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Center Parks Blogger Challenge: 12 Christmas Favourites!

Now that Christmas is behind us, I can look back in retrospective, ponder on the greatest joys of the festive season and respond with a post to the challenge launched at the beginning of December by Tots100 on behalf of Center Parks.

1. The first thing that comes to mind is Cinderella, the Christmas pantomime Emma and I attended mid-December.  It was a special bonding time between mother and daughter before the baby arrives and I cherished it fully. We laughed a lot, ate loads of sweets, stayed up late and took pictures with the ” silly stepsisters.” A delight!


2. Watching Emma’s ballet “performance” and seeing how confident she has grown in the last four months. I struggled a lot taxing her to the ballet lessons, fighting against my constant pregnancy fatigue and  putting up with a moody little girl in the evenings but seeing her doing so well in her evaluation made it all worth while!


3. Seeing Santa and handing in our “wish list.” Emma has grown progressively fonder of him over the years and this time around was even happy to have a chat with the bearded fella and tell him all her heart’s desires. She did whisper to me though that “he looked a bit funny, mummy” as the beard was covering his entire face and has started noticing and asking questions like: “Why do you get pressies from daddy and I get them from Santa?” For now we are good, we managed to introduce Jesus in the equation and tell her Santa is His helper and brings presents on His behalf but I wouldn’t be surprised if she will get to the bottom of it in a couple of years.

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4. Spending two weekends away as a special family time. We did one in Dublin and the other on the North Coast of Ireland. We enjoyed them both as they gave us the chance to spend time with each other, relax, make new friends and put things in perspective, with the baby coming and all.

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5. Watching a Christmas movie together as a family in the cinema, for a second year in a row. Last year, we took Emma to Dublin before Christmas and we watched Tinker Bell and the Winter Woods. This year, it had to be Frozen. In 3D! A new family tradition has been created, me thinks!

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6. Making Christmassy things. We painted our own baubles, baked loads of cookies and even made a gingerbread house (not from scratch, mind you, just assembling it together and decorating it with icing). Great fun!

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7. The Christmas tree! Up until the Christmas Eve I thought that this year we were going to go fake, as I was too pregnant to care about buying a decorating a real Christmas tree. But then my amazing hubby found this offer in B&Q and got us a gorgeous tree for 1 penny and new decorations for £30!

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8. The Christmas morning and all the excitement! I got more than I even dreamed of getting but the biggest joy was seeing the little girl opening what she had been dreaming of, her Doc McStuffin present! I know life is not a fairytale and she will find it soon enough but it was good to see her happy and content in the knowledge that dreams can and will come true!

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9. The Christmas lunch! When I first got married it seemed like a monumental task, making a big lunch for more than two people but over the years I have learned when to start cooking to avoid the stress and enjoy the experience. This year was easy as we spent Christmas as a family, with no guests or fuss and cooking the Christmas lunch was…a piece of cake!

North Coast 02110. Relaxing in the evenings. Hubby works hard and most nights comes home after Emma has gone to sleep so having him with us this day and seeing him relax was a joy in itself, not only for me but for the little girl too. She took good care of daddy, covering him with a blankie and even lending him her new Lambie for comfort!

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11. Decorating the house throughout the month of December with wee bits and pieces accumulated over the years, each carrying emotional value. Like the snow globe/musical box we got from Santa’s grotto last year.


12. Buying baby clothes in sales. I usually buy all Emma’s summer clothes in the January sales but this year I got some of the baby’s clothes also. Pure cuteness, at the right price!

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This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 December challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Whinfell Forest. I am aware I am posting this 23 minutes after midnight so I hope my entry will still be considered.


This entry was posted in: Writing


Mum to one beautiful girl on earth and one sweet baby boy in heaven. Privileged carer. Encourager and friend.


  1. Looks like an awesome Christmas for you, Oana! So nice that you were able to do so much even while pregnant! Last year I was pretty much useless lol!

    • Oh, Nina, I tried to squeeze as much as I could knowing that our lives would change when baby comes and Emma would need some warm memories to help her through the first baby months 🙂 I remember you suffered a lot during the last months of your pregnancy.xx

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