I have probably been sickening my kids with Christmas activities recently. They will either grow up to adore Christmas or they’ll refuse to ever celebrate it again! There are just so many Christmas-themed things I love to do in December. This weekend, we started with vanilla cookies on a cold afternoon 🙂 It has been so icy here with skiffs of snow and I like the fact that our area looks like a Christmas card scene. So, it felt like the right time for a cosy activity 🙂 And the recipe we use makes so many cookies that we have a good supply for a couple of weeks/we can share them with family 🙂 The girls enjoyed cutting and decorating them and the whole process takes a while so it’s a good way to fill an afternoon with kids 🙂 We also got a book recommended by a friend called The Jolly Postman. It was a Christmas version and the girls loved opening the flaps and playing the games in it. Afterwards, we watched a movie and had some pizza and ice-cream. I love our Friday night ritual as much as the girls do 🙂
On Saturday, we went to a workshop that was held at the Mac. It’s a theatre/art gallery that holds lots of events for kids. We unexpectedly ran into a friend that I made my kids’ book with. She was working there, and it was lovely to catch up 🙂 The girls made Christmas wishes for the Christmas trees there. They just had to decorate paper baubles, tie them with pipe cleaners and write their Christmas wishes on them. It was a lovely idea, and we are always happy to find a free workshop 🙂 Afterwards, we got some hot chocolate with marshmallows in the cafe. We were sitting in the middle of a work Christmas party, but there were several events happening at once and there was a very festive atmosphere 🙂 There was a Santa grotto there, Christmas music and people drinking mulled wine.
Afterwards, we drove to the cinema to watch Matilda the Musical. I was really impressed by how original they managed to make it. The girls enjoyed it and we brought our own snacks and enjoyed the recliners and getting to sit in the big screen for a change. (Usually, we go to see older movies in our local cinema in the smaller screens.) Their Christmas displays were also really impressive for a cinema.
We had our own little pizza party at home and the girls did their own toppings. We just used a quick dough recipe that didn’t require yeast and they added whatever they wanted (within reason!)
On Sunday, we went for a Wintery walk in Rowallane. I was surprised by how snowy it was there because it is only ten miles from our house and there was no ice at our house at all. It felt very Christmassy and everything looked so beautiful in the snow. The girls enjoyed making snowballs out of snow they found on the leaves of the trees. We brought our own hot chocolate and wrapped up warm. Inside the house, we found some Christmas crafts. They had some make and take activities with simple instructions. There were bookmarks to make out of recycled Christmas cards, letters to Santa and making tree decorations from twigs and twine. They also had Christmas storytelling in the new secondhand bookshop. I had a look around while the girls listened to some Wintery stories. I found a book I wanted to read, and they found a notebook they agreed to share because they both wanted it 🙂 They had placed wrapped books on the table with little hints written on them as to what the books inside were – as pre-wrapped stocking fillers. I thought that was a really unusual idea 🙂
We got some scavenger hunt sheets from the craft room and we went for a short walk in the snow to find the things on the list. We just had to search for pine cones and needles and natural materials. The girls were cold by the end of our walk, so we went to my mum’s house for a joint birthday party for my nieces. The kids had a great time playing with their cousins and they had their dinner at a little kids’ table while the adults ate at the kitchen table 🙂
I’m enjoying the fact that there has been no rain in Belfast for a while. It’s cheering to have sunny spells during the day and frost. I took a photo the other day of my car window because there were snowflakes on it (like the kind that are traditionally crafted but that you rarely see!) It has been freezing but I love having some Mulled Wine or tea on a Winter’s night and having a peaceful read while the girls are in bed 🙂
If you want to see our adventures, feel free to check out/subscribe to my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZwl-TjZsD8