My Sunday Photo 16th December 2018

In Search of the Christmas Spirit

a large outdoor Christmas tree in front of a church with a reindeer sitting on a bench

I have been feeling like something is missing so have been searching for some Christmas Spirit.

We had hoped to go to Bletchley Park this Christmas to see what it would be like to celebrate a 1940s Christmas. But sadly we had to put off our plans so I have been looking for something else to do. Star suggested going to the Christmas Markets in the City Centre and I ran with that idea. I’ve not  been for a few years.

Wet and Miserable

Getting out of the house was easy for a change. There were no meltdowns or grumpiness, no lost shoes or coats and everyone was in good spirits. But, it was raining and cold. Sitting in the car we almost changed our minds to go somewhere indoors instead, but it’s hard to deal with changes of plans so we set off for the markets. If it was too awful to stay outside we always had the Bull Ring shopping centre to hide in.

We left the car park and it was raining hard, we were all wrapped up but it was still freezing cold. My wheelchair is not supposed to get too wet so shelter had to be sought. So we went into the Bull Ring and was greeted straight away by a live band. It was too loud for Star and the Little Man so we quickly made our way through the crowds until the music lowered in decibels enough to hear each other. 

The kids went into Smiggles to spend their  pocket money and left 10 mins later with books, pencil cases, squishies and slime. Then we decided to see what it was like outside and whether we could actually make it to the markets.

It was still wet and cold and the kids just wanted to go home. We took a look at the Christmas tree outside St Martin’s Church and I felt happy that this year they had gone for a real looking tree rather than some artistic interpretation of a tree like they had last time I came. Next to the tree was a bench with a reindeer and some fixed antlers, perfect for a photo opportunity. The girls were not keen on going up but the Little Man and his Dad did. 

The Little Man did not understand he was supposed to fit in the antlers and Dad got frustrated trying to get him in the right place. This caused the Little Man to become upset and by the time I took the photo they both looked miserable. The girls were miserable waiting around. The weather was miserable and I was cold and wet.

Christmas spirit – Bah Humbug.

We found the car and went home.

There is still a whole week to feel the Christmas Spirit, but I’m 99% sure it will be found at home, not anywhere cold and wet. 

Sunday Snap

My Sunday Photo December 2nd 2018

It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

The tree is up!

Yesterday we decided to put up the Christmas decorations.  Boo had gone out with a friend for the day but Star and the Little Man were quite keen to help with the tree and in fact I just let them get on with it. 

We’ve chosen a new home for the tree this year and it’s a bigger space than usual. Now, I’m thinking that my tree looks way too small. Or my kids are getting real big. Or a mixture of both. After Christmas I’m getting rid of this tree and buying a new, bigger one next year. 

I always think Christmas trees look better in the window, when I was growing up we always lived in houses with big bay windows and that would be were our Tree was put up each year. In this house we do not even have a window! What we do have is large patio doors, but you can’t really put a tree in front of them. 

Ah, we don’t even have a chimney for poor Father Christmas!

Have you put up your Christmas decorations yet?

Sunday Snap

My Sunday Photo – Christmas Tree

We normally wait until December, but it’s near enough.
I let the kids decorate the tree and then I tidy it up afterwards, I can’t be doing with two baubles on one branch!

When do you put your Christmas tree up and do you let the children decorate or do it while they are not around?


Twelve Things That Make My Christmas!

On the first day of Christmas….I love looking out for Christmas lights, small or big I love how everything lights up at Christmas time. Christmas trees sparkling in windows, huge light displays along shopping precincts. I don’t do it myself but I love seeing houses that have gone over the top with lights everywhere. In my own home I am a little more conservative but I love having a twinkly tree. I adore fairy lights and have them all year around in the bedrooms, but Christmas lights are the best and a sure way of getting me in the mood for Christmas.

On the Second day of Christmas….we have the Christmas Markets. I live in a big city and each year there is a big market from Frankfurt, Germany. Adorable wooden huts adorn the city centre streets and the German visitors sell their wares. We also have an adjoining craft fair of wonderful hand made items. Best of all is the lovely food available, I cannot resist a Bratwurst sausage and a cup of Gluwhien but my all time favourite is the gorgeous Schokukuss, chocolate kisses.

On the third day of Christmas…’s time for Christmas shopping. Now, I admit it’s no fun with kids in tow, a ton of things to buy and crowds of people trying to do the same. However, give me an afternoon on my own, a small list of special people to buy for and plenty of money and I’ll happily join the crowds and queues. There is nothing that makes you feel in the Christmas spirit than arriving home after a busy shop laden with presents.

On the fourth day of Christmas…. let’s put up the Christmas tree. I always put mine up the first week in December. It’s my birthday the last week in November so it just doesn’t feel right putting it up before, but really I can’t wait. I love bringing out the tree (not real for me, too much mess and the cats would destroy it) and getting the kids to help decorate it. We always put some Christmas music on in the background to get us in the mood. I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to the tree, we fill it with all sorts, home made decorations, glittery baubles of different colours, and special ornaments we have collected over the years, including some lovely white snowmen my mum bought me just before she passed away. On top we always have a golden fairy.

On the fifth day of Christmas….I will write my Christmas cards. This usually consists of a couple of hours helping the littlies to write cards to their school friends, and ten minutes of writing my own. It makes you think of all the people you rarely see and wonder if they will turn up this year. Christmas is a time of thinking of other’s and this is what you do when you write them a card.

On the Sixth day of Christmas… The Christmas cake will be decorated. Now, I love my traditional Christmas cake and it will be baked sometime in November. Each week I’ll bring it out of its air tight tin and greasproof paper wrapping and ‘feed’ it a tablespoon of brandy. This is definitely not a cake for the littlies. I love decorating cakes and long to decorate my Christmas cake traditionally with royal icing and little plastic figures, just like my mum used to make. However, I don’t really like royal icing, I much prefer fondant icing, but I do still use marzipan. You really feel like Christmas is on the way when the cake is finally decorated.

On the Seventh day of Christmas…. the Christmas spirit arrives by my nose. The smell of mince pies baking, or sherry trifle. Oranges and cloves as we get ready for Kristingle. Apple, cinnamon, gingerbread and peppermint candy canes. Not forgetting the smell of pine trees. Very soon it will be time for the smell of roast turkey and Christmas pudding…..mmmmmmmm

On the eight day of Christmas….. We attend the School Nativity. There is nothing that says Christmas more than watching your children and all their school friends re-enact the Christmas story. These days a lot of schools veer away from the nativity and have other musical shows instead, but for me, Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus and I’m quite happy for my children to share the wonderful story of his birth.

On the ninth day of Christmas….we watch Christmas movies. There is nothing like cuddling up on the settee on a cold winters day with the Christmas tree lights twinkling and watching a good Christmas movie. There are so many to choose from, The Polar Express, Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, Scrooged everyone has a favourite.

On the tenth day of Christmas….Oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is, it’s time for a pantomine. Such a wonderful, fun Christmas tradition watching a familiar story brought to life on the stage with larger than life character and heaps of laughs. It really is time for Christmas when the pantomines arrive.

On the eleventh day of Christmas… we visit Father Christmas, ok the littlies know he’s not the real Santa, just one of his helpers. How lovely to see their little faces light up as they meet the special man and tell him what they want him to bring them for Christmas, while I have my fingers tightly crossed that they say something that I’ve already bought for them.

On the Twelfth day of Christmas…we follow Norad Tracks Santa and wait for the big man to arrive. There is nothing more exciting on Christmas Eve than seeing where Santa has been already and watching him travel all over the world. Then it’s time for bed as we anxiously await his arrival to our house with all our lovely gifts. Merry Christmas!

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 December challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Sherwood Forest.

The tip that inspired me the most was :
4. Meeting the man himself – what better way for you to get in the Christmas mood than by visiting Santa and his little helpers in Santa’s Woodland Workshop?

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.