As you know if you know me or read my blog, Christmas trees are a big deal around here! They have to be real, they must be put up by December 1st and they have to be as perfectly proportioned as you can pick!
I've written before about why they're such a big deal.
So I was totally delighted that this year we were able to find this awesome garden centre really close to our house selling real trees, and we didn't have to resort to B&Q like the last time we lived here!
I wanted to teach Ella how we do it! So we looked at all the fun festive stuff inside, she was mesmerised by the lights!
but sadly by the time we got outside we discovered all their 5 ft trees had sold out! and all their 6 ft trees were all scraggly and ugly!
So I remembered that Bodnant had a garden centre, so we zipped over there just as they were closing and found all these beauties lined up...
and we were not impressed with their 5ft trees either so we got a 6 ft-er! I may have done a happy dance! We have never had a 6 ft tree before and in my mind that's as good as a 10 ft tree!
Ella and I picked out 'the one' perfectly proportioned in every way! and we headed back home to do the decorating!
Even in the midst of the festive fun Ella still can't put the books down!!
We changed into some festive attire and Ella got stuck in to choosing her favourite decorations!
She chose the cupcake! What can I say she's her mommy's daughter! and she also chose this little santa we picked up in San Diego so maybe California and cupcakes will be her two big loves too!
I tried to let her put the angel on top, which didn't go too well! it was too heavy for her and she dropped it nearly taking out half the decorations on the way down! Maybe she's a little young for that still!
and the finished product!
I love this one of her peeping out!
I have a feeling it's in the genes and Ella has already inherited my love of Christmas without me even doing anything! She was so excited to get involved!!
I had this tree decoration especially made for her, and each year she will pick a new one to add to the tree :)
My mom also bought her this special decoration...
as did my sister...
and my friend Leanne had this handmade for her...
and I bought this to give to a friend but then liked it so much I bought another for myself!
We definitely won't be forgetting it was Ella's 1st Christmas in a hurry!
A few of our other favourites!
this little Whistler gondola to remind us of all our good times there!
and this Turks and Caicos bauble! to remind us of our first Christmas on the beach!
We picked this up on our Californian road trip the summer before last...
and no tree of mine would be complete without a few sweet reminders! Cupcakes!
Gingerbread men! and candy canes!
We got these beautiful trees in Bruges
and picked up this lovely nativity scene from a Christmas market in Hyde Park.
For some reason our white lights died and we ended up with these red lights, It was bit too much red for my liking especially with the red curtains behind too! but our 6 ft-er will still go down as one of our favourite ever trees!
I decided to go all brown this year for the wrapping, to really focus on the ribbons and decorating fun!
Ella and I even potato printed some festive gift wrap for the little baby secret santa she took part in with one of the baby groups we're members of! I mostly did the printing while she tried to eat the ink, the potatoes and rip up the paper!
I got this festive bunting from a little shop in the village! and had another string in our window that said 'let it snow'. Sadly Wales hasn't got the memo yet...we're still awaiting the snow!
and I used pegs and twine to hang up our cards.
We had a multiple nativity display on the tv cabinet this year, Ella got gifted the beautiful painted wooden nativity just behind her to the left by our neighbour.
We just took down all the decorations yesterday and it's so sad to put them all away! The house looks so empty, although we got back some much needed space for all Ella's new toys!
On Friday 19th December, whilst down south we took Ella to her first ever visit to Santa! I had researched a lot online about different Santa visits and I loved the sound of the one at Frosts Garden Centre. As we walked into the 'Elves Workshop' I knew we'd made the right choice! They'd really gone to a lot of effort!
Excuse the very dark pictures, there was not much light in there! We started off by making some 'magical' reindeer food! Grandad helped Ella scoop up her reindeer food and then an Elf came around with the magical star sequins to add to the mix!
After that the Elves taught us some of the signs to go along with 'Santa Clause is Coming to Town'. Ella didn't really know what was going on but she loved the music, singing and seeing all the other children!
Smiles all round!
Then we headed through the big magical door to see the big man himself! The children had to sit and listen to Santa for a few minutes and Ella was going crazy, kicking her legs, squealing away like she knew something exciting was about to happen! it was pretty cute!
She got to say hello to Santa, and he gave her a lovely 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' book that we read on Christmas Eve. There were no tears! Although she didn't have to sit on his knee so that could have been why!
and then we headed through to the toy workshop where she got to pick out what toy she would like from shelves and shelves of lovely toys! There weren't loads of options for babies but she picked out an elephant hand puppet that she seemed pretty excited about!
and we even got to check out some lovely Reindeer on the way out! I know at this age the Santa visit was probably more for me than it was for Ella but she really did seem to have fun! and she will be able to look back on these photos when she's older and hear all about the first time she met Santa!
Christmas with babies is sooo much fun!