Over the past week we've been having a lovely time working through our family Advent activity list. Here's what we've been up to - all photos taken with Instagram (my plan is to print them all off at the end of the month and save them for next year to pin onto a giant Advent wall calendar every day we tick one off the list).
We chose our Christmas tree from Ivy Cottage Tree Farm in Wilmslow. "I've measured the car, and we can fit in nine feet, max", announced Andre. Not sure how we ended up cramming a twelve foot mammoth into the boot, then...
We visited the insanity that is Bents Garden Centre to choose new baubles for each daughter. This was my favourite tree - because why not accessorize scary porcelain dolls with knitted owls?
Eva and I baked gingerbread men with the assistance of one of her toddler friends. The gingerbread men looked dreadful - baking with two-year olds requires lowering one's expectations of perfection until they are circling the drain - but they tasted fantastic.
We checked out the Dickensian-themed Christmas decorations at Tatton Park mansion. Eva was mesmerised by the carol singers and the huge Victorian-style Christmas trees, until she broke the mood somewhat by hurling herself at a nearby table-top display of festive evergreens shrieking "My berries my berries my berries!".
We also visited the reindeer and the nativity at Tatton Park Farm - because nothing says Christmas like a donkey in a Santa Hat.
I made paperchains with glittery paper.
And we installed our Advent tree - usually we have an Advent branch and hang one decoration on it every day - this year I dragged in a huge olive tree that went the way of the good a couple of winters ago ("you don't really want us to move this great big dead tree, do you, love?", said our movers optimistically back in January - yes, yes, I'm afraid I do), spray-painted it silver, and installed it in the dining room.
So that's seven activities in seven days - right on schedule. What can I say, I'm an over-achiever.