12 things to do at Christmas

Nov 24, 2021 | The Fun Stuff


Have you booked to see Santa yet?

I have news. He seems to be very busy and booked up already!

But that hasn’t stopped me.

Christmas last year was a wipe out for us. Not just because of the pandemic but because we all had covid during Christmas week. It’s no fun being really ill during such a happy time and especially when your kiddies are excited by all things Christmassy. Just seeing their faces beaming whilst we were unable to physically move from the sofa was so sad.

My husband and I literally didn’t have any energy, which for us is completely alien. I was planning on cooking an awesome Christmas lunch and spreading some Christmas cheer.

Instead of Christmas lunch we had filled pasta. Not quite the same!

So this year, I want to make a big deal of it. Not because I want to compensate my children for last year but because it is a wonderful time of year and I want to end 2021 on a high.

So this is how December will look for us.

Advent Calendars 

To be completely honest, when it comes to buying Advent Calendars I just look at what is available in the supermarket and go for a good chocolate one. This is because it’s the simplest solution that satisfies my children.

As far as they’re concerned, they just want a chocolate one. They’re not fussy on what type of chocolate, not really, as long as it tastes good. So to be fair, it’s got to be from a decent producer, which is usually Cadburys.

But there are plenty of options. Whether you decide to get a chocolate one, a non chocolate one, an allergy friendly one or a grown up one. 

Hassle Free Christmas

Elf on a Shelf

Yes, we do join in but I’m not very creative. Ours is called Heart and my kiddies look forward to seeing her every year. It’s not that I lack imagination but when it comes to moving her around the house, I just go with simple as I don’t have the inclination to make up elaborate scenarios. However, the bonus is she is a great reminder to my kids to be kind.

Letter to Santa

The deadline to get your letter to Santa, if you want a reply, is 10th December. My kiddies can be indecisive, so this is a perfect way to get them to focus and make a decision on what they really want. We’ve also started telling them to think carefully about what they want as Santa will ultimately decide whether they need it. Just because you ask for a Nintendo Switch doesn’t mean you’ll get one.

Decorating the tree

For a few years, we bought a new tree every year but the constant vacuuming of needles proved too much for hubby so we now have a beautiful artificial one that is just as good, and keeps all its needles.

Seeing Santa

For the last four years we’ve been going to Avon Valley Adventure Park, which has been great. But it’s time for a change. This year we’ll be popping into Slimbridge for some breakfast with Santa. My kiddies are excited already but I’m not sure if it’s about seeing Santa or having breakfast.

Get involved with Christmas activities

By just typing into google ‘things to do in Bristol at Christmas’ and you will get bombarded with a list of awesome family events. I love being able to get out and about with my family, especially if it can be outdoors. So I’m starting now to see what’s happening. The National Trust will be on my list.

Christmas Eve bag / box

I started this a few years ago. As you would imagine, it’s an American thing and yes it might be seen as yet another thing that commercialises Christmas. But for me, it’s about making the magic of Christmas more magical and I’m a sucker for making my kiddies happy. I will grow out of it. Maybe.

As usual, this year’s bag includes Christmas pyjamas, Christmas socks, a book, gingerbread, bath bombs, hot chocolate spoons and chocolate. Simple and my kids love it.

Christmas Eve Preparations

Obviously, we’ll be ensuring that Santa is not disappointed when he comes to our house. We’ll have a mince pie and whisky by the fireplace for him. Yes whisky, hubby says Santa prefers whisky. Plus, they’ll be carrots for his reindeers.

My kiddies also worry that Santa either won’t know we’re in or that he’ll forget to stop at our house. So, we obviously put a sign outside our front door so that he knows. They’re also concerned about his health and safety as our chimney is blocked. But I’ve reassured them that he has a special set of keys that let him into houses and that it only works on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve Wind Down

What makes Christmas Eve really special is that we let our kiddies stay up a little later than usual so we can watch a Christmas film. But it starts with a family meal. Usually a one pot wonder that’s quick, easy and obviously delicious.

And then, we can settle down to watch a Christmas movie with popcorn. A lovely way to end the day and hopefully get them feeling tired so they actually go to bed.

Final Preparations for the big day

Once our kiddies are in bed we put the presents under the tree and wrap up the doorway into the lounge so that in the morning our kiddies have to literally break into the lounge. We didn’t manage this last year, we just had no energy but we will do it this year.

Note to self, make sure the lounge door is open. I don’t want to be going to the hospital on Christmas day because one of my children has headbutted the door.

Christmas Morning

To stop our kiddies from wanting to go downstairs too early, we also put one present outside their door. So, when they do get up they can come into our room and open their first present with us. If I thought there wasn’t a risk of them waking up I’d leave it at the end of their beds.

Then there’s Christmas Day breakfast. As Christmas Day could end up being just a marathon of continuous eating we pace ourselves. For Christmas Day, we light to keep it light with pastries. Maybe a pain au chocolate, some croissants and brioche. That should satisfy them until lunchtime. I hope.

Christmas Day Feast

Whether we’re hosting or not, it’s a joint effort of creating a big feast. And there is no turkey in sight. I’m not keen on Turkey so it’s usually roast chicken and roast ham for us. Being of Greek Cypriot heritage, I often get asked what is a traditional lunch in Cyprus. Apparently, it’s pork. Although my relatives love a roast Turkey. But not us!

Obviously, we won’t be forgetting pudding. When I was younger I really didn’t like eating anything that had mincemeat in it like Christmas Puddings and mince pies. But now, well, I eat just about everything. I particularly like a bowl of hot Christmas pudding with hot brandy sauce. Delicious.

After all that food, we definitely need a break. The answer is board games. I prefer ones that are quite quick and don’t need too much thought. No monopoly or game of life. But one of my favourite games to play is spoons. We haven’t played it for a while. Whenever I suggest it, hubby usually rolls his eyes. It involves a pack of cards and a set of spoons.

And finally, some Christmas Telly. There is always an old favourite on and plenty of comedy reruns.

Whatever happens this year, you can be sure that we’ll be making the most of it. As long as I’m with my family I’ll be happy.

What are your Christmas plans?


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