Tag Archives: harrods grotto

#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!

 

Our Family Christmas Traditions

I absolutely love Christmas and love it even more now that we have children. It is such a magical time of year and I love to make it as special and as memorable as possible for Oscar. As a child I always remember our Christmas’ being full of happiness and family and I want Oscar to look back in years to come and feel the same.


This Christmas I have the whole family at our house, one side of the family has Christmas lunch with us which we rotate each year and the other side join us at about 3pm for present opening and an evening cold meat buffet. I love having a house full and making the day special for the whole family.


We have a few traditions that we love to do each year and I thought I would share them with you all.


1. A visit to see Father Christmas at Harrod’s Christmas grotto


We take Oscar to the Harrod’s Christmas Grotto every year to visit Father Christmas. This is something I did with my parents and grandparents as a child and we were always allowed to choose a decoration to add to our tree. Each year I always buy the photo and you pay £10 to reserve your grotto slot which gets reimbursed onto your Harrod’s reward card to spend in store afterwards. We are going to see Father Christmas there next week and Oscar is counting down the sleeps.


        


2. Making a Gingerbread House


When my brother and I were children we used to make and decorate a gingerbread house each Christmas and I remember the kit used to come from Ikea. We had great fun last year decorating our gingerbread house which I brought from Morrisons. This year I already have the kit from Tesco and all the icing and sweets to decorate it. It makes a great table centre piece on Christmas Day and tastes great too!

3. Singing Good King Wenceslas with the Christmas Pudding
This is a tradition from Greg’s side of the family. When the Christmas pudding is served after lunch his family always sang Good King Wenceslas after lighting the pudding. The first time I had Christmas with Greg it did make me giggle and now it’s a run tradition that everyone has a laugh at once we have done it.

Christmas 2006

4.  Turkey Soup On Boxing Day

Ever since I met Greg we have always spent Boxing Day at Greg’s parents house and in recent years since we have had Oscar my parents, brother and my nanny come along to. We always have Turkey Soup and crusty bread and it is delicious! We then play a fun board game like Logo or Articulate.



5. The Fairies bring the decorations

Oscar believes that the fairies bring the decorations and on the 1st December he wakes up to the Christmas Tree up and the house covered in decorations. I always decorate Oscar’s room with his own little tree, Christmas bedding, bunting and a selection of Christmas books on his toy box. He loves it and it get’s him so excited about Christmas and heads straight to his advent calender for his first chocolate!

  
There are a few of our traditions, I would love to know what fun traditions you have in your families. 

 photo icons_01_zps1892de40.png  photo icons_02_zpscac6916b.png  photo icons_03_zpsedc3dd6d.png  photo icons_04_zps9071c3e3.png



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!!