I have been busy being involved in Xmas events through work so it has been pretty full on with the festivities and Santa visits there too. so really a bit sick of the sight of him!!!!
I have tried to restrict and choose what i have done to allow the kids some experiences i think are worth the money and more than just a Santa trip! The eldest is already asking questions though as he is noticing the distinct differences between them and how busy he seems to be even though he is meant to be busy making presents.....
Our first visit of the season was to a local soft play centre, it offered play, a Xmas dinner (absolutely amazing too) and visit to Santa for the children, it was a really lovely experience as it was limited in numbers so there was no rush and there was plenty of time for Santa to give each child a bit of one to one attention as he walked around the room, the cost of this was really good too, we would of paid the same for Sunday lunch out for the four of us so the added visit to Santa and use of play equipment was a real added bonus in the price.
Another event we went to was in our local furniture store, it was completely free but required booking in advance, there was a fire pit outside to toast marshmellows, chesnuts roasting, music playing, mulled wine for mum! The children were led into the grotto complete with fireplace and chimney, as the booking had been made in advance and we had checked in on arrival Santa knew the children's names and their presents (very good quality) had personalised tags which was a really nice touch, after their unrushed visit they were offered to leave through the chimney, the way Santa had come in, this added a really magical touch to the experience. The visit was followed by a carol service and more mulled wine for mum so a really authentic Xmas experience, most definitely one i will repeat.
Now work is finished i am keen to enjoy the run up to Xmas with the kids and spending time doing things to create memories, baking cakes, icing the Xmas cake, visit the church where the children have taken work to be displayed with the school, visiting with family/friends and try to avoid too many more Santa stops! Lets share the true meaning of Xmas not the commercial Santa stops to get more and more presents, although not religious i do want the kids to learn Xmas is more than gifts and money.
Happy Christmas all