doing a different post on that 🙂

Isn’t it the cutest Christmas bunny?  I wonder what next year’s ornament will be?  Thanks so much for the lovely idea Kate! 🙂

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s Whats the Story

And The Oliver’s Madhouse

Hope everyone has a lovely week ahead of them! 🙂

Little T, F and Father Christmas at the Eden Project

Last Sunday, we went to the Eden project with little F’s parents to meet Father Christmas (second time for the little ones).

See those huge domes below?  In them are hundreds if not thousands of different kinds of plants collected from all over.  Can you guess what my favourite dome is?  The tropical one of course!  I remember going in there and actually sweating!  For those who aren’t familiar with the Eden Project, it’s an eco-tourist attraction down here in Cornwall.  As mentioned, there are a number of artificial biomes, or domes, which houses lots of exotic plants from every corner of the world.

The first and last time I was there, I was heavily pregnant with little T.  In fact, I think it was two days before I gave birth to her.  So when F’s parents asked if we wanted to go to meet Father Christmas at the Eden project, they got a definite yes from us!

That’s little T and F at the entrance listening to instructions from one of Father Christmas’ elves.  They had to gather some special materials for him.  Don’t ask me why my daughter was pouting, I have no idea what was going on in her mind.  Captions anyone?

First, we went to see the reindeer, only T was more interested in running around like a loony.  Then we went to see the ice-rink before looking for the special ingredients for Father Christmas.

See Father Christmas’ tent with the smoke coming out of the chimney?  It was a lovely cosy tent where he and his elves regaled the children with some stories.  And while the others had their chance to have a little word with the most famous man in Christmas time, the elves showed them what they could do with their special ingredients.  Then it was little T and F’s turn!

Little T was too shy to go near the big man so her Dad had to go with her.  F on the other hand bravely went up to him!

Then after their session with Father Christmas, they had the chance to write their Christmas wish and hang it on a tree.  Little T wasn’t so interested in that.  She was more interested in the magic jelly beans the elf gave the children after the show.

Then it was time to go and wait for the land train.  But of course before that, little T absolutely had to jump on the water puddles first.  Good thing she was wearing her DMs otherwise her tights and socks would’ve gotten really soaked!  At the end of the day, the two little ones were exhausted and the dads had to carry them on their shoulders.

It was a lovely day spent at the Eden Project, bravo to them for having a lot of activities planned for children and adults alike.  We had a lovely paella meal at the Mediterranean dome and the kids had ice-cream for dessert.

If you live in Cornwall or Devon, you and your family can get local passes for a good price.  So if you haven’t checked out the Eden Project, this is a good time to go since they have a lot of activities planned for kids and adults as well this Christmas.  Click here for directions on how to get there.

This post is linked-up with Coombe Mill’s Country Kids.

And also with Post Comment Love

Have a lovely Chrismassy weekend everyone! 🙂

T and Father Christmas

T was one and a bit when she first met Father Christmas.  She cried and let’s just say, made a bit of a commotion in her nappy and it wasn’t wee.  You get the picture.

I doubt if Father Christmas would want to sit too close to her had he known what happened.

Then my husband bought her a DVD and introduced her to Raymond Brigg’s Father Christmas.  She absolutely loved it.  I first wrote about it here and back then I even wondered whether he was a bad influence on my daughter.  She still says blimming sometimes and still loves to watch it over and over again.  I guess that DVD prepared her for her next meeting with the jolly/grumpy old man.  This time she was two and a bit.

I’m happy to report that no commotion happened.  This time she didn’t cry, but was really shy and he could could hardly hear her little replies (more like whispers) to his questions.

Yesterday, I wanted to buy some additional Christmas decors and decided to go to Trelawney Garden Centre in Wadebridge where they have lovely stuff, not knowing that Father Christmas was already receiving visitors.  So little T along with her best-friend F had the chance to have an early-meeting with him.  I don’t know whether it was because she’s older now or because her best friend was with her, this time she gamely answered his questions and nothing unpleasant happened, which is good because she doesn’t wear nappies anymore.

This post is linked up with PODcast’s What’s the story?

And The Oliver’s Madhouse

Hope everyone has a lovely week planned ahead of them! 🙂

Little Father Christmas

A friend and I spent Christmas 2007 in Benin.  We travelled from Ghana, passed Togo within a few hours (that’s how small the country was) and headed for Porto Novo, which is the official capital of Benin.  My friend and I didn’t speak a word of French apart from the usual merci, s’il vows plait and combien?

In spite the language barrier, I loved Benin.  I loved the colours, the rich history, the old buildings, and the culture, although unlike the Ghanaians who are known to be friendly, the Beninese on the other hand were, let’s just say the opposite.  But of course, that could just be a simple case of lost in translation.

I took loads of photos of course.  But a few months after we arrived in England, I dropped my external hard-drive where all my photos were saved, and alas, it stopped working –  I lost all my photographs 🙁

The good news is that I managed to upload some of the hundreds of photos on my Flickr account which I haven’t used in ages.  Here’s one of my faves:

My friend and I were doing the usual touristy-stuff when we heard giggles, the sound of a tambourine and Christmas carols in French!  We were being serenaded by these cute Beninese boys aged around 9-10.  When I pointed to my camera, the other boys fled, but only this one little boy stayed and posed in front of me.  Do you think he had a big smile behind his Father Christmas mask?  I bet he did!

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s What’s the Story.

And The Olivers Madhouse

Christmas is definitely just around the corner, hope you guys are doing your Christmas shopping early to avoid the maddening Christmas rush.  Believe it or not, we have ours done! 🙂  Yay!

Hope everyone has a great week ahead of them!

First Letter to Father Christmas

It’s amazing that Christmas is just a few weeks away.  Normally, I’d be doing the count-down as soon as the “er” months begin.  This year however, I’ve just been too preoccupied to notice the coming of my favourite holiday until ELC dropped a Christmas catalogue in our mail box a few weeks ago.  Unknown to us, little T has been going through the pages like an expert shopper until we started hearing I want this mummy/daddy!  I want that mummy/daddy!

My husband and I thought perhaps it’s time to write Father Christmas.  And of course, that got her all excited, especially since this would be her first time to write a letter to him.  So out came her craft-box …

She wrote the letter herself (with the help of mummy of course) using different coloured pens.  I’m not artistic.  I can write articles, short-stories, poems and even a novel if someone held a gun to my head.  But sadly, I wouldn’t be able to save my own life if someone asked me to draw or paint by gunpoint.  Good thing my sister-in-law gifted little T with enormous supplies of crafty-things, from foam hearts, coloured paper, googly eyes, you name it, T’s got it!

She chose the hearts. My husband and I had to remind her that she was writing a letter to Father Christmas and not making a Valentine card for her best-friend, but she insisted on the hearts.  So I asked the husband to draw a Christmas tree on the side of her card and then  added star stickers to make her card “Christmassy”.  You know just to make sure that Father Christmas won’t think that little T sent the wrong card.

And there she is, holding up her first letter to Father Christmas.  Did you know that you can really send your letters to jolly old St. Nick?  Yep, you can send them to Father Christmas on this address:

Santa Claus/Father Christmas

Santa’s Grotto

Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ

Don’t forget to write your name and return address to receive a card back from Father Christmas.  And most importantly, put a stamp on it, otherwise it will never reach him and no magic will deliver it to him either.  All letters should be sent before the 6th of December.  Remember, Father Christmas is a very busy man.  Click here for more information.

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s What’s the Story

And The Oliver’s Madhouse

Hope everyone has a lovely week ahead!

Meeting Father Christmas

The weather on Christmas week was really bad (it still is as of writing).  For awhile, I thought that we wouldn’t have the chance to take Tamsin to see Father Christmas, which would be a shame really, especially since we prepared her early on as I’ve said in this post and this one too.  But on the 23rd, the weather looked good enough to be able to sneak a quick trip to Landhydrock to see Father Christmas.  So we did just that and my daughter did get to meet him – Father Christmas.

And I’m proud to report that she didn’t cry and nothing else happened.  She was shy though and I had to repeat her answers to Father Christmas oh and he was nothing like Raymond Brigg’s famous character (meaning, he wasn’t grumpy at all and didn’t once utter the word “blimming”.

Oh and we also got to listen to some Christmas carols in the Landhydrock chapel before heading home.  The next day, it rained and rained and rained.

What was the weather like on Christmas day on your side of the world?

Christmas Season is almost over

Christmas day came and went.  It was over even before I could sit down and relish the moment.  For many mothers out there, Christmas day for us came in a blur of last minute things-to-do/finish/dishes to cook/lay/Christmas presents to wrap and un-wrap.  Our work is never over.  Like all parents out there, at the end of Christmas day, we were all exhausted.

And just like everyone else, hearing the squeals of delight and excitement coming from our kids as they un-wrapped presents after-presenst is worth all the handwork, even if at the end of the day, we could barely stand-up from sheer exhaustion.

I dread the end of the Christmas season, especially putting away all the fun and festive Christmas decorations, and to face a cold and boring room, set against the grey and dreary weather outside.

On a happy note, spring is just around the corner.  And this being Cornwall, spring happens to come early compared to the rest of the UK.

How was your Christmas?

Getting ready for Christmas

The first time our little one met Father Christmas (Santa Claus) last year.  She burst into tears and err… did something in her nappy.  Yes, she looks a little bit bewildered in the photo and wearing her “I’m not sure I like this man” expression.

So to avoid another little scene, we decided to reintroduce her to Father Christmas early this November.  We bought her Raymond Brigg’s Father Christmas, The Snowman and The Bear.  She absolutely loves them especially Father Christmas and the Snowman.  She actually watches them three or four times in a day!

Do you ever wonder what Father Christmas does when his Christmas duties are over?  In this charming story, you will meet a-little-bit grumpy version of Father Christmas and will see all the little chores he does after Christmas – not only that, he actually goes on vacation!  If your little one hasn’t seen this yet, buy a copy and they will get hooked.  The video isn’t that long, but this will give you a little bit of free time in your hands if you plonk your kids in front of the television (yes, bad I know.  But hey, it’s all about Father Christmas!) and if you’re lucky, your child will also want to watch it more than once, giving you more freedom!  Whoppie!

The Snowman is probably my daughter’s favourite among the three.  This she watches three times, one after the other.  This doesn’t have any dialogue – just music and images.  It’s a classic story of a little boy who makes a snowman and the snowman comes to life … for one night at least.  In the morning, the snowman is gown, melted away.  If you’re not familiar with Father Christmas, you might find it a sad story.  But if you buy all three movies, especially Father Christmas, you’ll know that every year, as long as James (the little boy) makes a snowman, there will always be a snowman (or did I make that one up? haha).

As for The Bear, my little one finds it a bit “scar” for a little two year old.  It’s a heartwarming story about how a little bear is “stolen” from her family and winds up in a London zoo.  If you want to watch more, watch the movie!  Better yet, watch all three.  It’s worth having and keeping for your children.  A word of warning though, don’t expect Disney or Pixar type of animation, especially since it was made sometime in the 80s.  All three movies look like a story-book-come-to-life with moving images.  I find that the lack of effects even makes the movie more charming, more sincere, more “true”.  It’s charm I guess lies in its simplicity.  If you order them at Amazon, you can buy all three for £15+.  A definite must-buy for all little ones, especially if you want to slowly introduce Father Christmas to them to avoid out bursts or “little accidents’ like we had.