Wow, where did the year go? As the year draws to a close, it is time to look back at our 2017 plans and wishes and review it. Did we tick them all off, what will be carried forward to 2018? So read on for […]
Hello and welcome to the Christmas tag! It’s a blog post chain linked by bloggers tagging each other to join in. I was very kindly tagged by my fellow blogger – Thrifty Mumma Thrifty Bubba. You can read her own Christmas tag post by clicking here.
So, pour a glass of Prosecco, turn on the Christmas tunes and settle down to read an insight into my family Christmas :
What’s your favourite Christmas movie?
I am not a film kind of person but the kids and I love a giggle at Natvity. Also, I have fond childhood memories of watching Home Alone. And dreaming of having a big family like there’s. I suppose that dream has come true but never managed to go on holiday without one of my kids, yet!
Have you ever had a white Christmas?
I can’t remember snow on Christmas day. But in 2009 when J, was a baby, the days running up to Christmas were very snowy. Our family, both my sister’s families plus Grandma and Grandpa all shared Christmas in Devon. Our journeys from Hampshire, Wiltshire, South Wales and Cheshire being hard work to get through the snow. It was very icy around the lodges. I can remember a few family members doing a bit of dancing on ice!
Where do you usually spend the holidays?
Even though I’m fully grown and have kids of my own. I always have spent Christmas with my parent’s bar 1 or 2. Now my Dad is no longer with us, we just bombard Grandma’s house to keep her company.
What is your favourite Christmas song?
I blinking love East 17 – Stay Another Day. Great for a bit of a car singalong. When we are in the festive mood though, you will find a huge selvction of Christmas classics on our Spotify playlist. Including Band Aid, Mariah Carey, Wham and Elton John.
Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
I am not that much of a traditionalist, as well I do get bored and like to keep things fresh. But the kids always put their stockings out on Christmas Eve. Plus leave the big man, a drink and mince pie! Also due to my sheer last minute buying, I tend to wrap most presents on Christmas Eve too.
What is the best Christmas gift you have ever received?
I had some great presents as a child. But have fond memories of our first ever family computer. It came in great big boxes and took hours to setup. We all thought it was amazing and sat around it mesmerised.
What is your most memorable Christmas memory?
Last year we went to Disneyland Paris the week running up to Christmas. That has to be my most precious Christmas memory with all the kids to date. I really hope it lives on in their memories forever.
What made you realise the truth about Santa?
Big Sister’s, my sisters are 12 and 4 years older than me. So they let onto the fact that Santa wasn’t real when I was still quite young and my friends were all still believers. History has kind of repeated itself in our household too. As the older girls 16 and 11 are non-believers so the 8-year-old is becoming well aware that he might not be real too!
What makes the holidays special for you?
Family, forget the presents, I love spending time with the kids. Also, school holidays mean not running around like a headless chicken for the morning school runs.
In true tag fashion I now nominate some of my favourite fellow bloggers to join in:
This week it would have been my Daddy’s and my little tribes Grandpa’s 71st Birthday. On his heavenly birthday, we take time out of our busy schedule to reflect. On his life and all the happy memories, we have of him. Remembering Grandpa enables our precious memories to live forever with us.
As he died 5 and half years ago the youngest kids have very little real memories of Grandpa. Well, A the baby of the family never got to meet him as she was planned as the bright light at the dark tunnel of my grief for losing my beloved Daddy. She was born 14 months after his death and never got to have a real cuddle from him. But I know he is keeping a little eye on how they grow. All the lessons he taught me over the years has given me the kick up the butt I needed. To carry on when life has thrown my some pretty shit curveballs in the last 5 Years.
Anyway where was I going with this. As much as death is heartbreaking I have dealt with it in my own little way. After all, it’s called ‘The Circle of Life’ for a reason. We’re born, we grow, we live and we die. Everyone deals with grief differently but I felt the what ifs, why him, thoughts were too consuming and dragged my backwards rather than carrying on. Because ultimately however much I over thought things it is never going to change what is already done. What I would give for one more cuddle or conversation but it’s not ever going to happen. So I need not dwell on it. Oh god that makes me sound like I carried on regardless I didn’t for a long time I can assure you.
I want my children to know about their grandpa’s life, what he was like and what he didn’t too! We talk about him as often as we want. F my only son, has many characteristics of Grandpa, when he takes his shirt off in the house or takes way too many biscuits from the tin. I smile and thank the powers that Be I have a mini version living with me. We talk about Trinidad where Grandpa was born and dream of travelling to see extended family one day.
The kids ask Grandma questions and raid the photo albums. We have also been known to search YouTube and Spotify for Calypso song. Talking of music I also crank up Billy Ocean’s ‘When the going gets tough’ as I can remember us singing along to it when I was a child. When my eldest picked up her fantastic GCSE results this summer, I thought her Grandpa would have been so very proud of her.
Sometimes I wonder if the older children have dealt with the huge positive role model they lost but hope us all talking about it has helped.
The happy memories we hold certainly outweigh the sad times.
For the last couple of years, I have wondered what all of the hyper was about the BlogOn conferences. I have tried other conferences which I have enjoyed and met some fab fellow bloggers. Also listened to some inspiring talks and taken part in thought-provoking workshops too. But wanted to try BlogOn for myself, this is how I got on at my first BlogOnXmas
But when I have been to a couple of these people have always mentioned Blog On events. Which somehow I have always managed to miss, whether it was due to not being quick enough to get a ticket (they are like hot cakes) or not having childcare. When the date was announced for the Christmas one I jumped straight to it and booked, even though it is far too early to talk Christmas in September.
As the months passed and the date quickly approached, I doubted myself about driving all the way to Manchester to have a day at a conference where I didn’t really know anyone. The childcare was in hand, Manchester is a fair old trek so arranged to stay in Hotel Football where the event was being held.
Something crept up with work so I had to work on Saturday afternoon, so arrived late missing the Pre-Party, bummer a Southern Comfort or two would have calmed my nerves.
I arrived really really late as I decided on a last-minute surprise visit to my big sister in Cheshire on the way. There were roadworks all around Old Trafford but I found the car park. But wasn’t sure of the route from the car park to the hotel. So called the reception to ask and the receptionist came out to meet me and show me the way. Once I checked and headed straight to my room. It was lush to chill for an hour or so what a treat. A complete night of unintterrupted sleep, bliss!
The morning came with the usual worry of have I got the right outfit etc. I knew plenty of the bloggers attending were wearing Christmas jumpers. But as I have never owned one and live my life last minute, I didn’t get a chance to search the internet looking for one. Also, I thought I might not know anyone.
I braved it and headed down about 10am and got a drink and sausage bap for brekkie. I spotted the friendly face of The Cheshire Wife so it was lovely to catch up. Then we headed for the welcome and the comical keynote set the conference off to a light-hearted start.
The schedule of sessions was full of fellow bloggers that were very happy to share their expertise. Whether it be with newbies like me or established bloggers that wish to conquer their weaker area.
One of the things I had heard about BlogOn was the large range of brands that were there to meet face to face on the day. Well, what can I say but wow, the lower floor of the Hotel Football was transferred into a Marketplace. With representatives from many toy brands ready to chat to bloggers about potential Christmas collaborations. I braved it and spoke to plenty so hopefully, some work will flourish from that. There was also shoes and wine, win win!
At lunch I got to chatting with a few new faces, it is always great to meet people and hear about their blog. Laura from Tired Mummy of Two and the rest of the team were very helpful and welcoming.
The day ended with the Toy Awards a first for BlogOn. There was a huge selection of toys to choose from, all delegates were asked to vote throughout the day. Then all of the toys were raffled off to raise funds for the BlogOn Community Fund. The community fund helps bloggers when unexpected things happen in life. Throughout the whole day, The Grinch was also milling around which made tied in well with the Christmas theme.
The final part of the day was to collect our goody bags. They were bursting with a huge variety of things from candles to top trumps, shampoo to Lego tape, children’s magazines to crisps, the list goes on and on.
All in all I had a fantastic day. I have already pencilled the May date in my diary as I will definitely be returning to BlogOn in the Spring.
What does the Summer Holidays mean to our family? Lazy days, adventures, sunshine, rainy days and most important of all no routine. The holidays seem to have been way too short and flown by. Looking back on my 10,000s of pictures I thought I would […]