Christmas 2013: Let the fun begin

For the last few weeks I have had builders in the house.  We are doing an extension so downstairs has been a mess.  Dust everywhere.  Thankfully the end is in sight and the work is as good as finished – we are hoping the final bits will be tidied up on Monday and they will pack up their things and go.

With that in mind this weekend was all about Christmas.  For me I headed into my work Christmas party.  Ok I’m not in work at the moment (not in paid work – am working very hard at home) but my colleagues invited me to join in the festivities.  I guess I did work half the year with them and I hadn’t really seen any of them since so off I went into Dublin City Centre on Friday evening.

Dinner was booked for 4.45pm in Buenos Aires Grill on Golden Lane.  I had never heard of it before but managed to find it.  I arrived first and awaited my crew who were off doing a team building afternoon at work. The meal got off to a dodgy start when the restaurant did not have either the red of white wine we wanted to order for the table however once that fiasco was sorted out we ordered our food.  I was starving and so welcomed a tasty smoked salmon dish and devoured the striploin steak I had ordered for main.  Finished off with a creme brulee and it was all washed down with copious amounts of wine.  We headed to Capitol Bar on Stephen Street Lower and before we knew it it was after 3am and time to stumble walk gracefully on our way home.

Thankfully the next morning husband was on hand to take the kids off my hands before, later in the day when I was feeling a little more human, we headed off to find our Christmas tree.  Each year we end up buying it in Jones Garden Centre and this year was no different.  They deliver the tree locally which is great except my daughter wanted to pick it up so after dropping me nad my son home hubby headed immediately out again to collect it.

Tree
The tree!

We got it set up and the decorating task began.  We seem to be developing a tradition that the kids start with the star and I do all the lights before it becomes a free for all to put all the other decorations on.  The kids usually get bored halfway through this so I end up finishing it.  Stockings go up on the mantle piece – we have three, each with their name so there are no arguments.  Crib is set up and we try to make sure the lounge is tidy and clean for the Christmas period (still working on that bit!).

Christmas tree
Finishing the Christmas tree

This morning we decide we would bring the kids to see Santa.  Last year we didn’t bring them.  Our daughter was in school and he came to visit them there and the two youngest were in the crèche and he visited there too so we didn’t bother.   And while Santa visited my daughters school on Friday and will be with my son’s class next Friday we decided to pay a visit to Santa at Newbridge House and Farm.  It is only 5 minutes drive away and thought it would be more of an experience then just a queue for a 2 minute trip to Santa.

Having paid for all of us (it was €27 euro was the whole family) we were asked for the kids details (names and ages) and then sent to a waiting room.  A group were called up but we were left waiting.  When the second group were called and we were still waiting my husband checked what was going on.  They had forgotten us off the list but got us into that second group.  It was the group we were supposed to be in any way so we tried to relax into what turned out to be a little tour of the house.  Of course the kids were blown away as the guide explained each room – the dining room where Santa has his dinner after delivering all the presents, the letter writing room, the room where he stores the presents and his party room.  Of course each room had been set up for the Christmas experience.  It was then time to wait our turn to see the Big Man himself.  We were called first.  I think this was their way of apologising for missing us so they completely redeemed themselves.

Ready to see the big man!
Ready to see the big man!

My daughter and son were in awe.  He shook their hands calling them by their names.  My little man kept wanting to hold his Santa’s hand.  Our little lady was a little suspicious and wanted to remain firmly in Daddy’s arms.

We got a little family photo before the kids got a gift from Santa.

Santa
Family photo with Santa (excuse the devil eyes on all of us!)

 

Newbridge House and Farm
Fun on the farm

 

The price includes a trip around the farm which we often do at other times of the year so the Santa experience was only about €12/13 more so for us a nice combination of our usual trip plus the house tour and Santa visit with gift.

Reindeer
Catching up with the reindeer

We finished our farm tour with a coffee and treat in the Coffee shop before finally walking down to see the reindeer.  A little bit of a walk from main house but it was a lovely sunny day and great to tire out the kids.

Time to chill out and enjoy the rest of the build up – a house to clean, Christmas shopping to finish and a 7th birthday party to enjoy next Sunday!  Fun times just beginning for Christmas 2013!

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