alternative 12 days of christmas - Bubbablue and me

The alternative 12 days of Christmas

I didn’t know how I wanted to cover our Christmas on the blog.  I kept making notes, and think they’d be separate blog posts, but then I realised that I’m never going to get round to writing 6 Christmas posts.  So instead I bring you the alternative 12 days of Christmas.  I might do a photo post separately, although I don’t think I took many photos of the actual day (shame the OH hates me snapping photos all the time).

alternative 12 days of christmas - Bubbablue and me

The alternative 12 days of Christmas…in reverse

12 Christmas films

I love Christmas movies, the cheesier and soppier the better.  It seems watching films at Christmas has got N more into films than he was before.  He’s really enjoyed snuggling up sitting on my knee in the warmth, and watching whatever movie I’ve recorded, including some really random ones, and of course Father Christmas.  He’s also finally discovered Toy Story, so he’s had that on twice in one day.

Engrossed in tv
Engrossed in a film

11 dancers dancing

Or days of dancing….We love dancing in our house (well, I do, and N does), and for me I like to watch out for the ballets being shown on the tv to record it and watch later.  This year I’d been through the Radio Times to highlight my tv choices, and was pleased to see a couple of new ballets to me.  A Winters Tale and a Carlos Acosta cuban special.  I’ve not yet watched them, but can’t wait to have some time free to have some me time.

N’s also been grooving quite a lot.  Whenever music comes on he’ll dance, and it seems he’s not the only one. We’ve visited a friend and her 15 month old shakes her shoulders and gets excited whenever there’s music put on.  So cute watching children dance.

Not forgetting the classic Seven Brides for Seven Brothers which I always watch at Christmas. We only caught a bit of it this year, but N loved watching the dancing and singing on there.

10 Pieces (from the BBC)

There seems to be a bit of a tv theme going on so far.  We haven’t watched that much – none on Christmas day until later in the evening).

I really think there needs to be more music (for children especially) on tv, and one morning I turned on and found Ten Pieces on BBC.  I didn’t catch all of it, but what I saw I really enjoyed and thought was a great idea.  Almost Fantasia for a modern day. Getting creative with some famous pieces, making classical music more visual, and trying to get the audience to imagine what the music is describing.  I’ve recorded the repeat and hopefully N will be interested to watching it with me later.

9 pieces of railway

N does enjoying making and playing with his wooden railway set, and each year he’s gets a new addition.  This year was a Brio rail adventure tunnel, plus there were a couple of packs from Father Christmas in his stocking – 4 small curves, and 4 small straights. You can never have too many of the smaller pieces.  He’s enjoyed playing it with me, his uncle and his cousin.  It is nice to have the living room floor back after 4 or so days of it being set up.

wooden railway play - Brio and Bigjigs

8 stocking presents

N has his stocking that I made for his first Christmas, and it’s still going strong.  Although we talk about putting up his stocking early in the day, when it comes to Christmas eve night, he does always seem a little worried about the thought of Father Christmas coming so close to his room.  So it does make Father Christmas’ life easier when he puts it on the outside of his door handle.

This year, the usual satsuma and chocolate coins went down very well, but so did the Scooby Doo goo.

Opening his stocking on christmas day

7 grandchildren in the pub

One of our set in stone Christmas traditions is the family meal at the pub. All of the OH’s family go to a local pub, have a lovely meal together and just relax and get in the mood for Christmas day.

This year we went to our nearest pub.  I’d not been there since the new managers arrived from another pub we quite often used to go to.   It was great to see the landlady again; she’s Irish, and so welcoming especially towards the children.  The food was lovely, it was great to see N and his 6 cousins together again.  It’s always a great start to Christmas.

6 Christmas books

I do love a Christmas book and N’s had several new ones this year, as well as us getting out his old Christmas favourites like Twas the Night before Christmas.

This year he was Parragon Books sent us their Treasury of Christmas Stories and Songs.  It’s a gorgeous collection of stories and illustrations, and I can see it being read each year.  So far we’ve not read much, although the Nativity Story went down well with N pointing out which of the kings he was in his nursery nativity play. The pictures are as beautiful as ever for their books, and there’s great variety across Christmas carols and stories.

Another new addition has been the Santa is coming to…book.  I hadn’t realised they’d included quite so many towns, but I found one for Banbury which is great. N points out all the sights in town, and I do love a book featuring local places.

5 days of turkey

We always have a turkey from my brother in law.  This year there was only us and my brother for Christmas lunch, but the leftover turkey has done the rounds.  It’s been to the farm for boxing day tea when everyone came up for that, and we’re still eating it now!  So much for having a smaller turkey this year.

4 for Christmas lunch

This year was our smallest ever Christmas day lunch.  Usually either we have the OH’s parents over, or we go to theirs, but this year we obviously didn’t get in quick enough with the invite and they went to the OH’s brothers house.  It meant it was really quiet for us, even with N running round excited. My brother did join us, and it was great to have N spend time with him.  My brother’s like a big child anyway as is happy to wear a cracker hat along with N, unlike the OH!

3 radio controlled cars

Yep, not one, not two, but three radio controlled vehicles given to N.  One I knew about because my brother had asked for suggestions and that’s what I’d advised him to get.  He of course, did lots of research and being a boy wanted to get a good one that he could also have a play with.  So in came the 8 years+ all terrain fast r/c car.  It’s brilliant, but totally nuts.  N loves it…our furniture doesn’t, so we’ll be aiming to use it outdoors.

The other two were from his aunts.  One is a radio controlled tractor, and was actually one of the older cousin’s, but you wouldn’t know it from how immaculate it is.  While it’s probably for slightly older children, it’s more manageable than the car, so I can see it being well used especially when N’s got friends to play.

The other is a starter radio controlled car, and looks really simple and basic in comparison.  I tried to get it to work, but couldn’t, and given N can cope with the other ones, I couldn’t see the third being used at all.  Guess that’ll be passed on to a younger child.  2014 Christmas was definitely the year of the radio controlled car.

2 shirts to choose from

I do like to have a couple of shirts for N for parties and smart meals out, and pulled a brilliant checked shirt out of his wardrobe for the Christmas eve meal out. But when the OH got his clothes to help N get ready, he categorically refused to put the shirt on.  This despite it looking similar to the OH’s checked shirt.  Nope, instead N wanted to wear a short sleeved party shirt instead.  He did look very smart though.

It’s funny, because on Christmas day, I just picked up the original checked shirt, said ‘let’s get you dressed’, and the shirt was on with no problems.  It always seems to be with his dad that N exerts his style choices!

opening presents Christmas day

1 Christmas tree

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree.  I do love outdoor lights and I was surprised to see some out on a tree by the farm…which the OH had put up for his mum.  I know he’d moan like anything if I asked him to put some up at ours, but maybe next year I’ll get N on the case.

We do have an artificial tree.  Next year I’m planning to get a really nice full tree because the cheap one I’ve got, I’ve had for 10 years, and I’m running out of space for gorgeous decorations.

But last year I  bought some lovely LED lights – 240 set so I no longer have to plug in 3 sets of lights for one tree, and I’ve had a couple of decoration purchases, as well as some gorgeous purple and vintage hook baubles sent by Sara-Jayne for our #Cbias ornament swap.

setting the christmas tree up

N had a great time trying to help putting the tree up.  Then I managed to persuade him it was time for bed, so I could do the decorating on my own.

wow christmas tree moment

The wow it got from him the next day when he came down in the morning and saw it turned on, was so magical.  I’d love for that system to happen every year so I can have my nicely decorated tree, but I expect from next year he’ll want to actually put some decorations on as well.

re-decorating the christmas tree
fiddling with decorations

So that’s our Christmas in a nutshell. Of course there was chocolate and biscuits, a bit of outdoor play (another blog post coming up), bucks fizz, a troublesome cow deciding to calve (last year N was given the calf that was born on Christmas day – Santa), crackers, playing of games, batteries, and lots of texts to friends.

There was also:

  • Lots of questions from N.  The best and most surprising was to his uncle who came to us for Christmas day ‘what did you have for your christmas lunch?’
  • Excitement and anticipation from N about Father Christmas…’Santa only comes to see good children.  We have to be asleep.  Father Christmas only comes when it’s snowing.  Father Christmas didn’t drink all his drink, and the reindeer didn’t eat the carrot’
  • Thoughts for people no longer with us (I had some lovely letters from a couple of my mum’s friends to say they were thinking of her, and one couple who were really close friends had sponsored the church lights in her name which was lovely), and for family where this is the first Christmas without their loved ones.

It might only just be over, but I’m looking forward to doing it all again next year.

How was your Christmas?

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    1. Thanks Suzanna. They are brilliant train sets, versatile as most brands fit together. Our nephews/niece age 8-10 will still join in playing with their sets so they last for ages too.

  1. This is such a creative way to talk about your Christmas.It sounds as if you had a lovely time. I really like the picture of your son looking at the lit up Christmas tree.

    1. Thanks Kate. Turned out a bit long, but glad it’s all in one place and has a good response from my readers.

      Hope you’ve had a lovely holiday season too.

  2. What a fab Christmas post. Seven brides for seven brothers is one of my favourite films! Such a classic. The family meal sounds lovely, I’m glad you all had a good time. Beautiful pictures.

    1. Thanks Julie.

      Can’t beat classic musicals, can you? Although probably a bit of an odd one for a 3yo boy to like…although it does have axes in?

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