Wishing you a very Merry Christmas

xmas stocking

The year has gone by in a flash and I can’t believe it’s only 5 more sleeps til the Big Day. 2015 has been a year of big highs and sadly big lows as there are loved ones who are no longer with us.  Nothing makes Christmas more emotive than missing absent loved ones and thats why we should be so thankful for the family and friends in our lives and to make sure we tell them so.

And a little round up of the PATP year…
Best Hotel for Families:
At Easter we headed to Dubai for our last holiday, outside of school term times, and we stayed at the very family friendly Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf.  We booked a room in one for their Arabian Summerhouses and the kids slept on a sofa bed in the same room.  As the hotel is part of the larger Madinat Jumeriah hotel you can use all the main hotel’s facilities as well as enjoying a pool just for the dozen or so people staying at your Summerhouse.  Set amongst manicured gardens and waterways you take an Abra boat to breakfast each morning which was definitely one of Little A’s trip highlights.  You have the beach, a souk style shopping mall, kids pool (excellent for toddlers with sprinklers and ankle deep water) and numerous restaurants to choose from.  You also get free access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark next door which is incredible for kids and fun for the adults too (if you are brave enough try the Jumeriah Scream!). The time difference makes Dubai pretty good on the jet lag front and we had wall to wall sunshine whilst we were there.
Best Family Holidays:
Villa in Campanet, Majorca with friends. Key ingredients: Huge pool, beer and pizza in the local village square, catching first fish out at sea and wine o’clock once the kids were in bed.
Road tripping in North Carolina.  Key ingredients: Sunshine, laughter, Red solo cups (like in the films!), Tweetsie Railroad, Linville wanderings, dinner at Artisanal and catching up with old friends.
Holidaying in Cornwall’s Constantine Bay. Key ingredients: Rain/Hail/Sunshine, sandy sandwiches, buckets and spades, St Petrocs and everything else that makes a British holiday so British.
Best kid’s day trip:
Hands down this goes to the Sadler Well’s production of The Snowman.  Just as enjoyable for parent and is it for child this was a real winner.  Staged at the Peacock Theatre you need to book early in order to secure tickets but it really is magical.  Sadly Little B missed out as think you have to be 3yrs plus to have the concentration for it.  Second place goes to Legoland.  We went when most schools had gone back so it was gloriously quiet which I think is probably why it was such a success.  Make sure you book online in advance as it certainly isn’t cheap and you can get a discount for earlybird booking.
Little A’s moment of 2015:
Definitely has to be starting big school.  Gone was my lunch partner of the last four years and instead I found myself dropping him off in badly name-taped uniform at the school gates.  He has loved every minute (bar the food being a little too ‘grown-up’) and I can’t believe how much he has matured having had just one term under his belt.
 
Little B’s moment of 2015:  
Mastering the art of language (just!) and also learning to ride the micro-scooter with speed.
 
My highlights: 
A new niece joining the family, gorgeous godchildren christenings and my father receiving a CBE.
New Year’s resolution:

Not to ‘graze’ on my mobile during the day

For those taking Little Ones to visit relatives for Christmas:
Kiddicubes – to take the hassle out of weaning when staying at someonelse’s house.
Dream Tubes – we are using these inflatable bed guard sheets so Little B doesn’t hit the deck at Grannie’s house.
Phil and Ted’s Lobster Highchair – clips onto most dining table so your Little One can join the fun without the need for a full highchair
Cheap and Easy Games to play this Christmas:
Teddy Night Safari – all your need is a stack of cuddlies and a torch.  Hide soft toys around the house and then set off with your Little Ones just before bed with a torch to spot and collect toys on the way to bed.
Treasure Hunt – all you need it some card and sellotape.  Simply wrap tape around card sticky side up and then set off around the garden/park/woods and find natural treasures to stick onto it. Works well with leaves, seeds etc.
Tabletop Memory Game – all you need is a napkin and the table set for lunch.  Cover items up on a table with the napkin and then remove one whilst the children are not looking. You then remove the napkin and see if they can guess what is missing. Great to keep them occupied for 5 mins until lunch hits the table.

Thank you for taking the time to read all my musings and hope some of it was helpful!

Enjoy the Christmas Break.

Princess xxx

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