We start seriously early in our house. It's completely normal to watch a Christmas movie, or listen to Christmas songs from November 1st. The tree was up and the house decorated by Dec 1st. But for some reason, it's just not Christmas until we've seen the man in red.
We have done a few different trips. My favorite is going to Centre Parcs at the end of November and having the weekend away in a lodge. You can hire bikes, go swimming, and all sorts of sporting activities. Rebecca took a pony ride to the Elves workshop where she got to meet Santa. Although that is really early, I figure since we don't have the time off over Thanksgiving to relax with family, that seems a nice way to kick off the holiday season.
This year, we went to Wallington Hall. We found Santa's sleigh and Reindeer statues on the lawn!
|Test driving Santa's Sleigh|
|Rudolph outside the clock tower|
There were a lot of positives with this.
1) It's local and we go there a lot so the kids are comfortable there.
2) It looked gorgeous all decorated as only an old stately home could.
3) We have been to other special events there like the Queens Jubilee so it's nice to be there at Christmas.
4) It was cheap (only 8 pounds to see Santa).
5) They had a lot of activities on like cookie decorating and carol singers.
|Cookie decorating in the old fashioned kitchen|
But most importantly, we saw the real Santa! I walked out of our visit and told the lady on the door in my most embarrassing American voice, "that was totally the real Santa!" I don't know who was more excited, us or the kids!?
|The kids talking to Santa|
|Merry Christmas, Santa!|
Yes these events can be gimmicky, and yes, they can be expensive, but when the magic of the day is fading and the kids are asleep in the car, I do think these are love and life moments to cherish as they won't be little for long. We'd love to hear your traditions! Do you do a Polar Express? Annual trip to the mall to get your photo with Santa? Please share your stories and photos with us!