Today's activity is: Visit Santa! Woo hoo!
|All set for the journey to visit Santa.|
It has been a tradition since the Small Person joined us, that we must visit Santa at his grotto at Melbicks the Garden Centre. We have always gone with my Nan, because she commented once that she had never been to see Santa when she was little. So, our visit to Santa is her thing.
|The Small Person waiting to see Santa with Nanny (on the left) and Grandma (on the right).|
Last year, when the Smaller Person joined our little family, we ran out of room in the car, and Mr Bogert's Mum offerred to come along in her car and bring my Nan. Then after we had arranged everything, my Nan was ill and couldn't come, so last year was Mr Bogert's Mum's turn.
|Sitting on bean bags in Santa's living room.|
This year, we've all gone the sickies out of the way before the Festive
season (good planning there on our part!) so it was a full house: Me, Mr Bogert, the Small People, my Nan and Mr Bogert's Mum.
|Grandma in Santa's chair, the Small People and Santa. The Smaller Person really didn't want to have his picture taken!|
Santa's grotto is located out the back of the garden centre, so you have to follow the coloured spots on the floor from the entrance all the way through (past the Chritsmas decs and hot tubs - yes please Santa!) and to the marquee that is set up.
|Grandma (my Nan) and Santa.|
Inside the marquee there are polar bears, reindeer, fir trees, snowy scenes and all sorts of wintery wonderland things. We even had a snow storm while we waited our turn (snow machine). They just needed someone handing out hot chocolate and it would have been perfect.
|Tea and cakes time :)|
When your turn comes around, Santa sees a few children at once with their families. He sits in his lovely warm living room, in his arm chair, next to his fireplace and his Christmas tree. There are bean bags on the floor for th cildren to sit on. Santa always asks each child's name and how old they are, what they would like for Christmas and talks to them about if they've been in a nativity or doing anything fun. He asks what the children think their grown ups would like. He talks to the for quite a while, and then at the end he asks us grown ups if we think they've been good, and if he can visit our houses to leave gifts for the children.
|Grandma having a rest in the cafe.|
This year the Smaller Person sat on his bean bag really well (his first time - he was in my arms last year), and didn't make a peep. He just sat there watching. The Small Person answered all of his questions for him. The Small Person asked for a snow globe. Wen Santa asked if she wanted anything else she said no. I thought that was very restrained! She normally has all sorts of ideas for fantastical things that she really really needs.
|Me and my Small Person.|
Santa spoke to my Nan aswell, and found out she's a Great Grandma, so he insisted she join in the photo at the end and stood up so she could have his seat. We were about to leave when he called us back so he could have a photo just with Nan. He told her to go home and have a nice big Sherry. Nan being slightly deaf does what she normally does when she hasn't heard what someone has said: smiled politely (but vaguely) and nodded her head. Well, she was 86 this last birthday.
|The Smaller Person getting his Santa groove on.|
After that Mr Bogert's mum treated us to a cake and hot drink at the cafe. Then it was off to browse the goodies. We bought the Smaller Person's new tree decoration.
We have a tradition we have started with our kids that they each have a tree. Every year, we buy them a new special ornament to go on their tree. When they move out into their own homes when they are grown, they will be able to take the trees and the ornaments with them and remember all the happy Christmasses at home with us. More on that Christmas Eve.
It's getting closer!
Only 5 more sleeps 'til Christmas!