Special Hot Chocolate, Santa’s Postbox & Teddy Bear Hospitals

The girls and I have started our Christmas celebrations early as usual πŸ™‚ I decided to make some of my own gift tags for presents this year. It was really easy, but they look very homemade πŸ™‚ (Avert your eyes if you’re expecting a present from me!)

I’ve been so grateful for the library since the weather has worsened. The girls and I have been going there for craft mornings. Last week, they made some cows and chickens with googly eyes πŸ™‚ I’ve started to get books out too. I find that I read much faster when I read paperbacks than books on my Kindle and it feels much more relaxing. Feeling like there is a deadline makes me stop procrastinating too πŸ™‚ We followed the library with a hot chocolate date at Cafe Nero. It’s so Christmassy in there πŸ™‚

That afternoon, we went to the free kids’ cinema near us. Afterwards, we went to Victoria Park and had a walk around the pond. The weather was really bright and Wintery. When we got home, I decided to get the girls to help me to decorate for Christmas. I put the lights on the tree and then they added all the decorations πŸ™‚ I’ve been enjoying sitting beside the Christmas tree at night with a candle, a book and some tea πŸ™‚

We went for a walk at Rowallane (a National Trust property.) I love when the holly berries come out there because they have red and yellow berries. I don’t remember seeing that anywhere else before. The leaves on the trees are all really striking colours at the moment. The girls played with the toys in the barn, and we walked all around the grounds. I had a look in the second-hand book shop too πŸ™‚

My dad and I went back to a local garden centre for coffee and breakfast. They had added more Christmas displays since the previous week and there were singing reindeer πŸ™‚

This Friday, after I picked the girls up from school, I made them “special” hot chocolate. We added squirty cream, marshmallows, sprinkles and a gingerbread man πŸ™‚ They really enjoyed it, but as usual, my younger daughter only ate the toppings πŸ™‚ I found a game and a puzzle in a charity shop that day while my kids were at school, so we played them. The game I found was really unique – it contains drawings of various objects made by kids and you have to guess what they are supposed to be to win cards πŸ™‚

This Saturday, I took the girls back to the craft morning at the library. They made little autumnal wreaths and it absorbed them for a long time. I got some more books because I ended up reading three since our visit the previous week πŸ™‚ We had a bit of an emotional weekend, so I took the girls to Pizza Express to cheer us up. Pizzas were less than Β£7 this week and the girls got kids’ meals. I did spend extra on a Christmas drink though – it was a festive mimosa πŸ™‚ It was really nice but sadly they didn’t include the promised pomegranate seeds πŸ™‚

On Sunday, we got the bus into town and went to the Christmas market. It was packed but it was better than I remember it being πŸ™‚ We started with some mulled wine/winterberry cordial for the girls. It was freezing outside so it was nice to have a warm drink and usually I have to drive home so it was a novelty being able to have a drink πŸ™‚ We wandered around and had a look and then we got some Spanish food for lunch. I had paella and salted chilli chicken and the girls had some of my chicken and got chips with aioli. After lunch, they went on the Helter Skelter. They also found some Peruvian knitted finger puppets πŸ™‚ They got some bags of candy floss and then we walked around to 2 Royal Avenue to see what was on.

When we got there, the Santa’s postbox was open, so we queued for that. Even the girls said it was worth the wait πŸ™‚ They had a proper workshop with elves working in it and they gave the girls paper and Christmassy pencils and stamps to write their Santa letters. Then, they sprinkled the letters with “magic dust” and a really hyper elf posted them into the postbox with the girls and awarded them with a sticker πŸ™‚

Afterwards, we walked around and found a teddy bears’ hospital on the other side of the building. There were some funny actors pretending to be doctors and instructing the girls on silly ways in which to treat the injured bears. They had to go round the wards and tuck them all into bed, hug and tickle them. They had stretchers and a wheelbarrow ambulance and some really funny staff πŸ™‚ The girls loved it and my younger daughter didn’t want to leave πŸ™‚

We stopped for hot chocolate afterwards so we could sit down somewhere a bit more peaceful πŸ™‚ Then, we had a last look around the market and got the bus home. I think the novelty of getting the bus was as exciting for the girls as all the other things we did that day πŸ™‚

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