Decorating the Christmas Tree – A Winter Bucket List Update!

Saturday was one of those days where we found ourselves accidentally without plans.  On Friday night we had decided we would take advantage and go into town to visit the Christmas markets.  We planned to get the tram into town as a bit of a treat, have a wander and buy a wreath for the front door. 

When we got up on Saturday morning however, we checked the weather forecast and promptly changed our minds.  Heavy rain and 45 mph winds – yeah, not taking the kids out in that thanks very much!  We decided we’d just pop out in the car to try and pick up some new Christmas decorations then spend the day putting the trees up instead.  This is a bit earlier than we would usually do it and we had planned on it being up next weekend but it seemed like a good way to fill the day! 

We decided to go to Housing Units first as we expected it would probably get quite busy.  It turned out to be relatively quiet when we got there so we were able to have a good wander around and explore the Christmas department.  The kids were enthralled by all of the decorations – particularly anything animated!  We bought some new baubles and a very cute little girl (she may be a fairy, I’m not sure) who is all wrapped up in her cuddly cosy winter clothes and has made a lovely addition to our decorations standing by the fireplace.

Next on the list was Sainsburys as we’ve had some lovely decorations from there in the past, however it would seem that if you haven’t bought your decorations in November, you’re not get any at all!  There was pretty much nothing left in the store which was thoroughly disappointing and we left empty handed.

After a quick lunch in Morrisons, we bought a wreath and some groceries before finally heading home.  (This is the first time I’ve managed to have a proper wreath on the front door thanks to a Command Christmas Wreath Hook)

Whilst Amy slept, I sat down with Ben and Chloe to write their letters to Father Christmas.  Chlo was really focussed and quickly made a start sounding out “Farmer Christmas” – little cutie.  Her letter entirely her own words and written in a a mix of independent writing and her dictating sentences to me so she could copy them.  She has asked for “a Belle dress what fits me“, “more Christmas stories” and “more beautiful necklaces“.

Ben on the other hand found writing his letter considerably harder.  Historically he has been a bit of a reluctant mark maker and whilst he has got over that, I do think he still has a very stereotypically “boy” attitude to putting pen to paper.  I can get him to write when he has a real purpose, for example writing a shopping list of things he would like me to buy from the supermarket but he certainly wouldn’t write for fun.  I told him that he should write a proper letter to Father Christmas, not just a list.  As a result, depsite my helping him, I think he just got a bit stressed out about doing the right thing.  Mum fail right there!  I should have just left him to it!  We got there in the the end though. 
Dear Santa, 
I have been good and bad.  I have a few things to go my list.  These are some of my ideas.
A jack in the box 
A remote control helicopter
A set of LEGO and pyjamas and anything else.  And remember we are staying at Granny and Grandad’s house from Ben x x x

Whilst we were writing our letters, Dave had been up into the loft to retrieve the Christmas decorations and despite a few traumas with the lights (which I think is almost a Christmas tradition in itself?) we managed to get the tree up and lit before Amy woke up meaning she was perfectly timed to be able to help us decorate it.  
Last year our tree was very quickly naked within Amy’s reach as baubles were steadily broken or moved out of harm’s way!  As a result we lost quite a lot of baubles.  This year we decided to move away from our silver themed tree to more of a “chuck it all on” kind of look.  We bought some new coloured lights and a big pack of coloured baubles and it has definitely benefited from being more “full”.  
Amy loved hanging the baubles on and there’s a very obvious section of the tree where she has basically stood in the same place and put the baubles onto the same couple of branches.  Much as it would have been tempting to rearranage it all later, I wanted to leave the tree exactly as the kids had designed it themsleves!  At the end of the day the baubles are likely to get moved around over the coming days anyway as Amy just can’t seem to leave them alone.
We have a second, smaller, tree in the dining room which is “my” tree – all decorated in red and cream and very Nordic looking.  
Over the years we’re steadily building our collection of Christmas nick nacks – a set of reindeer from Sainburys a few years ago, a Father Christmas from our trip to Snowdonia last year and Christmas countdown blocks from Stockeld Park yesterday to name but a few.  Ben and Chlo were so excited as we pulled each of the items from storage, rememering things from years before and discovering crafts they’d made when they were “babies” and even finding special “Christmas toys”.  Amy of course doesn’t remember any of this from last year but she is absolutely entranced by the tree and we’ve found her standing staring at it a couple of times already – in fact when she got home from her day at Ange’s today, she looked at it and announced “No lights! Benny, you put lights on for me?” 

Safe to say that the we’ve ticked decorating the house off the Winter Bucket List along with a few other things!

1. Snow related fun – sledging, snow angels, snow men, snow balls … you know the score!  We’ve not had a proper snow fall for a few years now so fingers crossed we at least get a coupe of days this year! 
3. Write letters to Father Christmas – 05.12.15
4. Deck the halls with boughs of holly – or at least decorate the house with full on festive cheer – 05.12.15
5. Buy new Christmas decorations – 05.12.15
6. Watch Ben and Chloe’s school nativity 
7. Read Christmas stories
9. Ice skating – now a Butler / Burgess family tradition
10. A nighttime adventure to see the Christmas lights and markets in Manchester
11. Write Christmas cards
12. A festive day out in Liverpool
13. Enjoy a Christmas back in York
14. Christmas films
15. Meet my three style challenges as set by Anna

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