Tripping the Christmas lights fantasticPosted: 15/12/2014
There are many things I love about the festive season but seeing all the beautiful lights and decorations is a real favourite. Once the big switch on happens in town, you know that Christmas is coming soon!
Since having ToddlerGirl, I’ve started a new family tradition of heading into the city centre to look at the lights before going to dinner all together. Last year, this was mostly fun for me, with ToddlerGirl semi interested in it all. This year, though, is the year I have been waiting for. Now she’s three, she’s really enthusiastic about all things Christmas. In fact, we have one incredibly excited little girl on our hands – and it’s only the beginning of December! I admit I’m probably partially (er, mostly) to blame for that…
She absolutely loved our trip to look at all the lights, not least for the novelty of being out and about in the dark, which is usually equated with bedtime. She found it very strange to see so many people around, asking wonderingly: “Why is everyone out at night?!” It was only 5pm of course but it obviously felt very late to her!
First, we wandered through the lovely Christmas market, which sits in the grounds of our cathedral (although ToddlerGirl doesn’t accept that and insists it’s a castle!) and has a warm, cosy glow after dark. With ToddlerGirl perched on her daddy’s shoulders, there were lots of interesting stalls to stop and look at. Mummy particularly enjoyed sampling some chocolate wine, with some not so subtle hints to the husband that it would make a great present!
Then we set about spotting as many lights as we could, finding them in all shapes and sizes: strung along the streets, twinkling in trees, hanging like icicles from shops… Some were brightly coloured, others wintery whites and blues. It was a festive dream! Our favourite find was a huge canopy of white lights over the main street, although a long line of Christmas trees, decorated by various charities and schools, and some giant baubles came a close second and third. It was a brilliant family outing, finished off by yummy burgers and thick shakes for tea.
We had our second festive fix at a local Christmas fair this weekend, where the entire road was closed off and crammed with market stalls. The shops spilled out onto the pavement and there were delicious smells and tempting treats everywhere. The lights had a more traditional feel, with small Christmas trees sticking out over the shop fronts all the way along the street, although we also spotted a couple shaped like reindeer. We found a small fairground ride for ToddlerGirl and stopped to enjoy the brass band.
The street was heaving and it was lovely to see the local small businesses doing so well. I got the last of my Christmas shopping done, feeling smugly organised as the husband hasn’t started his – until I realised I’m the only person he needs to buy for!
Our two trips out have been the perfect way to begin the festive season. I’m not done hunting down Christmas lights, though. Now I’m looking forward to our annual drive by to find the best decorated houses in our area. Obviously by that I mean the ones crammed with the most novelty lights…! ToddlerGirl will love it.