Christmas 2016 with the sedgwicks

Christmas for us is about family, about friends and above all, about sharing in the joy of others. This year Courtney-Leigh is 4 years old, meaning that she's into the whole 'Christmas excitement' and understanding the magic that is, Father Christmas!

A visit from the North Pole

Christmas in our household begins when Santa's Elf makes an appearance and comes to stay with us. His main task, other than getting up to mischief every now and again, is to watch over Courtney-Leigh and report back to Father Christmas on her behaviour. If she's good, the Elf will return the next day with a small treat. However, naughty, and the Elf will get up to no good, as we found out once or twice.

"Hello Courtney-Leigh!"

Overall, Courtney-Leigh was well behaved. Enough for the Elf to return to Santa Claus and provide Courtney-Leigh with various treats throughout December. In the lead up to Christmas, Elf swung from the ceiling, enjoyed a tea-party with Courtney-Leigh's toys and even made snow angels on the kitchen floor.

Christmas Shopping

The tedious task of Christmas shopping was made much easier this year with the fact that Courtney-Leigh had an ever-growing list of presents that she wanted and 'had to have'. Of course, we had to trim this list down, due to the simple fact that we unfortunately have only one house to keep all these toys in - and more importantly, we haven't won the lottery...just yet!

We were safe to buy anything that closely resembled a Barbie (couldn't have picked a more expensive toy!) So here we go with Courtney-Leigh's list...

  • Barbie Dreamhouse
  • Barbie Campervan
  • Barbie Horse & Carridge
  • Barbie Animal Hospital
  • Barbie Mermaid
  • Barbie Singer
  • Barbie Car

You get the picture!

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?

The obvious place to start is the tree, or in our case, TREES! Yes, this year we had THREE Christmas trees. We seem to have accrued this many trees over the recent years of changing colour themes. We have a green, black and white tree (separate colours, obviously). We spent much deliberation on which colour themes we were having this year and decided...

  • Living Room - Green Tree, Red and Gold Colour Theme
  • Conservatory - White Tree, Pink and Silver Colour Theme
  • Office - Black Tree, Black and Gold Colour Theme

We of course, decorated the rest of the house. Tinsel, snowflakes, smaller trees dotted around the house, snow-globes, you name it we had it! Courtney-Leigh rose to the occasion and helped every step of the way, emptying all of the boxes and leaving a mound of decorations in every room! Very helpful! Lets see how it all turned out...

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.

Christmas Kisses.

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 had an awesome time and left feeling extremely festive, ready for the build up to Christmas! See you next year Manchester!

Read all about it -- An Announcement!

Christmas came early. A special present -- a baby! Me and Kerri broke the news that we were expecting a baby, which would hopefully be joining us in June 2017. Elation, joy and excitement were pretty much the emotions we are all feeling. We can't wait!

A Halt in our Tracks

Christmas is all about family and this year, on the 1st of December we sadly lost my Grandad John. It took us by surprise and swept us off our feet. As a family we're incredibly strong and collectively we've overcome some of the biggest tragedy's life can throw at you. That very week, as was originally planned before he passed, we went for a family Christmas meal at Rose & Bowl, Rawtenstall.

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

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...

I had an apprentice help me!

Christmas Day

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.

She didn't take too long to have all of the presents opened and out of their packaging, including almost the entire collection of Barbie. As Courtney-Leigh was now busy playing with her new toys, it was time for Kerri and myself. After a brief visit from Kerri's Dad with yet more Barbie presents for Courtney-Leigh. I handed one or two presents to Kerri to open.

My plan this year was to space out the presents so that I didn't give them all at once. So I gave her 2 presents to start with and waiting until after Christmas dinner for the next. I was hugely happy to receive a cardigan and new watch which I'd asked for. One happy chap!

This year we enjoyed Christmas dinner at the Usha Restaurant in Burnley. We've had Indian once before at Christmas and so, decided to do it again. We had a great day, in great company with Kerri's Dad, John and his partner Sharron.

After the meal we made a flying visit to Cath's to continue to Christmas Day celebrations, with even more presents for Courtney-Leigh. To end the day we stopped off at my Mum's to celebrate and share presents with Grandma Joan, Jordan, my Dad and Mum.

Christmas Day was a blast! So many presents, time spent with friends and family and one very happy girl. It was certainly one to remember!

Boxing Day

It was an early start Boxing Day as we hit the Boxing Day sales in Manchester. On the road for 8am as we headed to the Trafford Centre to meet with Cassie and Nathan. As Kerri and Cassie trawled through all of the bargains, myself and Nathan enjoyed a pint, or two, or maybe three in the bar. We were done for about 3pm and we left to get ready to continue the celebrations at Cassie and Nathan's house.

We got there slightly early so that Courtney-Leigh could open the many presents Cassie and Nathan had bought her. It was like Christmas Day all over again!

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 miss them all dearly.

Charades like you've never seen before!

Another night spent in great company, filled with laughter and love.

Welcome 2017!

Each New Year we try to do something a little different than the last. Previously we've been to house parties, meals and even just done absolutely nothing! This year we decided to go to Blackpool. With my Grandad passing at the start of December, it felt right to go with Grandma and the rest of the family and spend it together. So thats what we did.

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!

We brought in the New Year with a celebratory drink and lots of hugs! What a year it's been, but what a way to end it!

Cheers -- Happy New Year!

Thank you for taking the time to read through my Christmas Blog. I enjoyed writing it and sharing the precious and unforgettable moments Christmas brings.

it sure has tired someone out...

The End.

Created By
Christopher Sedgwick
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