It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! A phrase that will either inspire mucho joy OR see you flying into a Grinch like rant about how it’s too early and whatever happened to the 12 days thing?! There is one select group of people that never think it’s too early to bust out the Christmas songs and nibble the Quality Streets and that, my friends, is kids. Kids see such magic in Christmas; it’s like nothing else in the world. Before children Christmas was very much still about family and happy times, but there is something so much more enchanting about seeing Christmas through your children’s eyes. The pure horror when they know they have been naughty and you call Santa, the sparkle in their eyes as you spread reindeer food outside to make sure Rudolf doesn’t miss your house and then the best part where they see that tree in the morning, knowing that there is something underneath for them.
We were given the chance to extend that magic this year; and at the beginning of November we took a very exciting trip to B&Q’s tree farm in Aberdeen… or as the children were told “A Mission for Santa to find the best tree”. It was absolutely amazing. When we arrived the children were met by two bubbly, friendly Elves who chatted to them about Christmas wishes and what Santa had been up to. They gave the kids a special task to find their favourite tree and hang a little decoration on it so that it could be shipped home, ready for lights, presents and their fave decorations. They gave us a lot of information that was really useful from an adult perspective too, for example, did you know that B&Q never destroy a tree unnecessarily? If a tree is wonky or not really growing to standard where is would look lovely in your living room; the tree is cut back and re grown. The elves measured the children against the trees and then told them how old they are in tree years, I didn’t realise that Christmas trees took so long to grow – some of the trees have been growing for 15 years!
As the children ran about the field of trees, looking at “naughty” trees that had wonky tops or bent branches and “nice” trees that were more symmetrical and would be making an appearance this Christmas, I was struck by how beautiful the fields were and just how many trees B&Q plant for Christmas. It really was magical.
It’s the first time we have ever had a real tree, we’ve always been conscious with our cats who liked to chew branches, but there is something about a real tree that breathes a bit more magic into Christmas. I was really surprised to learn how inexpensive the trees are – they start from as little as £20.
After the children selected the perfect tree, we were met with a truly wonderful surprise: Reindeer! Did you know Reindeer are native to Scotland? The children were mesmerised by the reindeer, they were allowed to feed them and then we sat with them whilst we tucked into mince pies and some nibbles.
Once we arrived home we went to collect our tree from B&Q in York, and with a B&Q giftcard in hand, we put the kids in charge, letting them choose the decorations that they loved. Do you do that or do you prefer to have a styled tree? For us, it’s always been a mix up of decorations that have precious meanings to us, and we always try to get a Christmas decoration from our family holidays so that when we hang it on the tree we can look back and smile. Whatever your preferences; B&Q has a huge selection that would be perfect for any taste, with decorations from as little as £1. Their light selection is huge and with a liiiiiiittle bit of gentle encouragement (read pleading) the kids chose the most gorgeous warm lights.
Every child got to choose a certain decoration – Toby was very animal (especially penguin) focused, Edith went for bright colours and unicorns and Reuben chose Santa in a car and some classic baubles that he thought were really pretty!
What I didn’t expect to find in B&Q was the sweetest little soft toys that sing Christmas carols, which the kids have been carrying around since we left!
We had the best time letting go of the reigns and handing over to the kids to choose our tree and then decorate it. They did a really great job!