Deck the Halls!
Its time to decorate...
Christmas decorations have to be over the top for us! Cover as much space as possible -- our simple, yet effective policy! So where do we begin?
Gold star on the black tree.
Our completed tree in the office.
Love heart berries wreath greets the many visitors we have over Christmas.
Red bauble on our living room tree.
Top view of our green tree in the living room.
Courtney-Leigh hanging from our tree.
Butterflies can be seen all over our house -- and for good reason. Grandma Kitty loved butterflies!
Courtney-Leigh's artwork from nursery.
Our Christmas Tree looking great in our living room.
Berries on our garland leading up the stairs.
Give as many as you can.
Time to get festive!
All the decorations done, Christmas shopping done, Elf taken up residence -- time to get into the festive spirit! What better way to do this than taking a trip to Manchester Christmas Markets!
This year we took my Grandma... and she loved it! We made a start at the Manchester Arndale entrance, right by Selfridges. We basked in the festive joy, ate too much and sampled one or two mulled wines. We even bought some MORE Christmas decorations!
We even saved a seat for Grandad!
Christmas Jumper Day & Final Days of Work
Another tradition, although nationally is to dig out your Christmas jumper and wear it for the final few days of work. Many nominate a single day to wear their jumper, we chose three. The last 3 days at work. It always seems to feel that bit more festive when you see everyone in their Christmas jumpers -- I proudly wore mine.
The Final Countdown
Work finished, it's time to prepare for the red-suited man to arrive! The final few days before Christmas for us are really about ensuring we have those last minute gifts, wrapping presents and relaxing (or trying to).
Christmas Eve we open our Christmas Eve Box, which usually consists of a new PJ's, a few small presents for Courtney-Leigh and chocolates and a Christmas film. Oooh we're counting down the hours. Courtney-Leigh prepares for Father Christmas by hanging the Magic Key for Santa Claus to get in, mince pie and milk and not forgetting, a carrot for Rudolph. Could there be a sighting?
Time to Build
One of Courtney-Leigh's presents was of course, the Barbie Dream House, which unfortunately for me, needing building. Once Courtney-Leigh was tucked up in bed, it was time for a glass of wine and to bring out the toolbox. Building a 5ft dolls house was a lot easier than I thought and looked amazing once we'd finished...
Christmas Day finally arrived and Courtney-Leigh could hardly wait to go downstairs! We were woken about 7:30am to a very excited child who wasted no time is dragging us downstairs...
Amazed at the amount of presents left by Father Christmas, she got well and truly stuck in to opening them, all in under 20 minutes.
While we tried to keep up with taking photos and asking who the presents were all from. After half an hour we were left with a mountain of wrapping paper in the middle of the room and a stack of toys ready to be opened.
Courtney-Leigh ever more happy - it was time to share a moment to remember absent friends and family and wish them a Merry Christmas. We all wrote messages on a balloon that we then released into the sky.
We met up with Pam, Ian & Stephen for a drink and something to eat, then went out for a few drinks on the Promenade. We made it back to the hotel for just after 10pm and played a game of Speak Out, which was extremely funny!