Tag Archives: Father Christmas

#Blogmas Day 5: Our Annual Trip To Harrod’s Christmas Grotto 2017

Yesterday we picked up Oscar from school and drove into London to go to the Harrod’s Christmas Grotto 2017. Every year in September I eagerly await the email to let me know when I can book our visit. This year the bookings opened in October and at 9am I got my email and by 9.05 our slot was booked! When booking you pay a £10 deposit per child over 3 years old, under 2’s are free. On the day of your visit to the grotto you get your deposit back to spend on your Harrods reward card. The boys then get to choose a new decoration for the Christmas tree with it.

So we picked Oscar up from school and drove into town and parked in our usual spot. When we got to Harrods we walked around the outside and looked at all of the decorated Dolce & Gabbana windows. They were really good, and had a photo by the huge Christmas Tree. We were a bit early so we then looked around the Toy Kingdom on the third floor which is every child’s idea of heaven.

When we arrived at the grotto which is located right by the Toy Kingdom Oscar presented our ticket and then we went into a roped off area that had Christmas colouring, mini golf and other games and lots of friendly elves to play with. The boys were given green bells to look after and then when the green bells group were called we went through a red curtain into a beautiful room with a huge Christmas tree and two of Santa’s elves.

They told the children all about the magic of Christmas and every child got an ‘Official Elf’ badge and a Harrods gold chocolate coin. The elves were really friendly interacting with the boys asking them what they would like for Christmas. We were then called through to meet the big man himself and Oscar and Archie knocked on the door and Father Christmas greeted them.

He was really nice, congratulating Oscar on learning to ride his bike since he had last seen him and asked him about school and his friends. Archie wasn’t so sure to start with but within minutes was giving Father Christmas a high five and telling him he would like a blue car for Christmas. We then had our annual Christmas photo taken with him (this is our eight year at Harrods).

Oscar and Archie were then given lovely red gift bags with a Harrods teddy inside as their gift. They were over the moon. We said our goodbyes and went to view our photo, which we brought to go with all the others which was £14.50.  The boys also posted their letters to Father Christmas in the special postbox outside.

We then went and brought our Harrods 2017 bear decoration (we buy one every year) and Oscar also chose another bauble. We had a great time and its just so magical and we love it! We always then walk around to Pizza Express for some dinner then drove home. Needless to say the boys were shattered by the time we got home and went straight to bed!

Merry Christmas!

#Blogmas Day 2: Our Family Christmas Traditions

Our Christmas traditions start for us on the 1st of December when Oscar gets home from school and the fairies have brought our Christmas decorations. Our Christmas tree and decorations have always gone up on the 1st of December. When I was little my brother and I always woke up on the 1st to our tree and decorations and I can still remember just how amazing and magical that was and wanted to do the same for our boys. In their bedrooms they have snow globes and Christmas duvets and their stocking ready for the end of their beds on Christmas Eve.

When they wake up on the 1st the boys wake up and our two naughty Elves, Eddie and Ernie are back to stay with us until Christmas Eve and get up to lots of mischief. They bring Oscar and Archie a letter and come through the Elf door which must never be touched as the secret door leads back to Father Christmas so they can let him know how they are behaving. They always bring the boys their advent calender’s too. They each get a chocolate one and a toy one too.

On Monday we are going to see the big man himself at the Harrods Grotto. I always rush to book this in September/October as soon as I get my ‘You can book now’ email. We have been every Christmas since Oscar was born and I love getting the family photo taken every year. After we have been in the grotto Oscar and Archie always get to pick a Christmas tree decoration each and I always buy the Harrods Christmas Bear decoration too. We then walk around to Pizza Express for dinner. The boys love it and we get to see all of the Christmas lights around London on the drive home. Again this is something we did as children, going into London at Christmas to a big department store grotto.

We always put together and decorate a gingerbread house (I buy a kit) nearer to Christmas for everyone to enjoy on Christmas day. I buy loads of sweets and icing and we have great fun in the kitchen making our masterpiece. Its a really cheap and fun activity to do with the kids!

This year I have started a new tradition, a backwards advent. As Oscar is old enough to understand about charity and realises how lucky he is each day of advent we put something in our box each day, whether it be a toy, toiletries or food and on Christmas Eve we will take it to a food bank or charity collection for another family to enjoy at Christmas.

On Christmas Eve we always go to Oscar and Archie’s godparents house and they make pork baps and we sing carols around the piano and the children all play and have a great time. They always have a fantastic 10 ft tree and its just such a lovely house full of Christmas cheer. This is why Oscar wanted to start playing the piano as our friends children had lessons and would play a song each. As Oscar has been having lessons this year he has been practising ‘Jingle Bells’ ready to play for everyone this year. He is really excited! We then go home, the boys bath and get into their pyjamas and then we leave a mince pie and a glass of milk for Father Christmas on their plates they made at a pottery cafe and a carrot outside for Rudolph and then off to bed.

Please comment and share with me your family Christmas traditions!

Merry Christmas!

 

Review: The Magic Of Lapland UK

Yesterday we went to Lapland UK in Ascot. When I was asked to do a review for them last month I was so excited for the boys as I had seen a lot of reviews and photos last year and it looked absolutely magical! I love Christmas and try to make it as special as possible for Oscar and Archie every year like my parents did for me.

Oscar and Archie’s personalised invites from Father Christmas arrived in the post and we surprised them with them the night before, on Saturday night. Their elves delivered them and Oscar couldn’t believe he had been invited to Lapland by Father Christmas as Daddy read their letters to them. He was bouncing up and down with excitement!

Lapland UK opened on Saturday the 19th of November and closes on Christmas Eve 2016. The tours run from 9am-5pm. Tickets start at £65.50 per person and included in your ticket price is a personalised invitation to every child from Father Christmas by post, a child elf passport, all activities including ice skating, a personalised meeting with Father Christmas, a luxury gift from Father Christmas for every child over 12 months of age, a souvenir photograph with Father Christmas for each family and a Thank you card from Father Christmas for each child on Christmas morning. Tickets have sold like hot cakes so that avoid disappointment book quickly HERE.


We were booked on the 9am tour so left home after breakfast and as we were the first tour it was lovely and easy to park. We walked through the enchanted forest to the Elf check in where Oscar and Archie received their elf passports. The tour takes three and a half hours and on the back of your passport is the time that Father Christmas will be ready to see you. Oscar and Archie’s passports said 12.00 and Oscar kept asking me throughout the morning how long he had left until he would meet the big man himself.

We then went through the magical wooden doors into the most magical room where we were greeted by Sage the elf who really got the children’s imaginations going and then Echo the elf of nature. It was great that they managed to get across to the children how important nature is and how they must help to look after it. We were in the Husky group so after saying the Elves magical pass rhyme we were let through the magic door into Lapland.

Behind the door we were greeted by beautiful fir trees covered in snow and we followed the path all the way to the Toy factory. We met Whittle and Conker the elves and Wish the elf who watch over the small folk to make sure their wishes come true. The toy factory is amazing, it reminded me of the toy factory in the 1985 classic ‘Santa Claus The Movie’ which is my favourite Christmas film ever! With wooden toys spinning around on the ceiling, to the ornate furniture and elf tools it blew me away at the attention to detail and hugely surpassed my expectations. Oscar and Archie sat at the work benches and stuffed the cuddly reindeer and built wooden teddies. When they had finished Whittle the elf stamped their elf passports and we sung The Elf Song.



On we went through the enchanted forest to Mother Christmas’ kitchen where we met her elf cooks and the children got to decorate their own gingerbread man with icing and sweets. When they were finished all the children gathered around whilst Mother Christmas read them all a story. Again the room was decorated beautifully and all the children looked amazed. After the story it was 10.30 so we were given an hour and a half to explore the Elf Village before Father Christmas was ready to meet us.



We walked to the Elf Village and when we arrived there was so much to see and do. It was hard to believe we were actually in the UK, it looked exactly how I imagined Lapland would look. As a child it must be the most magical experience! The Elf Village has a restaurant, a cafe where we sat and had a cup of tea and a salt beef sandwich sitting on benches covered in furs to keep us warm. We then went to the Elf post office, Oscar wrote his letter to Father Christmas with Elva the postmistress who stamped their passports and changed up some money to elf jingles for Oscar to spend in Pixie Mixie’s elf sweet shop. The sweet shop was full of pick ‘n’ mix and Archie loved the smarties, which the elf behind the counter kindly gave him a few.


The Elf Emporium is full of beautiful decorations and gifts. I was surprised at how reasonably priced everything in there was. Usually when you go on a day out with a gift shop the prices are extortionate. I spotted a lovely Christmas plate and when I took it to the till I expected them to say it was £20 but it was only £9 and I love it!

Greg and Oscar went on the village pond ice rink. They both like ice skating and each Christmas we go to somewhere fun so they can skate. The scene was picturesque, everyone skating on the ice rink, snow falling off the snow covered trees and the log cabins in the village buzzing with excited children. A lot of children’s Christmas’ were made yesterday. After 20 minutes or so of skating we went and met the beautiful Husky dogs.


At 12.00 we met one of the Husky trainers by the bauble shop where you can make your own baubles and walked through the enchanted forest until we got to Father Christmas’ reindeer and his sleigh. Oscar couldn’t believe that all the presents can magically fit on one sleigh! Oscar then prepared his own magic reindeer food to keep and leave out on Christmas Eve.

Finally we made it to a wooden lodge where we told the Elf at the desk who we were then sat and waited for a few minutes until we were collected by another Elf to walk to Father Christmas’ lodge. We met other elves and children along the way and finally made it to the lodge. The Elf went inside and we could here Father Christmas talking about Oscar and Archie through the door. Oscar was bursting with excitement and the look on his little face made my day. Both Oscar and Archie then knocked on the big wooden door and in we went.


Father Christmas was sitting in his chair with his giant good list book. A fire was burning behind him and a beautiful Christmas tree stood in the corner. Before your visit you fill in information online so Father Christmas knows things about your children. He said to Oscar that he heard he had been busy playing the piano and Archie had been watching Teletubbies and that Oscar’s best friend Oliver was also on the good list. Oscar looked at him in utter amazement that he knew so much about them. We had a photo taken with Father Christmas and one photo is included in your ticket price, others you can buy at an extra charge.

Father Christmas then gave the boys a beautiful Husky soft toy each that has Lapland Uk embossed on his foot. This is a soft toy that can be kept for years to come to remind them of their magical adventure. They were also given a copy of the Lapland book, ‘The Untold Story Of Father Christmas’. This is a magical extra and only costs £10 (RRP £18.99) and Father Christmas will then give it to your child/children. It is a beautiful book, with lovely pictures and is a heart-warming tale to be enjoyed as a tradition each Christmas.

Other magical extras that you can purchase before your visit is the wooden construction Teddy Bear kit that they built in the toy factory and the reindeer that you can pick up at the end. Both of these are £25. You can also purchase the Elf Jingles which is the currency at Lapland UK but if you don’t you can pick some up at Elf check in and the Elf post office.

After we left Father Christmas we walked back through the enchanted forest and collected our photograph and there is also a shop where you can purchase different outfits for your new Husky and also pick up anything you may have ordered.

Overall Lapland UK was the most amazing day and has made this Christmas the best yet. The magic of Lapland UK is absolutely fantastic and exceeded all expectations. Just seeing the boys faces has made my Christmas already. Oscar can’t believe how lucky he is to have been. We will going back next year! So book your tickets today and experience the real magic of Christmas. Here is a video of our amazing and magical day!

 

Disclaimer: We were given tickets for the four of us to go to Lapland UK for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and my own and it is just so amazing!

Harrods Christmas Grotto 2013

Today we went to visit Father Christmas at Harrods. It’s something we do every year as a little tradition and Oscar loves it. I booked it back in September and was glad I booked it so close to Christmas as last year we went in November and it was nowhere near as good as going so close to Christmas.

Oscar took his Christmas list and read it out with Father Christmas, he was so excited! The grotto itself is free but there is a £10 booking deposit that they put back on my Harrods reward card to spend in store.
Oscar was given a chocolate bar, a badge and a book and we had a photo and he said goodbye to Father Christmas and was bursting with excitement as we left the grotto. 
We walked around the toy kingdom and Oscar loved the stieff cuddly animals especially the huge ones! 
We had lunch then came home and made our gingerbread house. I will post about that tomorrow.
Oscar is so excited for Christmas that I’m almost dreading that it will be over this time next week! It’s just an excuse to make the next week as special and as Christmassy as possible!!