Chocolate Gingerbread Houses, Paper Stockings & Reindeer Trails

After a very busy week, the calm of this weekend was much needed 🙂 We were lucky enough to win the school hamper (for a second time since the girls started school.) The kids were so excited and unpacking it all was a lovely start to our weekend together. It makes such a big difference to us and I’m so grateful we won it 🙂

Our lovely neighbour got the girls a chocolate gingerbread house kit. As soon as they saw it, they wanted to make it 🙂 It didn’t involve much cutting and it was all glued together with melted chocolate so it was quite straightforward to make 🙂 The girls loved sticking the chocolate buttons on at the end. It was a peaceful start to the weekend, especially after fighting our way through the traffic to get home 🙂

My daughter converted the hamper box into a play pen and pretended she was a baby. It kept her occupied for a really long time 🙂 I love how cardboard boxes entertain kids for so long.

On Saturday, we returned to the folk museum (we have membership there now.) The novelty of the snow machine never seems to wear off for the girls. They danced in the snow and screamed excitedly every time a flurry appeared 🙂 We got to sample some Christmas pudding that had been warmed over the fire and we had some more mulled punch 🙂 Then, we went into the church hall for crafts. The girls made stockings using the templates provided and cotton wool. Then, they insisted on making paper teardrops, which looked much more complicated to make than they ended up being 🙂 We made some paper snowflakes and had a chat with the ladies that were working there.

Afterwards, we visited the rectory and got some Christmas cake. The girls love looking around that house and I would quite happily move in too. We went to a storytelling session in another church hall, but the girls’ attention spans didn’t stretch to make it through the whole story! We went for a walk around to see the cinema, the donkeys and we listened to carols in the coal yard. They were singing and doing actions for the kids and my daughter loved it. We walked around the countryside. It was peaceful but there wasn’t much happening there. The girls befriended a sheep and ran away from the chickens 🙂 We had a quick coffee/juice in the cafe and then went home. I always feel refreshed after going there and like we’ve been on a little holiday into the past 🙂

I decided to try to make some Scandinavian cookies I saw in a YouTube video. They were unlike any cookies I’ve made before, but they were so quick to make. You make a shortbread-type of dough and then top it with an egg wash, nuts and sugar. I rolled them out and flattened them and then cut them into little squares. They turned out well, but the girls didn’t think much of them – as they usually don’t of anything containing nuts – other than peanut butter at least!

Today, we went to the zoo for the festive weekend. One of the girls’ tickets was free so it was a good time to go. It looked very Christmassy when we entered but I didn’t notice it being hugely festive throughout. It was a great time to see the animals though. The hedges were cut back so you could see into the enclosures more easily than in the summer. We got to see the giraffes and zebras, the lions and some monkeys up close. One monkey came and sat on the windowsill behind its glass and watched us for ages. I wanted to take it home 🙂 We had a picnic for lunch and I brought some mince pie flavoured tea with me 🙂 Santa was driving around in the zoo buggy dropping presents off for the animals throughout the day. We completed a trail where the girls had to spot pictures of reindeer to enter a competition to win a goody bag. They enjoyed just looking out for the reindeer along the way and I found it made it easier to motivate them to keep climbing the hill 🙂 We made it to the Treetop cafe at the top of the hill, but the free festive treats that were advertised weren’t there. It was still a lovely day out and because it was cold, it was quieter than usual. The girls always love going to the adventure playground there and I always like to see the pygmy marmosets and the flamingos 🙂 It was a very misty day, but it made the place feel much more Christmassy 🙂

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