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Showing posts with label December. Show all posts
Showing posts with label December. Show all posts

Tis the season...

Image via Pinterest
Oh tis the season to be jolly!! (that is enough of my singing!)

December is always a busy month, days packed with adventure and magic - trying to squeeze in Christmas activities and see friends and family too.  I thought it would be fun to do a little festive round up of things we are doing and what you can do too.  Some are local events, and others are global... so all can get involved.

  • Join the lantern parade.  Our local community and schools are coming together on Saturday for lantern parade through the streets.  
  • Visit Father Christmas!  Possibly the best thing about Christmas is seeing the wonder in your childs face when talking to Santa.  It's the best!  We are going to see FC at National Trust Tyntesfield this year.
  • Give to people in need.  The homeless and the vulnerable - be a caring citizen and give to someone who needs it this year.
  • Visit the Theatre.  Lots of beautiful children's christmas productions are touring the country at this time of year.  Some good ones locally are:  101 Dalmations at the Tobacco Factory, Swallows and Amazons at the Bristol Old Vic and Rumpelstiltskin and the Egg, Theatre Royal, Bath.
  • Donate toys and clothes to the charity shops.
  • Go for a skate - Ice-skating is such a wonderful family event at Christmas.  We are heading to the rink by @Bristol in Bristol centre.
  • Chop down your Christmas tree.  As a family we LOVE doing this, and head to a farm just outside Bristol.
  • Go carolling.  Not door to door, as that is annoying.  But join in with a choir on the street.  It's so uplifting.
  • Christmas shopping at a local craft market.  Every town has one nowadays.  Support your local artist.  Bristol is such a creative city and two good ones are Made in Bristol at the Colston Hall and Christmas at the Orangery
  • See the Christmas lights switch on.
  • Be aware of your neighbours who may be alone this Christmas.  A card and some mince pies will make someone's day.
  • Gather in greenery, red berries, ivy - make a beautiful centre piece or great swags over a mirror like this.
  • Take time to have a night out with your friends, indulge in spicy cocktails and really laugh loud!

Have a lovely festive season - it really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Take a peek at my Christmas pin board for some Christmassy inspriation (if you are not bored of Christmas already!).


Image via here
So here it is.  December.  The month of magic and sparkle.  

Wishes are made, eyes filled with wonder and joy.  The month of thinking about your nearest and dearest, buying gifts, will they like it?  Eating the first Mince Pie, making  the cake, indulging in spiced cocktails.  Singing carols, ice skating, seeing the Christmas lights.  Frosty mornings, dark evenings filled with candles and lights. Mittens covered in snow from throwing snowballs.  The smell of pine needles, wrestling with the tree - falling over. The story of the nativity, sung by a 5 year old, will always make me weep.  Seeing family and friends.  Parties. Your favourite bauble.  Gingerbread houses.  Elvis singing Christmas.  Elf on the TV.  Grandma's Christmas earrings. Wrapping gifts and forgetting who it's for. One too many sherry's.

Oh December you are such a nostalgic, beautiful, magical month - welcome!

For more December nostalgia and magic have a look at my December board....

Follow Lou Archell | littlegreenshed December on Pinterest

Did you open the first day of your advent today?  Please add your advent link (if you have one) - even if it's one you made years ago, it will be lovely to see it.  My link up is here.

Longleat to meet Father Christmas...

I had always thought that Longleat Safari Park was a place to visit in the summer, or at least in warmer times of the year.  But when I was kindly given tickets to visit by Moneysupermarket  to review as one of Britain's best days out... I jumped at the chance.

After looking through what was on over the Christmas period, my excitement grew.  A chance to ride a steam train to meet Father Christmas!  My two sons will flip with joy at the sight.

So just 3 days before Christmas... we set off early to Wiltshire.

As we arrived the sun just started to shine. The long road snaking down the hillside towards the big house, gave us sneaky views of golden lions on large gates, a giant Christmas Tree and an Ice Rink. We opted to experience the Safari before the Christmas delights at the Mansion House.  

We travelled up through woodland and came out to the top of the hillside.  Stretching down before us we could see small dots of animals. From the back seat there was squeals of 'I can see a Giraffe' or 'Is that a Rhino?', their excitement was infectious.  We started from the top, and after a quick loo stop, we drove through the enclosures of the Giraffes, Zebra's and Rhino's.  And then on to the Monkey enclosure.

Please excuse the high pitched squeals.  Yep - one of our family highlights!  The little blighters. You can opt out of the Monkey enclosure if you don't want to risk your aerial!

Then forward... into Big Cat territory.  Rufus, my youngest is a big cat fan.  He sleeps every night with his toy tiger 'Tigey' which he had on our first family visit to Longleat 3 years ago.  Tigey had come with this time to return to his homeland and say hi to his fellow Tigers.

We really didn't expect to see the Tigers so close.  I thought they would be lounging in their huts.. sleeping.  Happily, no.  They were prowling around, a huge beast crossed the road within metres of us.  It was breathtaking.  Paws the size of dinner plates.  At this point my boys were hushed in the awe of such a gorgeous creature.

We followed the road on into the lion's area.  When suddenly we came to a stop.  Two lionesses bounded across the road, quickly followed a by a line of tiny lion cubs. We all squealed with delight! Nine leaping, lion cubs (could be part of the 12 days of Christmas?).. snuffled, climbed and played amongst the trees.

The Safari was such a delight, much excitement and wonder.  It truly didn't disappoint. It really didn't matter that we were on a day out in December, the sun was bright, and most of the Safari was spent in the warmth of the car.

On to the house for a date with the man in red.  I had already bought tickets quite easily via the Longleat website, using their on-line booking system.  I had printed off the tickets at home, and advised them of the ages and names of my boys before they arrived to meet Father Christmas.  

We arrived at the train station in good time.  Everywhere was bedecked with garlands and baubles. Christmas music was playing.  We boarded the Santa Express, a small red steam train with beautiful bright yellow carriages. As the train set off, past the lake, we could see the Sea Lions jumping up around the paddle steamer.

Rounding the corner we gasped at the sight - a winter wonderland.  Snow!  As the train pulled into stop, we could see an avenue of fir trees and lanterns, marking the way through the snow covered woodland.  We jumped out of the carriage and ran up the path.  Past the Elves and on to the little wooden cabin at the end.  Hesitantly Rufus knocked on the snow covered door... it creaked open and a smiling elf stood there.

'What's your name?' she asked.  
'Rufus' he replied
'Well you better come in and meet him' she said.

We stepped through the door.  The warm glow of a real roaring fire lit up the faces of the elves and there sat beside the fireplace was Father Christmas in his long red coat and black boots.  Father Christmas asked the boys if they had been good, and said he knew they had done well at school and were kind to their friends.  He then gave them gifts with their names on, and wished us a very Merry Christmas.

It was truly magical.  Snow covered Lapland had come to Longleat.  He had even bought six of his reindeer too.  We waited by the steam train until all of the passengers had in turn seen Father Christmas.. when his last visitor had been, he walked down to the train to wave us all off.  A really lovely touch.

Back at the house, we visited the Jungle Kingdom and the Adventure Castle.  We feasted on mince pies and drank mulled wine.  Watched the ice skating and listened to the singing Christmas tree.

There really is so much to see at Christmas time in Longleat.  Next year I might book to see the Pantomime too.  

Thank you Tots 100 and Moneysupermarket for giving us such a magical family adventure.

merry christmas dear friends...

Wishing you all the most wonderful of Christmasses!
I am signing off now until sometime later...
To spend much needed time with my family, to play board games, build Lego creations, eat, drink, laugh and love much.
I am sure you are all looking forward to doing the very same.
Have a wonderful, wonderful holiday.
And thank you so much for your kind words and support you have given me, this blog and my work.. I am hugely grateful.
Off to wrap some more gifts.

Bath, bloggers and buns...

To wander the streets of Bath is a treat at any time of year.
But add a sprinkle of Christmas magic and the chance to meet up with fellow bloggers makes the day perfectly special.
We all took too many photographs, talked about the joys and inspirations behind our blogs and what we love about each others.
Bonded over haberdashery in the Makery Emporium.
Ate noodles, regaled stories of our children, life and blogging.
Fell in love with a beautiful bakers and it's cakes.
Ooo'd and Ahhh'd in Toast.
And came away with stronger friendships and a promise to make it a regular event.
It's lovely when that happens isn't it?
Thanks ladies - here's to more!

planning on what to do..

I've been looking back at last years decorations.
Thinking of where things will go and what I need to get.
These images above are from last year.
As you can see - my home last year was handmade decorations and full on colour!
This time last year we had just re-decorated the lounge after having the log burner installed - ah best thing ever!
This year I am thinking of paler hues of white, grey and a bit of gold shimmer.
We will see - I know I don't have long at all.
But I could still pull it off!
I can't wait
More of our Christmas past can be found over here.
Have a lovely weekend!

p.s Happy Birthday my love! Enjoy your Christmas works do.  (on his birthday, hahah!)


This December there is a lot going on!
I just had to write it all down to kind of get my head around it...
I have missed my manifesto's...I am going to start up again, it's good to have goals, don't ya think?
What are you up to this month? (except the big day)

1st day...time to start Elving

Okay it's the 1st of December!
Only 24 more sleeps til Father Christmas comes down the chimney (Yes I am a believer!).
I haven't felt much like making anything for Christmas before now, but last night I made a start.
I baked the Christmas Cake - yay!  Smells wonderful.
I've been looking on Pinterest for some Christmas inspiration for decorating the home this year.. wow there are some amazing crafty makes out there.
Here are just a few on my board - go take a peek!
I have a few ideas up my sleeve, I've just bought some coloured card and may make some colourful garlands with Rufus this afternoon.
One thing is for sure, it's going to be merry and BRIGHT!

More christmas inspiration over here.

Also some exciting news about a GIVEAWAY later..... watch this space!