Portable North Pole – Messages for your children from Santa

 

I’m not a newbie to this PNP lark-we actually use this service every year, giving the children their own personalised videos from the man in red himself.

This year however, I was asked to write a review on the service, and introduce some new options for the video personalisation, and even show you some merchandise that is now available!
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alcoholic parent

Grieving For An Alcoholic Parent At Christmas-Even Though They’re Still Alive

 

I know it’s Christmas-a time for magic, happiness, excitement and love. And I don’t want to put a downer on you, my lovely readers, at Christmas, but I also don’t think pretending mine is full of the above is normal either.
If I’m honest, this post has been a long time coming, and, if no one else reads it, I’ll at least get it all off of my chest and out of my head.

 

The point of this post, is basically that I am grieving for a Mother who is still alive, which isn’t a new feeling-it’s not a new grief, it’s something I’ve been processing for a long time-four years to be precise. Continue reading

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What Are Your Favourite Christmas Songs?

So now we’re in December, we can fully enjoy the festive music and dig out the back catalogue of Christmas songs on dusty CD’s (or via spotify/google music/iMusic, which ever takes your fancy).

 

My favourite Christmas song, is definitely Little Drummer Boy-obviously partly because of David Bowie, but also because Bing Crosby really reminds me of my Grandfather.  He doesn’t look like him or even sound like him, something just reminds me of him-maybe its a generational thing.

 

I asked some of my blogger friends their favourite Christmas Songs.

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What Are Your Favourite Christmas Movies?

We’re at that time again people-it’s December, it’s time to dig out the Christmas DVD’s, find that dedicated Sky Christmas channel, and circle all of your favourite Christmas movies in the bumper edition, festive TV Guide.

 

My favourite Christmas movie, has to be Polar Express-I love the story of magic, and the possibility of a child losing their belief in the magic of Santa, but ultimately finding it again.  The songs, the animation-it’s all so festive, it’s just perfect.

 

I asked some of my blogger friends their favourite Christmas Movies.

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Mums

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 ~ Gifts for Busy Mums

It’s that time of year again people-the last payday before Christmas is almost upon us, so the panic buying can commence!
So, I’ve taken it upon myself to give you a helping hand-and give you some ideas for presents with some handy gift guides!

Today’s gift guide is the most important (don’t let anyone tell you different!)

This is a gift guide, for busy Mums!

 

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The Snowman at The Marlowe Theatre

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Last night I attended the Press Night for the opening of The Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s Production of The Snowman at The Marlowe Theatre.

 

For those that don’t know much about The Snowman or for those that have never heard of it, here’s a little synopsis for you of the original book by Raymond Briggs. 

The Boy builds a snowman on a winter’s day.  That night, at the stroke of midnight, The Snowman comes to life. They go around playing with appliances, toys and other things throughout the house, all while keeping quiet enough not to wake the boy’s Mum and Dad.
They then go for a ride on a motorbike where they see many animals.  The engine heat affects the insides of the Snowman’s thighs, and so they find him a freezer to cool off in. Later they take flight, over the ocean.  
They continue through an arctic landscape and land in a snow-covered forest where they join a party of snowmen.
They meet Santa with his reindeer, who gives The Boy a scarf with a snowman pattern.
The morning after they get back, the sun has come out and The Boy wakes up to find The Snowman has melted. The Boy reaches into his pocket and finds The Snowman scarf given to him by Santa.

As a child, I watched this every Christmas-it was a tradition in our house.  Little did I know I’d be reviewing the stage production of it 20 years later.IMG_8743

 

From the second I entered the auditorium, the festive backdrop on the stage already
evoked those Christmas memories, and, with the constant winter snow scenes, the Christmas tree in the house, and  familiar music, I left full of the festivity I had only a month ago.

 

The first half of the show, got off to a slightly slow start, but it can’t have been slow for long, because I don’t remember the point I was suddenly sucked into the festive excitement along with the rest of the audience.

The beautiful carol singers, The Boy building the Snowman (that for a little while had me questioning if it was going to move or not because it had stayed so still for so long)!  The scenery, that seemed to change the entire feel of the stage, with just one simple backdrop screen behind the constant wintry trees, and the props that were changed with ease and speed created perfect festive settings for each scene.

The absolutely awesome boys who play The Boy, had me in awe-the stamina and talent these children have is admirable.

The Snowman himself, was hilarious.  The fact someone can portray humour and emotion while not speaking is incredible, and the ability he had to keep up with all of the dances and dancers around him, dressed in what I can only assume was a ridiculously hot Snowman suit, just shows how talented he is

This does lead me nicely on to the music.  Although compliments go to all dancers and actors, the real emotion is evoked from the power of the music.

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I was thrilled to hear prior to this event, that the Howard Blake, who, 34 years ago wrote the original music and lyrics for the to feature film of The Snowman, did the same for this stage production.

Even more thrilling was the opportunity to meet and speak to Howard in person during the interval.  A thoroughly humble and gentle man, he seemed genuinely happy to discuss the show, mentioning that they’ve now done so many shows in this tour so far, Hannah Flynn, who plays Scotty Snowman, has danced as Scotty for 1000 shows!

Obviously, the most famous of all of the music in this show is “Walking In The Air“. There’s just something about that song that gives me goosebumps, and, with the Snowman and The Boy wired up enabling them to fly across the stage, it’s clearly one of the most iconic moments in this production.

Additionally to this part though, there are so many other moments that left me open mouthed.

The various animals, with their beautiful costumes, dancing in perfect synchronisation, the beautiful ballets performed by the Ballerina, the Ice Princess and Jack Frost (who did a beautiful job of being scary-the majority of the children in front of me jumped when he came on).  The timing The Boy had when dancing with his peers, the “dance off” with all the different snowmen, and, let’s face it, the moment Santa came on and brought us so much joy while we watched him dance in front of us.

That same rush of joy we felt, turned to utter heartbreak when we saw The Boy discover his Snowman had melted, and, shortly after, as the last scene concluded, the sheer elation, from, lets face it, more adults than children, at the magical snow that fell around us-making it the perfect way to end this beautiful show.

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I’ve come away from this production, holding dear those festive feelings, that evoked so many of my childhood memories, in the hope they will see me through until next Christmas.

 

 

If you get the opportunity to go and see this-do!  It’s perfect for children and adults of all ages!  The Snowman is on NOW until the 22nd of January at The Marlowe Theatre, and tickets can be found here.

 

 

 

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Elf on the Shelf-Day 23

Good Morning Elf Fans!

So today marks the penultimate day of our Elves mischief making!  Tonight they will leave all the things the children need for Christmas Eve, and a letter saying goodbye.
We’ve already had sad faces from Olivia when we explained they would need to go back to help Santa, so I’m unsure how tomorrow evening will go!

This morning however, the children woke to find the elves playing with finger puppets!!!

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They’ve had a lovely morning playing with them!  Kye does a very good impression of Santa!!!

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So!  That’s it from the “normal” antics!  Tomorrow’s will be a later blog post, because I’ll be adding the reaction video from the morning, plus a video of them leaving their things out for Santa, and saying goodbye to Jingles and Jangles.  I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be emotional!

Until tomorrow-lots of love Elf fans!

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Elf on the Shelf-Days 21 & 22 (and pig-gate!)

Good Afternoon!!!

Massive huge apologies for not blogging about our elves antics yesterday!

I’ve been a little under the weather, and had to go out late last night with my Mother-In-Law, to get my Christmas food!!!  I didn’t get in until late, and once it was all unpacked, put away and I managed to drag myself to bed, it was just too late to write up the days events!

Anyway, nothing will be missed in today’s blog, and, starting with Day 21 (Tuesday) this is what the children woke up to!

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The video reaction to this one was only small (quite like the antic really)-but they’ve just had so many treats and crazy mornings, we thought we’d dull them down a tad for the last few days, especially as Christmas Eve is always a massive one!

Moving on to Day 22 (today), and my lovely husband was already setting this one up while I was shopping last night.  Its entitled Elves Do Jurassic Park, and he was super proud of himself!

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As you can see from the following video, the children pretty much loved this one, although the moment was overshadowed slightly by Olivia, and her pet pig (see below for the story behind the pig).

 

So, back to the pig…….
Yesterday, the hubs went shopping first thing to get my Christmas presents, and on his way back, needed to grab a couple of things from the shop.  He called me to ask if I wanted a special Christmas themed sandwich, consisting of pigs in blankets and stuffing.  I said no thank you, but he didn’t hear because of his signal, so instead I text him.  During the messaging the children questioned me on what Daddy had wanted on the phone, so I quickly filled them in.  Except Olivia either didn’t listen, or completely misheard, because she convinced herself that Daddy was bringing her home a pet pig for Christmas!

She even waited at the front door, full of excitement, asking him if he’d got her pig.  We had to explain to him why she thought that was happening, and he had to let her down as gently as possible.  She looked so sad when she realised he wasn’t bringing her one, AND me and Kye found it hysterically funny.
Fast forward to last night, pre-food shop, and I nipped to the toy shop and bought a toy pig.  This morning, Daddy redeemed himself by giving her the pig, and as you can see from a very special video reaction below, she was thrilled!

 

So that’s all that’s been happening here over the last two days, all quite normal (pig-gate aside).
Tonight is the last normal antic before the Christmas Eve box etc gets left, how crazy is that!  Only two more Elf Blogmas blogs to go!!!!
So tonight we’re leaving festive puppets out for the children-they love puppets and role play, so I’m really looking forward to this one!

 

Until tomorrow, and our penultimate Elf on the Shelf Blog-Toodaloooooooo!

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Elf on the Shelf-Day 20

I cant believe its Day 20!!!  Christmas is SO soon, and even sooner is the Elves return home-something I have not planned in the slightest this year!  Last year we did a North Pole Breakfast as their goodbye, but this year we’re going out for breakfast, so we have no idea what we’re going to do.

Last night however, the elves left some magic Skittles for the children to make Skittles rainbows with!

Kye had heard all about it at school, so he knew what to do-although I was still a little concerned something so simple wasn’t going to work…..but it did!

As you can see the children loved it!

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Soon it was time for school,and Kye had been chosen to be in the school choir this morning, singing for the community coffee morning-he was soooo cute-and as a reward, his teacher let them have a biscuit….although, as you can see, he didn’t actually go with a biscuit!!! Anyway, as usual he made me super proud, and we’re completely on countdown for him to finish tomorrow now-just hoping this horrible norovirus going around won’t get him!

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Anyway, there was me talking about not having any ideas for Christmas Eve, but I’ve got to find an idea for tonight first!!!!!

AS USUAL, UNTIL TOMORROW…..LATERS ELF FRIENDS

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