Winter Beach Walks, Book Gifts & Starting Scrapbooks

I don’t think we have had a very eventful Christmas but it has been cosy and I have been recovering from the frantic build-up to it 🙂 On Christmas Eve, I took the girls to the beach in the morning. It was bitterly cold but really refreshing and there were only a few dog walkers there at that time. We went to the playground adjacent to the beach and I watched the sea while the girls played on the slide and climbing frame 🙂 I was glad of the gloves and tea I brought as it was almost unbearably cold, but it made us appreciate the heat even more when we got back into the car afterwards. We had some Christmas cake and went for a walk along the beach. The girls climbed on rocks and collected any unusual shells they found. We walked to another playground near the beach with a pirate ship climbing frame at it. We were the only ones there and it felt really peaceful.

On the way home, we stopped to get a treat. The girls picked out penguin shortbread and hot chocolate and I had a gingerbread latte. We got some Christmassy outfits and returned home so I could start preparing the food. I made a trifle which is probably designed for fifteen people and that we won’t finish, but I still like to make all the trimmings and make a feast for the girls (even though they rarely eat much of it!)

I decided to start a new tradition instead of Christmas Eve boxes. I read about an Icelandic tradition of giving books and chocolate on Christmas Eve and spending the day reading and eating chocolate. I got the girls some longer books for bedtime. I usually read novels to them after they’ve got into bed – it’s the one time I can get them to stay put to listen for that long 🙂

We put out Bailey’s and a mince pie for Santa, using a little Santa cookie dish my daughter made in school 🙂 I set the table for breakfast time with Christmas light necklaces for each of us and a tablecloth you can colour in 🙂 This proved popular since my kids love to come up with any activity to do at the table other than eating 🙂

On Christmas day, after the very early unwrapping of presents, we had croissants with Christmas jam and I had lots of coffee to revive myself after my early wake-up call. My neighbour kindly delivered a calypso coffee to the door for me 🙂 We are lucky to have such lovely neighbours 🙂 As usual, with the coffee, I thought to consume first and photograph later 🙂

After the girls went to bed on Christmas Eve, I made my own crackers for the first time. They were snap-less ones, but the girls appreciated them and I was surprised that you could still pull them properly 🙂 I filled them with sweets and some handwritten jokes. We played Christmas bingo and Who Am I? The girls loved the little hats you attach the name cards to, but they kept sneaking off to tell each other the answers, to read their names in the mirror and to give each other far too-revealing clues 🙂 I’ve started watching old musicals and classic movies I watched as a kid with them too. It’s funny how the addition of music and dancing holds their attention for so much longer 🙂

On Boxing Day, we took the girls’ new scooters to the park. It was bitterly cold, but the fresh air did us good, and I always find the girls easier to manage in a playground 🙂 I even squeezed in some reading on a park bench 🙂 When we got home, I made a homemade giant sausage roll and the girls devoured it 🙂 I love the combination of sausage rolls and cranberry sauce at Christmas time 🙂 We played a new board game the girls got for Christmas. It’s a princess version of Ludo and seems to be the game of the moment 🙂 We had Christmas dinner number two. I think I enjoy Christmas dinner more on the second day because it’s so effortless and I have the energy to eat it by the time I sit down 🙂

The next day, the girls got out their new scrapbook sets and worked on decorating pages in them. I got some turkish delight hot chocolate from my parents for Christmas, so I made some of it with the leftover cream from the trifle and it was one of the most comforting hot drinks I’ve ever tasted 🙂 The girls had some regular hot chocolate as I thought their sensitive taste buds wouldn’t approve of rose flavouring.

Apart from that, we have just been going for walks and stopping to spot signs of Winter along the way. My daughter was very excited to uncover some snowdrops 🙂 That was the first time I’ve noticed them this year and I associate them with icy January walks. That might be one consolation for Christmas coming to an end 🙂

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