Sunday, 11 October 2015

October is here - that can only mean one thing......

Ok, before we start please don't get mad, but can you believe that we are just 10 Friday's away from Christmas?!? Utter madness.

We love Christmas in our family. My dad is our family's equivalent of Clark Griswold. It was and still is tradition that our family Christmas tree goes up the weekend of my birthday,  27th November and with Tom's birthday being the 2nd December this tradition has run into our household. Yes I know it's early but we prefer the run up and magic to Christmas, as soon as the big day is over and Boxing Day has passed there's not a decoration in sight with Christmas cards whipped off the mantle piece by breakfast on the 28th as we race towards new year, I mean who wants to look at a tree with no pressies under it?!?

In the run up, our house would be filled with the cd Sounds of Blackness Christmas and The Carpenters Christmas, garish Christmas decorations that we've acquired over the years would come out, be hung in inappropriate places by Dad only to be pulled down once Mum got home from work and be replaced with more tasteful ones and in more recent years white and grey to compliment the houses three hundred shades of grey! It was like that then, it's like that now, nothing has changed. 

Being from Scandinavian and European descendants we go big for Christmas Eve and it's something now I'm married I'm very grateful for as I never have to pick family sides for Chritmas Day! Since Tom and I have been together we always spend Christmas Eve morning with his family (it's Tom's dad's birthday) with Christmas Eve spent stuffing our face with all sorts of delicious food that has been brought together by my grandparents, mum and auntie. We open lots of presents and more recently started a tradition of Christmas pjs for the little people in our family! Christmas Day comes with the traditional full English brekkie served at Mick Donald's by dad who insists on grilling on the BBQ despite Decembers biting low temperatures. Gifts are opened, Champagne and Bucks Fizz is consumed and we race down to Thames Ditton to do the main event with Tom's family.

The GREATEST Christmas film ever. Fact.

There's no denying it, I love Christmas. 

This year we will be starting early! I am part of a team organising the turning on of our village Cobham's Christmas lights which is being held on Friday November 27th. It's a great event where all the shops in the village stay open late and there's a wonderful aroma of mulled wine and Christmas spice in the air. This year will be no exception and Father Christmas will pay the village a special visit to join the parade and Dragon's Den and local resident Theo Paphitis will kick off the festive period by turning on our lights. It's magical and if you're local it's a must for the kids!

Cobham At Christmas - November 27th 2015

Which brings me on to my next question, where is the ultimate place  to visit the big man himself?? 

For Charlie's first Christmas we insisted on Harrods. There was no denying it it was lovely, but at the same time a total pain in the backside trudging up to London with a baby in tow whilst co-ordinating feed times so we learnt from our mistake and the following year we searched for something closer to home and boy did we find something! 

I wanted magic, sparkle and more importantly I needed to believe that the big man really was THE big man and I'm pretty sure we found him. 

Painshill Park in Cobham is right on our doorstop here in Cobham and every year they open up their grounds for families to book tickets and stroll through the dimly lit windy paths to the world famous crystal grotto where you'll be greeted by some of the North Poles finest selection of elves. The elves call you one by one for an audience with Father Christmas himself and he's a good'un. Tubby in all the right places and a fantastic white as snow long fluffy beard. The thing I liked about meeting Father Christmas at Painshill was there was no rushing.

The beautiful crystal grotto looks even more breathtaking at Christmas

Yes there are allocated time slots but when we were in there with him and the kids were sitting on his knee telling him their long lists of Christmas wants us parents were free to take loads of pictures without someone geeing you on therefore enabling you to get that perfect family shot. After the children are individually given a fantastic age appropriate present, that's on top of the colouring book they got to keep them amused in the waiting room and all for £9 per child.

It took quite some time to get this photo but we weren't rushed.  

Father Christmas also loved a selfie!

Ok, there is one downside. It books up fast, really fast so you have to be on the ball and book early. We've just booked and have managed to secure the date and time we wanted but even if you have to settle for a not so ideal date or time it's really worth it I promise you! You can click here which will take you through to the booking screen. 

This year we've also been lucky enough to secure tickets to one of the UK's top Christmas attractions that the mummies over on mumsnet have raved about, Lapland UK. I look forward to taking the kids there and letting all you lovely lot know what we thought and with a high bar being set from Painshill it'll be interesting to see what we get for our money! 

This Surrey Mummy 
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