Making the most of one last quiet weekend before the festive season

Last night I counted no less than 17 festive events in my diary between now and 22 December. Yikes! We're going to be busy bees that's for sure. This week alone we're off to watch pantos at the Theatre Royal, Northern Stage and The Customs House, we're going to visit Father Christmas at Wallington Hall and I'm off to Manchester Christmas Markets. We aren't going to have any quiet weekends in December (we will be having a very chilled time from 22 December onwards) so I decided that as Steve was working this weekend, we'd try and keep it low key. I've written about the importance of downtime so many times before and I'm a big believer in planning time to relax into your diary - especially at this time of year!

So Saturday morning and afternoon was declared a PJ day. We watched The Chronicles of Narnia and the kids played LEGO. We enjoyed a living room picnic for lunch and then they spend the afternoon playing on X Box.

I think it's important to get some fresh air even on chill weekends so at 3pm we popped our coats on and walked to Manor Walks for their Christmas Light Switch on event.

The events at Manor Walks are always canny and we arranged to meet our friends there. I'd popped into Poundland and bought some chocolate coins and glow sticks to keep the kids entertained as we waited. H, H and J enjoyed pretending to be Daleks in this ride below before Heart FM, Elsa, Ana and Olaf pressed the big switch on button.

It was lovely to see Cramlington hosting such a nice event - there were stilt walkers, face painters, the smell of doughnuts for sale, festive songs playing, live music, characters to pose with, a visit from Father Christmas, photo was fab.

The big countdown saw lots of confetti, cheering and excitement. Christmas in Cramlington has officially started! Yeah! We popped along to McDonalds afterwards where the kids enjoyed a burger and a play with their friends and the grown-ups warmed up with coffee and had a nice little catch-up. It was the perfect low-key Christmas trip out.

We walked home in the dark and spotted the first few house with their Christmas lights and decorations up. Walking in the dark on a crisp night and looking at twinkling lights always puts me in a festive mood and I can't wait to put our tree up now.

Onto Sunday and another lazy morning. The kids are obsessed with playing Lego on the X Box at the moment so they did that and I just faffed about on the internet and watched Sunday Brunch drinking coffee. It's lush having nowhere to be on a Sunday morning. But then all hell broke loose and I posted this rant on Facebook about how the kids constantly argue and fight! Urgh. It kind of reminded me why we don't have lazy weekends more often.

My mam picked us up to take us to my brother's restaurant Evan's Bistro for Sunday lunch. Mark put my favourite dish (sausage and mash - I swear their sausage and mash is the best ever) on the specials menu especially for me which put me straight back in a good mood again.

After lunch we spent some time at Whitley Bay Lighthouse. It was my grandma's birthday and this is where her ashes are scattered so we put down some flowers and talked about how we bet H,H and J would have been able to do no wrong in her eyes. . It was super chilly but the lighting was gorgeous and it was nice to get some fresh air.

Then we were back home for 3:30pm and enjoyed a super lazy night where we watched Wonder Woman and ate Minstrels (thanks Grandma).

Despite the kids fighting I did enjoy our relaxing weekend. It's kind of a shame the next one isn't going to be until next year now.......


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